- Politics and Social Issues
Isn't the European Union the Model Conservatives Are Actually Asking the United States to Morph Into? [127*-8]
THE BIRTH OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
THE GOOD MODEL
I WAS LISTENING TO LEWELLEN KING, host of the Washington Chronicles which is presented, among other places on Sirius/XMs POTUS broadcast. His guest was the European Union's Ambassador to the United States. King started off the conversation by noting the mountain of disparaging remarks about Europe coming from the 2012 Republican presidential candidates, their surrogates, and their PACs. Being a good diplomat, the Ambassador refused to bite, but, for me, I find it very ironic as well as rude.
Being rude, comes with the territory, I suppose; politicians simply don't know how to be any other way, especially during a campaign. Normally they keep in in-house, but this campaign, they decided to go international with their derision's. I find it ironic because when the Conservatives are mocking and denigrating the Europeans, their nations, and their Union, they are, in fact, mocking themselves for the European Union's organization is the same model Conservatives propose the United States follow!
WHAT!, you say? How can this be so? Rather simply, really. Conservatives the best way America should be organized is with a weak Central government whose primary concerns are, foreign policy, interstate commerce, and national defense. Everything else should be left to the several States who are allowed to chart their own course without too much interference from the central government. Have I got that about right?
Well, take a peak at the European Union. It is a weak Central government whose charter gives it responsibility over foreign policy, inter-nation commerce, and European defense. It has the added responsibility of establishing a single currency and maintaining a central bank; neither of which was in the United States' original charter, much to our detriment.
Isn't that interesting, to listen to the Conservatives talk, there is not thing that is redeemable regarding the European experience, yet, the European Union (EU) is exactly what Conservatives want the US to be, don't you see. Never mind that many, but not all, of the nations that make up the EU have a "socialist" form of government, to one degree or another. Under the Conservative paradigm each nation should be free to choose its own course, so long as it stays within the general guidelines of the EU charter, yet, Conservatives seem to have great objection to the choices made by most, if not all, of the members of the EU.
Now, I might get some push back regarding the difference between the nations in the EU and the states in the US. The claim would be, I think, that we are talking apples and oranges here; but are we? What is it that defines each nation in Europe? I can think of a three, language, history, and culture. Now let's look at the United States, more specifically, New York and Louisiana. How different can two histories and cultures be? As to language, have you ever seen somebody from NYC trying to communicate with somebody from the Louisiana bayou? Granted, both are American English, but, as one from California ... barely. What I am saying, of course is, up close, there are as many differences between the states as there are between the countries in Europe, and from a distance, they are as coherent within the construct of the United States as the European nations are within the European Union. One other thing to remember as well, the EU is as far a long in development as the US was in 1800.
Never mind also, that most Conservatives apparently do not know what Socialism really is. A lot of Conservatives like to think California and New York (or at least New York City) are Socialist States because of the degree of social services and welfare these entities provide their citizens. In fact, while Socialism does have aspects of social welfare about it, it is much more than that. Socialism, what Conservatives claim Obama believes in, is an economic system characterized by "social ownership", meaning society owns the means of production and distribution.
Socialism can exist with either a "planned" ecomomy or a "market" economy. The Soviet Union, one of the most extreme forms of Socialism, was a planned economy while China, is now a market economy, although still very Communist and very Socialist. By the way, Nazi Germany was also a prime example of a true Socialist economy.
If I am not mistaken, all European countries have a market-based economy that operates very similar to our own. Granted, there may be State ownership or heavy regulation of some essential industries, mainly things like utilities, transportation, and the like in some of the countries; but then so did the United States from WW II to 1981. So, why are Conservatives so upset with the Europeans that the make so much fun of them? It certainly can't be their free-market based economy, can it? It can't be their governmental organization, since it emulates what Conservatives propose for America. It must be their social support system, their desire that the State provide a better life for its citizens, which is why California and New York City are in their sights.
For a movement so in love with nation-states being able to choose their own destiny, Conservatives sure have an issue with the European nations choosing theirs and not being rudely critisized for it.