I hate to keep harping on Brexit and the European Union (EU) but . . . well, actually I don’t. I don’t for the simple reason that Europe marks a road not taken in the name of socialism, political correctness and noblesse oblige. It represents the futility of half-measures and the failure to recognize the consequences of multi-culturalism without assimilation. And most importantly it fails to appreciate the importance of historical pride and loyalty to a geographical footprint that obviates the creation of a “United States of Europe.”
First, let’s understand the uniqueness of the development of the United States of America. We began as colonies of primarily England – there were some French and Spanish areas but primarily the colonization of America was accomplished under the aegis of England. There was no tribal or historical allegiance to any particular geographical footprint, save and except for the new geographical footprint of North America – and that was more familiar than historical.
Overwhelmingly the population of America at its inception was Caucasian, Christian and English speaking. There was not a 1500 year history of being a Georgian or a Pennsylvanian or New Yorker. There were more shared values than shared histories. There was also a common enemy – a repressive British authoritarian rule that particularly rankled the colonists since the concepts of freedom, democratic representation and justice preached by Great Britain were, in effect, denied to the colonists.
And finally, the development of the United States was accomplished with brute force. We did not ask the indigenous tribes of North America whether they wanted to become a part of the America – we simply took the land and confined the natives to reservations. We fought wars with the British and the French that defined our northern border with what is now Canada and did likewise with the French and Spanish to define our southern border with what is now Mexico.
All of the above that made America susceptible to union is quite the opposite of what makes Europe resistant to becoming a true union of nation states. It is the reason that the multinational elitists used the cover of trade agreements to create an overlay that sought to rule all of Europe without actually uniting the nation states. And so long as the EU actually adhered to trade things worked relatively well. But they didn’t.
There is an article in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal by Walter Russell Mead that encapsulates however what is wrong with today’s EU. While the article sets out to describe why Donald Trump is critical of the EU, it likewise defines why the member states are critical of today’s EU. While Mr. Mead lists five elements, in essence they boil down to just two: economic policy and social policy.
In essence the “overlay” union of the nation states has left economic policy stagnant. While economic policy has been centralized in Brussels, regional disagreements have left it unable to change, adapt or even lead. The nation states of the EU are failing and have existed in a state of near permanent recession over the last two decades. Those who could excel – particularly Great Britain – have been held back by the EUs lack of clarity on economic growth. The EU has failed to achieve sufficient economic strength to compete globally. At best it is a second rate economy which is moving inevitably toward third world status.
As is often the case when nations fail to achieve either economic or international success, the EU has turned virtually all of its attention to social issues. Here is where elitism usually is at its best. Here is where liberals have unlimited ideas of what should be done with other people’s money. Here is where Chancellor Angela Merkel and Speaker Nancy Pelosi become sisters and former French President Francois Mitterrand and former President Barack Obama demonstrated the failures of liberal social policy. This is where socialism demonstrates that all are equal with the exception of those who make the rules.
Ms. Merkel’s decision to allow the immigration of nearly one million Muslims from the Middle East has proven disasterous. The intent was salutary but the implementation was laughable. The result has been to create areas within these nations where the refugee populations have congregated, refused to assimilate and imposed their own laws without regard to their host nation. And yet none of them live in Ms. Merkel’s neighborhood.
The EU has seized upon global warming despite that it exists primarily as a computer model that has failed to match predictions with reality. And the EU’s solution is for the major nations to reduce pollutants while exempting the major polluters like China, Russia and India – in other words the sole responsibility is imposed upon the United States. It is the same myopia that infests America’s liberal elites – a belief that America should bear the economic burden of curing the ills of the world while hamstringing the ability of America to create the wealth necessary to do so.
If you are a capitalist, if you are a free trader, if you believe in individual freedom and responsibility and if you believe in a meritocracy you should cheer for Great Britain to exit the European Union in hopes that those remaining might refocus the EU energies on creating a true trading partnership and leave the social policy to the individual nation states.