LOPEZ: What can we learn from Europe? Can Europe undo what it’s done to itself? (And if they do, won’t that be a real pain for me on this next National Review European cruise?)
FONTE: We can learn what not to do. The EU elites, like the Bourbons of the ancien régime, have learned little from the current euro crisis. They are doubling down, proposing more and more Brussels centralization and less and less democratic accountability. In the long run, some of this may be undone. A crucial question for American foreign policy is: Will we stand in the way of the restoration of democracy in Europe by continuing to support greater EU integration? On your cruise problems — the short-term gain in lower transaction costs (with a single currency) is not worth the overall mess both economically and, more important, democratically, with the weakening of liberal democracy and self-government throughout the continent.
LOPEZ: What does Brigitte Bardot have to do with any of this?
FONTE: Brigitte Bardot was severely fined five times for simply exercising free speech by criticizing Muslims and Islamic practices in France. This is an example of the retreat of traditional liberalism in Europe, and why Fukuyama and others who talk about triumphant liberalism are ignoring recent troubling trends.
LOPEZ: How did you become a doctor of demystification of ideology?
FONTE: I am grateful to John O’Sullivan for his very generous foreword to my book, in which he gave me that title and compared the writings of some of us “early warning democratic sovereigntists” to the early commentary by the sainted Edmund Burke on the dangers in the emerging revolution in France.
LOPEZ: How should sovereignty or submission be an election issue? Is it about suicide avoidance?
FONTE: President Obama clearly has little use for American exceptionalism, and he has filled his administration with many appointees who, in the name of greater global cooperation and governance, favor the diminution of American sovereignty. His rather tepid encounter with sovereignty concerns should be an issue in the coming campaign. But, even more important, as Sen. Jon Kyl pointed out recently, the defense of American national sovereignty should be openly articulated and placed at the center of our national-security strategy in the coming years as we face the challenges of the 21st century.
— Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online.