Politics & Policy

Like, Wow

The post-election cure for anti-Americanism.

Amelia Gentleman, an employee of the Guardian, went to Brittany to spend some time with John Kerry’s French cousin, Brice Lalonde. Perhaps not surprisingly, she reports, M. Lalonde, once an unsuccessful candidate for president of France and currently the mayor of a small seaside resort where Kerry keeps a fancy estate and pays French people to keep the garden and clean the toilets, is a recent victim of “extremely painful” humiliation, apparently at the hands of heartless Democratic convention-goers, including members of his own family:

The US side of the clan is so desperate to avoid damaging association with [France] that when Lalonde travelled to support his cousin at the Democratic convention in August, many of his relatives were horrified. ‘One part of the family refused to speak French with me and wanted me to hide,’ he says. ‘Having French relatives is not seen as an advantage; I really sensed the anti-French feeling during the convention. It was extremely painful.’

Lalonde, 58, has been advised not to talk to the French press in case Republican researchers seize on his opinions as fuel for anti-Kerry campaigning. Bush has already scored points by portraying his rival as excessively concerned about other countries’ opinions. Kerry’s comment that foreign policy should pass a ‘global test’ has become a key line of attack and the president has said with disdain that ‘countries like France’ should not be allowed to influence US decisions. Hinting at Kerry’s continental ties, White House officials spat the worst insult possible at him: ‘He looks French.’

It’s possible Cousin Brice might have sensed “extremely painful” anti-French feelings even at the Republican convention if he had gone–although chances are, he would have been encouraged to speak up plenty. In fact, he might have experienced anti-French feelings almost anywhere he went in America. As Libération reports with some shock, after centuries during which the mere mention of la France was “enough to evoke notions of elegance and refinement” (especially in American trailer parks) suddenly the word “French” has “become a dirty word.” And of course it’s true. Calling somebody–especially an American presidential candidate–”French” is the open-mouthed kiss of death. The rising anti-French sentiment in America is only going to get worse until the French rid themselves of their odious, grasping, corrupt governing class.

As I noted here last week, a recent global poll shows that a huge majority of respondents in France despise George W. Bush, and “most British people seem to hate [him]” too, according to the ubiquitous Max Hastings, sounding off in the Spectator. The Germans and Austrians are so totally creeped out by Bush, that when Bild, the popular German tabloid, astonished everyone this week by backing W., Austria’s Die Presse likened the endorsement to backing “Daffy Duck for President.” That’s not necessarily an insult. If you were running for president of the U.S. and had to choose between being called a duck or being called French, “duck” would definitely be the way to go.

Anti-Americanism in Europe is shaping the political landscape in the U.S. If you care about the irrational hatred of Europeans, then you want Kerry. If you don’t, then you don’t. The topic is in the news, on TV (see Fox News this Sunday at 9, for example), and on nearly every publisher’s list. Americans are interested to see that they are so roundly disliked.

But the poll also revealed a certain interesting tic: It turns out that nine out of ten Frenchmen and three out of four apologetic Spaniards (who dislike the U.S. even more than the French and the Germans) believe it’s important “that [their] country maintains good relations with the United States.” Perhaps other Europeans would feel the same, although they weren’t asked in this poll.

This is a good sign, and points toward a solution for the pesky problem of European anti-Americanism, if Bush wins. For “Why Europeans don’t like Bush” has a shiny obverse, which is “Why Americans care less and less.” The commonplace observation is that the end of the Cold War means that the Europeans no longer have to rely on the U.S. for protection, so they can be as self-serving and duplicitous as they wish. But what Americans seem to finally be understanding is that what the end of the Cold War really means is that the U.S. no longer has to give a damn about a European “alliance” at all–especially one dominated by French and Germans. The solution to rampant, hysterical, angry anti-Americanism is cold, practical, systematic anti-Europeanism.

Let the European taxpayers pay for the obese bureaucracy of the EU and a military establishment to go with it. Let’s charge them double for DVDs and make them wear native costumes. We can go take pictures of them in their quaint poorhouses. Demographically, economically, intellectually, scientifically, and politically, the EU is a dead-end, a goner before two more cicada cycles in Pennsylvania. The persistent cynicism, corruption, and economic stagnation of the eurozone is only the tip of that particular iceberg. The real crunch will come in a decade or two when pension systems begin to collapse and European nations have to save themselves by importing millions of Islamic immigrants. That process cannot be stopped, unless every European is seized with a sudden and urgent need to reproduce like bunnies. Bugs Bunnies.

Since the only plausible economic strategy in place for the flat-lining EU is cashing in on a reviving American economy, here’s hoping that if Bush wins he repays their kindness by letting the Europeans go to hell, which on European highway signs is called “Brussels”. Tell them all adios or adieu or whatever, W. It’s just nuts for the U.S. to make policy based on the accommodation of the irrational sentiments of a political community in such serious and irreversible decline. You’re better off dealing with Democrats. Or ducks.

ITEMS

InstaGuardian. The best thing in the Guardian’s nutty, wall-to-wall coverage has been InstaPundit’s Glenn Reynolds’ column. The current topic: The Anglosphere.

Yasser, that’s my baby. Rotting, diseased terrorist Yasser Arafat was flown from his squalid dump in Ramallah to Paris by the French, according to Le Monde. Chirac announced France’s support for the Palestinian terrorist’s ambitions, which Arafat calls the elimination of Israel, but which Chirac grandly called “a durable and proper solution to the conflict in the Middle East.”

Making history…but not fast enough. According to Libération, the 25 EUers are gathering in Rome to sign the treaty establishing the constitution of the European Union. Next: Voting in various countries for ratification. Brussels has already made it clear voters will not stand in the way of bureaucracy.

Germans will be Germans. Our history with a united Germany as an “ally” is not much longer than our history with them as an adversary, so when Schroeder and Fischer pull a Goebbels and Satanize Amerika for the sake of political expediency, nobody’s really surprised. Look at this analysis in Spiegel Online, perhaps Germany’s most trusted and certainly most popular news source (and, like CBS, the New York Times’s “partner”), but pause for a moment at this passage near the bottom: “Which poses a greater danger for world peace: weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Islamic terrorist states or an arrogant US superpower that goes to war unilaterally wherever and whenever it wants?” Here’s hoping the editors of Spiegel never get to find out.

Cheerio, chaps. Britain under Blair has been a good chum, but British civilians have behaved like Frenchies. Given the lemming-like pattern of modern British political history, the U.K. will likely soon fully embrace the EU. The turn away from America will be propelled by the viciously anti-American press, especially papers like the Guardian. Question: If the Guardian hates America so much, what’s with its goofy preoccupation with the truly obscure details of American daily life? Check out the Guardian’s bizarre “photo-journal” of five American families leading up to the election. The paper’s starting to look weirdly obsessive. Americans in London can hire Guardian reporters to stalk them at cocktail parties. Becoming fully European will serve ‘em all right: Wait ’til Brit journos, hoping and dreaming of fleeing the Independent for a posh job with Condé Nast, find out what a lousy career move Belgium is.

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