Bush, Obama, and the Europeans

by: Rabbi Jeremy Rosen

In an op-ed piece in the NY Times, Maureen Dowd asserts, like a dog returning to its sick, that the Europeans hate the US because of George Bush.

Ever since I was a kid, Europeans have always hated, envied, and at the same time longed for the products of, the USA. They envy the fact that the USA sorted out two European wars. They envy her superior wealth and go-getting economic influence, and they lust after most of what she produces. So, to feel better about themselves, they love to rubbish her. “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.” I often heard that quoted in the 1950’s!

Of course, the USA is highly imperfect politically, socially and morally. Show me a country that that is not. But that is all a much larger issue than whatever face the president has. It doesn’t matter who the president is. European Old World, snobbish amour proper, combined with a logic-defying yearning for Marxism (if not its forms of government), is so deep that it is breathtakingly naïve for Americans to believe that a new face will change a profound inferiority complex that yearns for occasional compensatory bouts of schadenfreude.

It is as silly as the other grand deception seemingly rational Westerners fall for, that the moment the Palestinian issue is settled and Israel is removed from the Middle East the whole Arab world will turn into sweet, cuddly, peaceful democrats. We must, of course, strive for solutions. But idealism is one thing; self-delusion is another.