Monday, January 13, 2003
On the Wall Street Journal editorial page, Victor Davis Hanson has an article on anti-Americanism that doesn't really say anything we haven't said here, but certainly does say it a lot better. One quibble: Hanson devotes a good bit of space to those fatuous celebrities who are stupid enough to anger their fans by attacking their country, and to European elitists and their patronizing gaze down their rather large, deformed noses, but not much to what I think is the real problem, the anti-Americanism of the average Western European Joe, the skilled blue-collar or the white-collar worker, the car mechanic, the accounts payable guy, the photocopier repairman, the administrative assistant. That's the guy whose opinion America has to change, and his opinion is now dominated by the leftist, socialist, big-government European civil servant / journalist / teacher class that runs the European media. Right now the average European Joe is still much more limited in his sources of news than the average American Joe. He gets six TV channels, plus, if he wants, some extremely non-intellectual channels on his satellite dish. If he lives in Catalonia he has his choice of five newspapers, none of which promote a free-market point of view. That's it. There are popular radio talk shows, but most of the commentators are socialist / progressive. All his news sources are either leftist economically / politically anti-American, or conservative nationalist anti-American. There's no cable TV, no conservative talk radio, no newsmagazines, no political magazines, no Web presence. Europe is, intellectually and politically, at about where America was in the late 70s. It's going to take them a few more years to realize that ideas we thought might be good (between about 1962 and the last gasps of the Carter administration) have proved not to be. They'll have to find it out for themselves, because they're not smart enough to learn from our experiences.