Are Europe and America Trading Places?

While Europe shows promising signs of coming out of its socialist stupor, America is at risk of sliding down the slippery slope of socialism. Europe's financial crisis can no longer be ignored. Recent unrest could be a harbinger of darker things to come as Europe struggles to get its economic affairs in order. Decades of socialist and quasi-socialist policies have led many European nations down the primrose path of economic implosion.

Despite the obvious failures of socialist policies in Europe, it is apparent that left-wing policymakers in this country are obstinately clinging to the failing European model. Obama has staked his entire presidency on the pursuit of a national health care model that emulates the very same system that is failing miserably in Europe.

What's more, there is more of a willingness in Europe to acknowledge the growing encroachment of Islam, while our own leaders display a stubborn refusal to make such an acknowledgment. Once again, liberal ideologues are unable or unwilling to read the writing on the wall. In Europe, however, the threat has become too real to ignore. Even the most progressive European will concede that the past policies of credulous tolerance have created a hospitable atmosphere within which radical Islam has been able to flourish and spread throughout Europe. Indeed, many European leaders are more hawkish on Iran, and the protection of Israel, than are American Democrats.

These days, one is more likely to hear the praises of America from the lips of Europeans, while many of our own public officials seem embarrassed to espouse our own American values.

Are there shifting political winds across the Atlantic? Perhaps. See if you can attribute the following statements to the correct political figure:

1. There is a nobility in the American character that has been developed over the centuries. It is a devotion to the American ideal that at a certain point transcends class, race, religion or upbringing. That ideal is about values: freedom, the rule of law, democracy. It is also about the way you achieve: on merit, by your own efforts and hard work. ... It is what brings every variety of American, from the lowest to the highest, to their feet when "The Star-Spangled Banner" is played.

2. America did not tell the millions of men and women who came from every country in the world and who -- with their hands, their intelligence and their heart -- built the greatest nation in the world: "Come, and everything will be given to you." She said: "Come, and the only limits to what you'll be able to achieve will be your own courage and your own talent." America embodies this extraordinary ability to grant each and every person a second chance. Here, both the humblest and most illustrious citizens alike know that nothing is owed to them and that everything has to be earned. That's what constitutes the moral value of America.

3. The old way of doing things: the high-spending, all-controlling, heavy-handed state, those ideas were defeated. Statism lost ... society won. ... Let me tell you what I believe. It will be the doers and grafters, the inventors and the entrepreneurs, who get this economy going. Yes, it will be the wealth creators -- and no, those aren't dirty words. When you think of a wealth creator, don't think of the tycoon in a glass tower. Think of the man who gets up and leaves the house before dawn to go out and clean windows.

4. If Israel goes down, we all go down.

5. My visit to the Auschwitz extermination camp as well as the horror of the Holocaust barbary [sic] gave rise to my indelible feeling of solidarity. Since then, I feel Israeli.

6. When we count on the power of freedom, we are counting on the individual. The individual is paramount. His dignity is inviolable.

What applies here is the Constitution, not sharia.

7. It is necessary to warn against the attempts to once again blame problems in the market as problems of the market. The current crisis was not the result of a market failure or of any inherent deficiency of capitalism. It was a government failure, resulting from the immodest ambitions to insensitively intervene in such a complex system as society and economy. Government actions and interventions caused, prolonged, and dramatically worsened the crisis. The adversaries of the market have managed to create a far-reaching mistrust in the system, but this time not only in the free market capitalism, in the laissez-faire system, in the capitalism of Adam Smith, Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman, as it was the case 70-80 years ago, but in the highly regulated capitalism of the current era. And this is disturbing. 

The one I consider particularly dangerous today is the statist ideology of environmentalism, and especially its extreme variant, the global warming alarmism.

8. I think at this point there needs to be a focus on an immediate increase in spending, and I think this is a time when deficit fear has to take a second seat...I believe later on there should be tax increases. Speaking personally, I think there are a lot of very rich people out there whom we can tax at a point down the road and recover some of this money.

9. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.

10. We're a divided country, we're a country that is just downright mean. We are guided by fear. We're a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents [sic].

11. And guess what this liberal will be all about? This liberal will be all about socializing, uh, uh ... would be about basically about taking over the government running all of your companies.

12. In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.

The original Constitution, I think it is an imperfect document, and ... reflects some deep flaws. 

We're going to reshape America in a way that is less mean-spirited and more generous.

I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.

(Answers: 1. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, 2. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, 3. British Prime Minister David Cameron, 4. Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, 5. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, 6. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, 7. Czech President Vaclav Klaus, 8. Barney Frank, 9. Hillary Clinton, 10. Michelle Obama, 11. Maxine Waters, 12. President Barack Hussein Obama)

Is it possible that there are certain European leaders who have a better understanding and appreciation of American values than our own leaders? Are we in danger of experiencing a Bizarro World, where Europe is a bastion of free-market ingenuity and America is a socialist "utopia"? That remains to be seen. The best that we can hope for at this point is that the midterm elections will signal a permanent turning of the tides away from socialism and back toward the principles upon which our nation was founded.
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