posted on Dec, 29 2002 @ 08:21 AM
Quite so, U-P: it is a difficult question, even to the point where it is hard to be precise about any of the terms involved.
America still baffles many of us. It was, I think, de Toqueville who observed that America was the greatest gift ever offered to Europeans (he may
have said "the white man" -but let us not be distracted along liberal "racist" culs de sac) and what I think he meant was that there was a sense
among Europeans that somehow, all the things we'd got wrong we could somehow get right in America.
An unreal wish, ultimately, perhaps; but I sometimes feel that we Europeans tend to nurse a certain resentment towards America for not being
perfect, for being too much like us.
America is still at times mythical and the reality hurts the European consciousness in ways that would not matter were it any other country.
As such, America gets a rough deal: and by America I mean the whole parcel: leaders, administrations, peole, culture, values. We have had ample
cause to thank kind Uncle Sam and cause to fear the Uncle when he becomes Big Brother.
We have had half a century of Good and Bad: Yanks and Reds -and suddenly the Reds have disappeared and we are a little lost as how to regard
America now. We're not quite sure whom or what we're being protected from, and America's ostensible enemies are no longer clearly ours.
Such is the current power of America - and so important is the potentially catastrophic state of her economy -that it is hard to see how anyone
other than a hermit in Bhutan can be "neutral".
I think we Europeans (and may I include ANZAC's and canadians) are fundamentally "pro" America and Americans at their best (because they're so
like us -or how we wish we were -at our best) and "anti" all things American because they're so much like us at our worst.
It is not entirely our fault: the Americans promulgated a hollow dream long after Arthur Miller and the like exposed it. And it is not entirely the
Americans' fault because we have expectations -rooted in history - that no nation could match.