Great Stuff From Jonah Goldberg..................

John blueoval at 1SMARTISP.NET
Sun May 22 22:42:33 MDT 2005


Jonah Goldberg (archive)

May 18, 2005

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/jonahgoldberg/jg20050518.shtml

Huge chunks of the American population have been body-snatched by 
zomboid creatures from Canada, or possibly - shudder - Europe. 
That's the only conclusion one can draw from the latest monumental 
study from the Pew Center for the People and the Press. OK, it's 
not the only conclusion you can draw, but it's the one I'm going 
to draw.

I remember being horrified by when I first saw the remake of 
"Invasion of the Body Snatchers." In the final scene, one of the 
last remaining normal humans in the city runs up to Donald 
Sutherland, thinking he's completely normal, too. When she gets 
close, Sutherland slowly raises his finger to point at her, and 
begins his alien shriek, sounding like someone had dropped a 
hungry piranha down the front of his wide-wale corduroys.

Well, if you look very closely and study body language and speech, 
you may just discover that the liberals screeching at 
conservatives aren't in fact Americans at all. They are Europeans 
taking on the form of Americans.

According to the Pew Center, the less you like to fly the American 
flag, the more likely it is you are Democrat. The more you think 
hard work and personal initiative aren't the ticket to the good 
life, the more likely you are to be a Democrat. The more you 
believe the United Nations is a better steward of international 
relations, while America is a negative actor on the world stage, 
the more likely you are to be a Democrat. The more you believe 
that the government is there to help, the more likely it is you 
are Democrat. The less seriously you take religion, the more 
likely you are to be a Democrat. Flip all of these values around 
and the more likely it is you are a Republican - or that you vote 
that way.

Of course, I'm speaking in terms of statistical generalities. 
Obviously, there are a great many flag-waving, God-fearing, 
government-mistrusting, U.N.-hating Democrats out there. But they 
are the exceptions to the rule.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this study is what it says 
about class and ideology in America. And what it says is that they 
don't have that much to do with each other, which runs contrary to 
generations of leftish stereotypes. Poor Americans who believe in 
the American ideal of by-your-bootstraps success are likely to 
vote Republican. And rich Americans who cringe at the idea of 
hanging a flag from their porch vote Democrat. Wealth has become a 
poor predictor of political affiliation. The richest blocs in the 
GOP and Democratic Parties - Pew calls them "Enterprisers" and 
"Liberals" - are roughly equally affluent. Forty-one percent of 
both groups make more than $75,000 per year (though there are 
nearly twice as many "Liberals" as there are "Enterprisers"). The 
largest segment of the Republican base - "Social Conservatives" - 
make less than Liberals.

So what does all of this have to do with body-snatching 
Europhiles? Well, basically, everything. The ideas, assumptions 
and prejudices held by the statistically typical Democratic voter, 
according to the Pew study, are quite simply, European. Europeans 
believe in a strong social welfare state, for rich and poor alike. 
Europeans are cynical. They look askance - these days - on 
patriotic sentiment (hence the rush to form a new European 
nation). The church pews of Europe would make a great hideout for 
bank robbers since they're always empty. The United Nations is, in 
the typical European's worldview, the last best hope for mankind. 
>From the death penalty to gay marriage, the more similar you are 
to a typical European in your political and social outlook, the 
more likely you are to be a Democrat.

We've seen this before. At the time of our nation's founding, 
there were a bunch of Americans who clung to European values. 
Today we call their descendants "Canadians." Up north, the 
government isn't something to be distrusted so much as something 
to be obeyed. For example, when the government told the people to 
switch to the metric system, they did. Our government told us to 
do the same thing at about the same time, and America barely even 
noticed.

For many generations after the American Revolution, the idea of 
emulating European politics was nigh upon heresy. It wasn't until 
Woodrow Wilson, who encouraged Americans to see themselves as 
citizens of the world, that borrowing ideas from the continent 
became fully politically acceptable. Prior to Wilson, writes 
Richard Hofstadter, Americans considered the United States to be 
the "anti-Europe." But it was FDR's New Deal which helped 
"assimilate the American into the 'European' political 
experience," in the words of Daniel Boorstin. George Kennan's 
childhood reminiscence illustrates the typical American frame of 
mind prior to the New Deal. When "times were hard," he wrote, "as 
they often were, groans and lamentations went up to God, but never 
to Washington."

So, if you're worried about the Europeanization of America, let me 
quote from the original "Body Snatchers": "They're here already! 
You're next! You're next! You're next.."


Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online, a 
Townhall.com member group.

©2005 Tribune Media Services

Contact Jonah Goldberg | Read Goldberg's biography




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