Saturday, May 18, 2002

Praise for the Real People's Government of Towns and States in the USA and boos for the anti-democratic forces of Yuropeon politics from Mark Steyn

The Arab world has no democracy, and little prospect of any, and so its much-vaunted ‘Arab street’ is, in fact, a symbol of weakness. Folks jump up and down in the street when they’ve nowhere else to go. The Arabs are world leaders at yelling excitedly and shouting ‘Death to the Great Satan!’ and are world losers at everything else.

Western Europe, though, isn’t much healthier. In America, Canada and Britain, we’re the heirs to so many centuries of peaceful constitutional evolution that we find it hard to comprehend the thin ice on which European democracy skates. When we look back on the Seventies, it’s Jimmy Carter, Pierre Trudeau and Harold Wilson, all of whom I could have done without. But they look pretty good compared with a stroll down memory lane in Portugal, Spain and Greece, where Seventies nostalgia means Salazar, Franco and the Colonels. In most of Europe, there simply is no tradition of sustained peaceful democratic evolution. After 215 years, the US Constitution is not only older than the French, German, Italian, Belgian, Spanish and Greek constitutions, it’s older than all of them put together.