Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 1, 2005 / 23 Iyar, 5765

The great reaction

By Tony Blankley


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Everyone agrees that the French referendum on Sunday that rejected the proposed European Union (EU) constitution by 55 percent was a big event. But how big, for what reason, and whither it points Europe, remains enclouded by a storm of ideological hopes and projections.

After every major election, its meaning is immediately subject to mixed explanations. After our 2004 presidential elections, President Bush's victory was attributed to the gay marriage issue, Mr. Rove's amazing get-out-the-vote mechanism, Kerry's ineffective campaign, the public's disinclination to change horses during a war, Democratic Party urban secularism, rebounding jobs, Swiftboat Vets for Truth, the sheer likeability of George W. Bush, the sheer unlikeability of John Kerry and every reason in between.

Not only is objective truth probably not discernable in such circumstances, but most of the commentators and players had vested interests in pushing one explanation or another.

Even before the French vote, certain public attitudes were undeniable. The French were loudly concerned about losing their control over their cushy labor and welfare entitlements. French socialists — and others — didn't want to compete in "anglo-saxon" free markets.

Another version of this concern has been the failure of Jacque Chirac — in office 10 years — to even begin explaining to the French that they cannot forever enjoy high social benefits as they become ever less productive and hardworking. Beyond his specific shortcomings, Chirac's current unpopularity, stories of corruption and his famous verbal sneakiness combined to make him a poor salesman for the constitution.

Although not directly related to the constitution, the anticipated admission of Muslim Turkey into the E.U. was broadly mentioned as a concern. But it was not clear to what extent the "Turkish question" was driven by the fear that Turkey's low wages and relative poverty would send Euros to Turkey, or by the fear that Turkish entry would send more Muslims to Europe.

Some French commentators were quick to note with distress the high percentage of younger French voters who opposed the constitution. This was alternatively analyzed as either young people not understanding the importance of the great post-WWII European centralization project, or that they simply take it for granted. Those different explanations point to starkly different — almost opposite — long-term implications of the vote.

If there is a consensus in the aftermath of the vote, it can be found on the lips of almost the entire European governing class, as epitomized in the words of the Belgian Prime Minster Guy Verhofstadt: "The result should not be considered as a vote against Europe. The French voted against this text of the EU constitution. The motivation of a lot of opponents shows that the French do not want less but more Europe."

Similarly, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero proclaimed: "We must take note of the discontent expressed in this vote and redouble our efforts to explain that this constitution enshrines the rights and freedoms of Europeans as our social model."

Meanwhile, the remorselessly hopeful Italian Foreign Minister, Gianfranco Fini, defended the constitution, offering the odd assertion that the now-vetoed document is "still an efficient instrument." I suppose it is such cheerful blindness to grim reality that has given the Italians their beautiful souls.

The European elite simply refuse to consider the possibility that the peoples of Europe, when given a rare chance to express themselves on the topic, simply want to keep the European continent of nations for which they have been living, fighting and dying for more than a thousand years.

Donate to JWR


We American commentators are equally prone to project our ideologies onto our interpretations. Bill Kristol thinks he sees in this invigorating election the chance for young European "neo-conservatives" to rise to power and overturn "an arrogant, out of touch, debate stifling old regime [with] a whiff of democracy."

In a similar, if more classically stated, vein, George Will sees the election as "salutary because the constitution would accelerate the leeching away of each nation's sovereignty [which] is a predicate of self government." I hope they are both right.

But I think the Washington Post's intellectually suave David Ignatius probably caught the most certain implication of the election when he wrote that the vote "was, most of all, a noisy protest against the disruptive, leveling force of economic globalization." It may well be that in their reaction to globalization, Europeans will seize George Will's sovereignty or Bill Kristol's democratic new ideas.

But globalization and its reaction are the big facts of our era. The Islamist insurgency and terror is part of that reaction. Pat Buchanan's protectionism and American Firstism is part of that reaction. And Europe's vote Sunday is another form of the Great Reaction to globalization. In ways either benign or malignant, peaceful or violent, conservative or radical, the peoples of the world are beginning to defend their cultures against the cold, soulless intrusion of the globalizing leviathan. The struggle is only beginning. It will, in the end, transform our ways of life.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Tony Blankley is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.


Archives


© 2005, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles