Obama gives us another powerful reason for EU exit: he’s against it. The president communicated his views on the matter in a conference call to Dave, and he found a sympathetic ear.
Barack told his temporary friend Dave that he personally was on the right track: Britain should seek ‘a better deal’ from the EU by all means – but she must stay in. As far as Barack is concerned it isn’t Dave who’s the problem; it’s roughly two thirds of the British people who’ve had enough of that monstrosity.
If Britain were governed by her own parliament, explained Barack Hussein, she would be too enfeebled to act as the conduit of American interests on the continent, which would render her useless for all practical purposes. Stay in the EU or kiss the special relationship goodbye, was the gist of the message.
The sheer idiocy and effrontery of such bullying is beyond dispute, and this has drawn enough comment for me not to wish to add my euro’s worth. What merits a comment is that on this one issue Obama doesn’t go against the grain of American policy over at least a century.
At first glance, America’s historical affection for a single European state is odd. After all, one of the explicit reasons for the EU, as stated by its countless senior figures, is to counteract America’s economic power. To a large extent, the EU is an anti-American bloc designed to internalise most trade and to keep outsiders, emphatically including the USA, at arm’s length.
Thus on the surface of it, by supporting European federalism, America is cutting off her economic nose to spite her face, and the country isn’t known for self-mutilation tendencies. To understand this seeming paradox it’s necessary to delve beneath the surface.
The USA is the quintessential flag-bearer of modernity, the only Western state adhering to Enlightenment principles from its very inception. One universal feature of modernity is its progressivism, longing to replace the old with the new. To avoid self-refutation, the sales pitch of modernity has to be that the new will always be better.
This is what all modern states have in common, regardless of their ostensible politics. Some will define ‘better’ as expanding living space for the nation; others as steadily growing redistributive justice; still others as taking another step towards millenarian happiness; to so called capitalist countries, such as America, ‘better’ means a constant improvement in year-on-year economic indicators.
Some modern states overplay the positive end of their aspirations, creating the new, and downplay the negative end, destroying the old. Others go the other way. But fundamentally the destructive element is present in them all – without it, they wouldn’t be modern states. The new can only rise on the ruins of the old.
In America the desire to destroy the traditional order of Christendom is strengthened by resentments encoded into the nation’s DNA. After all, the country was founded by those who had to escape from Europe for various reasons, and genetic memory hasn’t been erased, nor ever can be.
The political upshot is that the USA has always promoted any development weakening the traditional European order, starting with the French revolution. Thus, for example, though Americans modestly take all the credit for Allied victories in both world wars, they forget to mention that the country entered those wars largely driven by her urge to destroy the traditional European empires, including the British.
For instance, dismantling these offending institutions was clearly one of President Wilson’s key objectives in the First World War. A fanatic of a single world government, and the driving force behind the League of Nations, Wilson was at the same time a great champion of national self-determination. Anticipating a possible confusion on the part of the reader, there was no contradiction there at all. The first was the end; the second, the means.
Similarly, in the next big war Roosevelt was committed not only to preventing the emergence of a powerful German empire, but also to destroying the already tottering British one. As a true modern leader, he felt greater affinity for another true modern leader, Stalin, than for the residually traditional Churchill. The national self-determination of Eastern Europe was therefore no longer a concern.
A single world government dominated by America is the unspoken desideratum of US foreign policy, and the EU is clearly seen as a vital step towards that worthy goal. This vision is shared by all American presidents, including such putative conservatives as Ronald W. Reagan or George W. Bush. In the rather empty cavity of the socialist Obama’s head, the clarion call of modernity resonates even louder.
There are also quite a few practical considerations that come into this. A nation where most people can’t tell Sweden from Switzerland or Austria from Australia tends to regard Europe as a homogeneous entity, a bit like the USA herself. Obama is marginally more worldly, but he has to cater to national prejudices. Also he, along with other US presidents, would rather deal with a single customer. The EU countries could then be bullied wholesale, rather than one by one.
Alas, long gone are the days when a British prime minister could tell foreign leaders not to stick their noses into our foreign policy. In this instance, Dave ought to have told Barack to mind his own business, which is far from being good. For example, making sure that the country doesn’t fall off the ‘fiscal cliff’ would be a good start, a worthy area for Obama to apply his restless energy.
Instead Dave was happy to receive a confirmation that he has a kindred soul in Barack Hussein. No doubt he’ll try to use Obama’s wishes as a stick with which to beat down the opposition within his own party, and also to ward off the uppity UKIP. At least Dave is being honest – why pretend we’re still a sovereign nation?