Europe and the Political Free Market

EU parliamentary contests a good sign for America

At this time last week, my wife and I were headed back home to Philadelphia from Chicago. We had been in the Windy City for a wedding and, as I mentioned last week, a good number of the guests at the affair had come from overseas. Of particular interest were political discussions with some of the Brits, who were absolutely certain that the United Kingdom’s Labour party would be in serious trouble in next May’s national elections.

My immediate thought was how those elections could certainly prove instructive with regard to our own midterm elections in November 2010. What I didn’t know, however, is that there were European Union elections on the close horizon.

Now, in what should be the best news in quite a while for concerned Americans, we learn that the tens of millions of people who took to the polls in the EU responded to economic crisis and overall instability by showing their comfort in more conservative policies. As the Associated Press reported yesterday, conservative alternatives were all the rage in Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Britain, Spain and more.

Many on the political left, in America and beyond, do not seem to understand the power of the market-like component of political favor. Just like the free market is a natural force–which the left fails to comprehend and therefore tries to fool around with–a certain component of politics is as well. In times of economic crisis, responsible people look to those who offer restraint and responsibility. No frills. No outrageous promises which sound good on paper but may be cost-prohibitive in terms of currency or freedom.

I believe we’ll see the same sort of pattern in the UK in May of next year, and here in America in November. The Republican Party, so long as it can shed this media-driven obsession with moderation and return to its conservative and Jeffersonian roots, can present itself as a responsible alternative to the spendthrift Democrats currently in power and will likely gain ground in 2010; with any luck, we’ll regain both the White House and either the House or Senate in 2012.

Yes, we were riding a declining economy in 2008 and the GOP still lost ground. With an unpopular war and unpopular lame-duck president, combined with an enigmatic Democrat candidate and his feel-good liberal promises in a time of pending downturn and uncertainty, however, 2008 was the exception and not the rule. As much as political favor can be a market-like force, Barack Obama was a force of his own, driven by charm and by an environment ripe for the superficial and empty promise of “change.” But, as a friend much smarter than I said yesterday, the idea of Barack Obama was more appealing than Barack Obama himself.

It’s the same thing that can be said of most liberal policies. Who, after all, doesn’t want executive-level jobs for everyone? Or free health care for all? Or a phenomenal education for all of our nation’s children? Or an open dialogue with any and all foreign regimes? The reality, though, is quite different. The world needs ditchdiggers too, the ideas which actually pass the sniff test quite often cannot be afforded, and some people truly are hell-bent on causing widespread death and destruction.

Therefore, just as we see the people waking up in Europe, we’ll see them wake up here. Yes, there will be those who will continue to support the president and his party regardless of obvious signs of modern side effects of Obama’s liberalism — such as high gas prices, astronomical energy costs, a consistently lagging economy or terrorist attack on American soil. But the vast majority of people will see that something is wrong. They’ll feel the instability, or see the result for themselves in their checkbooks.

And it is our duty to ensure that the American people understand what is going on. My neighbor, an ardent Obama supporter only months before, has been turned off by many of the administration’s actions — the stimulus waste, the takeover of private enterprise, the counterproductive energy policy now inevitable. Across America, there are millions like him, and all it takes is someone to connect the dots.

Europe is leaning to the right for a reason. Britain will do the same next May. And, with a little help from people like you and like me, America will begin her recovery a few months after that.



  1. cher-pa says:

    The media needs to be held accountable for their bias reporting,and the law needs to be inforced on any orginization that has taken taxpayer money to further their corruption.(ACORN) and the 250 umbrella companys that hide under there name must be stopped.
    Americans will take this country back.All we need to do is get off our butts and take action.Our mouths can be a deadly weapon against this push toward socialism.

  2. Gail B says:

    Prayer works!

    Thank You, Lord; and thank you, too, Jeff, for brightening my day!

  3. Lilly says:

    From your writing to the voter's brains!!!

  4. Claudia says:

    IF we have another election, IF we have any candidates that are willing to stand up against all that Obama presents himself to be and IF the YOUNG VOTERS who are coming up wake up and smell the coffee, we might have a chance….. and IF Obama allows this next election. Chavez has already declared himself Dictator for Life, and then there is King Abdullah, Noreiga, Castro (family) and all of the others who will be only so happy to tell him exactly how to do it himself, through their little books of Socialism that they all live by. He has already shredded our Constitution, so why bother with laws, from now on???

  5. cal says:

    Off subject, but have you been following the case the State of Indiana brought against Chrysler over the treatment of the bondholders in the bankruptcy proceedings? The supreme court is deciding whether or not to isssue a stay today. This case is huge as it will decide whether the federal government can take assets of private citizens without just compensation. (i.e. the takings clause).

  6. Anonymous says:

    just as we see the people waking up in Europe, we'll see them wake up here

    I heard Darrel Hannon (British MP) refute that this morning on Beck. He said it is really between the facists and socialists. There is no "far right" — it is rhetoric.

    Sound like anything you've encountered here. Not thinking of any particular political parties or anything….

  7. Ian Thorpe says:

    The European elections are an anomaly. All the mainstream parties in the UK, France, Germany and the older EU members are pro-centralisation and federalisation. Thus the fringe parties tend to do well. The British National Party, UKIP (UK Independence Party) and The Greens did very well and you can't get more disparate than that.

    The Conservatives were tainted by the expenses scandal and the Liberal Democrats are seen as too pro-Europe even though theor leaders promised a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, a centralising scame aimed at tranferring more sovereign powers from member nations to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

    Adjust that then to give those protest votes to the most likely recipients and iLabour are not looking at doing badly in the general election (pencil that in for October this year) They are looking at being anihilated.

  8. Rix says:

    I am at least as pleased as the other guy with the thrashing liberals were given in EU elections. Unfortunately for us, and of course for Europeans themselves, conservative ideas did not suddenly become popular. It was the record-low turnout that saved the day. Looks like certain national minorities in Europe – unlike some hyphenated groups here – did not yet master exploiting the democratic process to serve their needs. It will likely take an election cycle or two for Euroliberals to follow suit but sooner or later, we will see a number of smooth-talking, swarthier-than-average political personalities of questionable origin emerge across the Pond to lead their unshaven and undereducated compatriots, illegal immigrants including, to the barrica… eh, I meant voting booths.

    Meanwhile, let's celebrate – whatever the reason.

  9. Gail B says:

    Someone just sent this to me:

    Tax his land,
    Tax his bed,
    Tax the table
    At which he's fed.

    Tax his tractor,
    Tax his mule,
    Teach him taxes
    Are the rule.

    Tax his work,
    Tax his pay,
    He works for peanuts

    Tax his cow,
    Tax his goat,
    Tax his pants,
    Tax his coat.
    Tax his ties,
    Tax his shirt,
    Tax his work,
    Tax his dirt.

    Tax his tobacco,
    Tax his drink,
    Tax him if he
    Tries to think.

    Tax his cigars,
    Tax his beers,
    If he cries
    Tax his tears.

    Tax his car,
    Tax his gas,
    Find other ways
    To tax his ass.

    Tax all he has
    Then let him know
    That you won't be done
    Till he has no dough.

    When he screams and hollers;
    Then tax him some more,
    Tax him till
    He's good and sore.

    Then tax his coffin,
    Tax his grave,
    Tax the sod in
    Which he's laid.

    Put these words
    Upon his tomb,
    'Taxes drove me
    to my doom…'

    When he's gone,
    Do not relax,
    Its time to apply
    The inheritance tax.
    Accounts Receivable Tax
    Airline surcharge tax
    Airline Fuel Tax
    Airport Maintenance Tax
    Building Permit Tax
    Cigarette Tax
    Corporate Income Tax
    Capital Gains Tax
    Death Tax
    Dog License Tax
    Driving Permit Tax
    Excise Taxes
    Federal Income Tax
    Federal Unemployment
    Fishing License Tax
    Food License Tax
    Gasoline Tax
    Gross Receipts Tax
    Health Tax
    Hunting License Tax
    Hydro Tax
    Inheritance Tax
    Interest Tax
    Liquor Tax
    Luxury Taxes
    Marriage License Tax
    Medicare Tax
    Mortgage Tax
    Personal Income Tax
    Property Tax
    Poverty Tax
    Prescription Drug Tax
    Provincial Income Tax
    Real Estate Tax
    Recreational Vehicle Tax
    Retail Sales Tax
    Service Charge Tax
    School Tax
    Telephone Federal Tax
    Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
    Telephone Min. Usage Surcharge Tax
    Vehicle License Registration Tax
    Vehicle Sales Tax
    Water Tax
    Watercraft Registration Tax
    Well Permit Tax
    Workers Compensation Tax


    Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was one
    of the most prosperous in the world.

    We had absolutely no national debt, had a large middle class, and
    Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

    What the hell happened?

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