69 million page views

Interesting times ahead for Europe

Reader comment on item: Who Will Write France's Future?
in response to reader comment: Good point. But what will the future bring?

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jul 20, 2016 at 04:01

Hallo Frederick.

I have been most interested, today and yesterday, with the progress of the Republican Convention. I am very pleased with the nomination of Donald Trump for President and Mike Pence for Vice President, and look forward to the restoration of sane government in Washington, D.C.

I wish you and your fellow Europeans well, in the years to come. You have a political system that is alien to Americans. You have a "President of the European Commission", for instance, who is not your Commander in Chief -- and just as well, seeing that he isn't even popularly elected. In the US, there are people who hate Donald Trump, and people who hate Hillary Clinton; and this November, they will decide which one rules the country. Whoever wins, at least half the country will feel some connection with him or her. But Juncker? Who feels connected with Jean-Claude Juncker?

You also have a system, whereby every one of your 28 states has veto power -- which is to say, their LEADERS have veto power. In the US, only the President has veto power; and he is directly elected. Even so, there are checks and balances, to keep him from abusing that power. If two-thirds of the Senate and two-thirds of the House of Representatives both agree, they can override a Presidential veto. That way, we are not hamstrung if both senators from 17 of our 50 states wish to obstruct vital legislation. The net effect is that, despite what you may read in the press, Americans feel quite connected to their Federal government.

As I said, then, I wish you well in the months and years ahead; because you face problems similar to those which we face. That said, I don't credit Europe with much of a chance of solving those problems -- your system of government is simply too cumbersome. David Cameron attempted to reform that system, but failed. Now, Nicholas Sarkozy is also calling for reform; just as the Greeks have been calling for reform for years now. But how can Europe reform itself? The de facto ruler of Europe is Angela Merckel; who does not have de jure authority to rule, even though she is more powerful than Juncker himself. Even so, I'm somewhat surprized to see that Merckel and her jerry-rigged EU enjoys more support in Europe than our elected President does here! You Euries can take that as a compliment :-)

Pardon me, for pontificating a bit about Europe. We are separated geographically from the continent, more so than the Brits; and our "Amerexit" happened 240 years ago. Our legal system is based on English Common Law; and our language and history, as well as the ancestry of many of us, is from that peculiar island. But we have ties with the whole continent. My father's ancestors came from the UK and the Netherlands, some 350-400 years ago; but my mother's ancestors came, like Donald Trump's beautiful wife, from Slovenia some 110 years ago. My wife is of English roots, but also Swedish. Mr. Trump's father is of German heritage, his mother of Scottish; and Governor Prence is of Irish extraction on both sides. Ambassador Clinton is of mixed heritage, from the states of Guilt, Amnesia and Confusion -- which, I believe, are also in Europe. So you see, we are connected to you.

Schengen seems to be on life support, the Eurozone seems to be in trouble, and the EU seems due for a 100,000 mile maintenance. When the Soviet Union got into a similar state, the leaders and people felt it best to simply close down the USSR and start over again. The same may happen to Europe. That will not mean the end of the world; but it may cause considerable excitement.

God bless and keep you. Chüß :-)


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)