Sunday, October 31, 2010

European Reactions to the Presence of America's Tea Parties: Depicted as Fiendish and/or Clueless Foes of the Brave and Valiant Barack Obama

As America prepares for the 2010 mid-term elections a couple of days after Halloween, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung publishes a cartoon by Horsch in which America's valiant, but lonely, leader (brave, brave Sir Barack), aka none other than the president of the United States, alias the most powerful man on the planet (!), is depicted as a David taking on a Goliath (?!?!), while his opposition, aka the tea partiers along with the rest of the people of the United States exercising their constitutional rights (the Goliath in question), is depicted as a fiendishly-grinning demonic pumpkin head with the sulfur of hell oozing from his mouth, i.e., a monstrosity beyond all known proportions…

But as I always tell whoever is willing to listen (be they American or foreign), opposition to Barack Obama does not arise from fear, or from anger, or from hatred, or from racism. Opposition to Barack Obama arises from love.

In any case: No wonder that John Rosenthal says that

since the election of Barack Obama, the subject of European anti-Americanism is rarely touched upon even in new media [and] one could well have imagined that the phenomenon itself had simply disappeared.

But as the reactions of leading French and German newspapers to the Tea Party and the prospect of large Republican gains in the upcoming congressional elections make clear, “old” Europe’s anti-American impulse never in fact went away. At most, it merely went into a latent state, awaiting the proper conditions to become virulent again.

Consider, for instance, the sub-head of a recent article in the German daily Die Welt on Christine O’Donnell as the supposed “nightmare opponent” [Angstgegenerin] of the Democrats: “Christine O’Donnell is even simpler than Sarah Palin

— but the Democrats are afraid of her.” When applied to persons, as it is in this context, the German adjective simpel carries a strong whiff of “simpleton.”

Lest it be imagined that the crack is reserved for just O’Donnell and Palin and might somehow be construed as sparing their supporters and/or Americans more generally, the front page features a distinctly unflattering photo of a seemingly unhinged and cockeyed O’Donnell, accompanied — with a wink and a nudge — by the headline: “An entirely normal American.”

Europeans, as sly and lucid superior beings as their liberal counterparts in America, think — nay, they know — that nothing would suit the United States and its people better than a democtatorship