"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Friday, November 05, 2004

Americans Not So Crazy After All

Gerard Jones’s excellent analysis of the meaning of the recent U.S. elections, in today’s Times of London, suggests that the American public is perhaps not so crazy after all:

Jones notes, “There is a broad consensus against gay marriage that goes well beyond the religious Right just as there is a broad agreement in favour of making abortions scarcer (for a country run by religious nuts, America has surprisingly liberal laws on abortion), or for lifting some of the world’s tightest restrictions on the role of religion in public life (the British particularly should remember that, especially, as they drop their children off at state-funded church schools.) Mr Bush’s re-election was no narrow victory for religious zealots. It confirms that America is a decidedly conservative country, but not an alien one.”

“And its implications for the rest of the world are not baleful. All the world has to fear now is four more years of an America doing its damnedest to export the value that is at the heart of all of its people’s beliefs: that people should be as free to choose their own direction as the American people so joyously were this week.”

What Jones is describing, of course, is true liberalism. The United States has always been the world’s most classically liberal nation, and this election not only does not contradict that truth, it in fact confirms it.

No comments: