This, of course, is Europe's favorite dream: a post-Bush America cut down to size and chastened, a meeker and more modest America, a more "European" (that is, a more social-democratic) America, which at last casts off some of its nastier capitalist habits. An America that is a lot more like us Europeans who have forgone power politics and sovereignty in favor of communitarian politics and integration.I read a similar sentiment several months ago from I think Eugenio Anguiano here in Mexico, and the lesson is all the more important in Europe, where the swooning for Barack "Neo" Obama seems much more widespread. The lack of love for America that comes from resentment of the most powerful and a philosophical disconnect with the rest of the world isn't going to be affected by the White House occupant. Anyone living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is committed to maintaining American superiority and a global military presence, which are the root causes of much of Europe's (and Latin America's) frustration with the US. Obama can make that more palatable, but he's not going to change it.
This is the canvas Europeans have been painting with wildly enthusiastic brush strokes. If Obama wins, the reality will be different. Sure, President Obama would speak more softly than did Mr. Bush in his first term, but he would still be carrying the biggest stick on earth. He will preside over an America that is still No. 1 and not part of a multipolar chorus populated by Russia, China, India, and the E.U.
New York Times headline on July 31st, 2009: Europeans Express Dismay Over More of the Same