We frequently hear from those skeptical of America’s right to act with moral confidence that our “arrogance” has brought us low in the opinion of our “former” allies in Western Europe. In support of this view, they typically cite public opinion polls. As usual, actual polls — like, for example, elections — go unnoted. So note will be taken here, the “America Stinks” crowd notwithstanding.
Today in France, Nicolas Sarkozy took office as President. Sarkozy is a pro-American, pro-free market reformer. Indeed his pro-Americanism was used against him by his socialist opponent, whom he decisively defeated.
A year and a-half ago in Germany, voters replaced the anti-American Gerhardt Schroeder with pro-American Angela Merkel, now a staunch friend of President Bush.
And of course in England, for ten years voters have handed the reins to Tony Blair — every time by comfortable margins — even as Blair has been utterly steadfast in supporting the United States in its war against the terrorists and head-choppers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It would appear, then, that while the media tells us one thing about Europe’s view of America, the Europeans are telling us something rather different.