Is that good? Janet Daley of the Telegraph weighs in.
So Europe got the American president it wanted – the one who would present no threat to its own delusions. The United States is now officially one of us: an Old World country complete with class hatred, ethnic Balkanisation, bourgeois guilt and a paternalist ruling elite. And it is locked into the same death spiral of high public spending and self-defeating wealth redistribution as we are. Welcome to the future, and the beginning of what may turn out to be the terminal decline of the West.
This is precisely the model – the Gordon Brown vision of government as omnipotent benefactor and purveyor of “social justice” – from which we in Britain are attempting to escape, and in which the EU is still hopelessly trapped. But it should run deeply against all the traditional American values of
ferocious self-reliance and personal aspiration. How does the resentment of the rich, which Obama’s campaign fostered so successfully, sit with the old American dream that the United States was a place where anybody who had talent and worked hard could become rich – even if he had arrived as a penniless immigrant? The idea of “the rich” as an unreachable and undeserving class apart is an Old World concept rooted in the landed, hereditary wealth of an established aristocracy. Almost all wealth in America was, traditionally, self-made.
Back in its less sophisticated, less European, days, the United States had actually discovered the formula for extraordinary social vitality, and the miraculous ability to turn people who started with nothing into proud, self-determining citizens. It said to everyone who arrived: “The state only
exists to give you the chance to make your own way – to that end it will give you freedom under the rule of law, the right to live your life, to own property and to pursue happiness.” That was the deal.
Perhaps it was inevitable that the country would outgrow that fervent, youthful self-belief and become just another declining society, retreating from the world stage as brash new global powers loomed into view. Then again, after four more years, it might just rediscover its soul.
Regain our soul? Here's hoping.......