11 January, 2015
Terror attacks in Paris. Anti-Immigrant protests in Germany. Is Europe losing its mind?
Maybe not. While Mainstream Europe can’t get excited about things like voting, at least this past week shows unity in expressing what Mainstream Europe is NOT. We’re not right-wing fundamentalists. We’re also not left-wing fundamentalists. (Most people condemning Charlie Hebdo for its non-PC imagery seem a lot like Thought Police.) We do believe in freedom of speech. We do believe in law and order. And we may be discovering we believe in ourselves as Mainstream Europeans. But while we’re holding up our pens, saying ‘I Am Charlie,’ we might as well add ‘We’re no longer White, we’re no longer Christian, and we’ll have to be okay with that.’
The EU was first described to me as a Grand Experiment, like the US Constitution.* Wouldn’t it be nice if we could sell it that way to the rest of Europe? Because this IS a grand experiment, and we’re not really monitoring the results. For example, Europe is turning grey, and no one is talking about it. …Well, the Pope is. This past week, Arthur C. Brooks (New York Times) quoted Pope Francis in describing the greying of Europe.
What he didn’t mention is the alternative to greying: Browning. Either Europe has to start having more babies (not likely), or we’re going to need a massive increase in immigration to keep the standard of living we’re used to. Good news! We’ve got masses of immigrants and asylum-seekers throwing themselves at Europe’s borders already. Yes, folks, this crisis is an opportunity. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a forum to discuss the subject?
I was talking to a former MEP, who said ‘You can’t have a democracy without a demos. What do we have that brings all of Europe together? EuroCup football, and the Eurovision Song Contest. That’s it.’ That is why I am convinced we need a European Daily Show. That is why I’m making this.
Europe is not a Melting Pot. It’s a Cauldron. Pay attention to what is coming out. It might seem like something steaming and evil. But it might be something glorious.
*(or at least like the Articles of Confederation.)