Julia and the battle for America’s soul

The Europeans are having an old fashioned battle over the extent of public austerity but I don’t get the sense it is some kind of existential battle.  Most Europeans don’t have a hostile view of the state they just haggle on the margins.  The Yanks, on the other hand, seem to be going through one of their generational crises.

Take Julia, Barack Obama’s sample lady and her progression through life with a government there to support her all the way.    Within hours of Julia’s debut, there was a massive social media backlash and the Heritage Foundation had “A Better Life for Julia” online and its proponents are saying it has had more traffic than the original Julia.

For the Americans, then, it’s not just a question of degrees (i.e. how much austerity, what types of tax increases, etc.) but a fight for the soul of America.


1 thought on “Julia and the battle for America’s soul

  1. The only real difference between europe and the US (and Canada) is the electoral system. If you don’t think the Greeks have a ‘hostile view of the state’, then you really need to go to Greece. In Spain they are prepared to burn down their parliament buildings.

    In France, because of runoff voting, Sarkozy is having to make bigoted comments because the only way he is going to defeat the socialist candidate is by getting the hard right vote-whose leader refused to endorse him. There is a very real chance France could elect a President who is openly talking about nationalizing industries.

    In the US, at the federal level there is no ‘fight’. There is a very real fight, but right now its going on at the state level, and at ‘occupy’ locations.

    People don’t like to admit it, but poll after poll shows that MOST of the people of the world are ‘socialists’, they just don’t have any representation or power. They are getting some nominal power in central and south america, but thats it.

    In the US, because of our proximity, everything is bigger and bolder. However, there aren’t nearly the protests on the level of european states. The example you give is telling. As for women, Obama refused to endorse a pay equity bill for women, saying that was the state’s business.

    However, its an election year, so OF COURSE there is going to be an equal and opposite reaction to an election barb. But that has zero to do with policy. Women in the US know they really have no friends in either the democratic or republican party.

    I think ALL political struggles are existential struggles. I don’t really see how an advert on women friendly policies signals more of a ‘fight for the soul of america’ than any european struggles. I guarantee you one thing-anything as big as a ‘fight for the sould’ of ANYWHERE won’t take place on ‘social media’. That’s like saying New Brunswick is ready for social upheaval because of the complaints on CBC online articles.

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