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June 2, 2005

The European Finger . . . Dutch Vote Nee! : Why We Should Care

June 2, 2005 | By | 5 Comments

Should Americans care about the vote to ratify a Constitution for the European Union? Following Monday’s “non” vote from the French, the 16 million Dutch voted NO yesterday, with a resounding 62 percent rejecting the proposed EU charter.

eu_flag_.jpg

European Union Flag

Dutch and French say Nee et Non

Should we care? It’s a very interesting development for political scientists, but how ’bout for real-world Americans?

The answer, surprisingly, comes from: Indra Nooyi, President of PepsiCo. In her speech to Columbia University where she compared the world to a hand, and the United States to the middle finger, Nooyi told us that the index finger, the European Finger, points the way:

Our index, or pointer finger, is Europe. Europe is the cradle of democracy and pointed the way for western civilization and the laws we use in conducting global business.

There is an attitude, among the international intellectual elite, that Europe does point the way. I use the word “international” elite deliberately: it’s not just Europeans; it’s not just Indra Nooyi. There are those among the American elite who would like us to move toward a more “multilateral” approach, adopting a more deferential stance toward international opinion and mores — but most troubling, international law as well.

In an essential article in the Winter 2004 issue of the Public Interest, “Multilateralism Comes to the Courts,” Ken Kersch, of Princeton, lays out in exquisite detail the movement among many American legal scholars to establish international norms and treaties in authority over domestic sovereignty. (The link goes to the Public Interest home page; to access the article, navigate to Winter 2004 through the “Archives” link.) Kersch’s quotes from scholars like Peter Singer of Princeton, author of One World (and infanticide advocate) and Martha Nussbaum of University of Chicago, and Rogers Smith of University of Pennsylvania, are troubling. But it is his citations of “cosmopolitan” attitudes among our sitting Supreme Court Justices that are particularly noteworthy:

In Grutter v. Bollinger, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (joined by Justice Stephen Breyer) cited both the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (which the United States has ratified) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (which it has not) as evidence of an “international understanding of the office of affirmative action.” In Justice Ginsburg’s view, these international conventions provide the grounds for “temporary special measures aimed at accelerating de facto equality.” (Bold emphasis mine.)

In Lawrence v. Texas, Justice Anthony Kennedy prominently recurred to a friend-of-the-Court brief on foreign law and court decisions filed by Mary Robinson, the former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, and to a key decision of the European Court of Human Rights.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the (legal) forum — the subtext about yesterday’s vote: the European Finger seems to have a wrist below — the (pesky) people — turning the hand in another direction. That’s the populous uncertainty with a referendum, a democracy. . . it’s called a vote.

The intellectual elite — whether they be the American, European, or UN variety — don’t seem to understand the central importance to “We The People” of national identity. Or, more precisely, they don’t care. But that is a strategic miscalculation: they fail to appreciate the cohesive power that identification produces.

Nee et Non. Now they have to care.

LINKS:

Welcome Instapundit readers. See Glenn’s analysis of the vote here.

John at Powerline has two good posts on the EU votes, here and here.

Also see what King at SCSU Scholars says about the EU vote more generally (Cool graphs at his site.)

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Comments

  1. digitalbrownshirt

    The self-styled intellectual elites understand very well the problem of leaving choice to the people and would by-pass it if they could con them into it. The international laws they would have us agree to be bound by are drafted for the sole purpose of having a tool to exhaust the independant citizenry into submission with a constant stream of accusation and indictment. They have absolutely no interest in the rights of women, for example, as their free pass to Bill Clinton demonstrated, but once such rights are adopted the US will never be able to comply. For the simple reason they are not interested in compliance, only the opportunity to publically rail against us, accuse us, charge us before whatever body, until, exhausted, we submit to the accretion of our powers to them. Amnesty Int’l’s shameful demonizing of our efforts to protect ourselves and our enemies as well should serve as a warning of what will come.

  2. ic

    Europe may be the index finger, but the French and the Dutch have just given them the middle one.

    LOL: “Europe is the cradle of democracy…” Some Europeans might have the idea, but they’ve never really practised it.

  3. Did you attend the Pepsi speech?

    I doubt it. Because I was there, and it looks like you’ve completely missed her point. Her point was that when you work in foreign countries, make sure you understand their culture and treat them with repsect.

    And you think that’s blasphemous????? I wouldn’t want to travel with you.

  4. vilenylons

    When Germany, France and Russia ignore the human rights violations of someone like Saddam for the sole purpose of their own economic gain as in Oil for Food, is it not appropriate that America raises it’s middle finger? It’s somewhat reassuring to see the European public finding outrage in their governments actions by voting non

  5. The “non” votes reflect fear on the part of the populace. Fear of substantial changes in work conditions, fear of yet another layer of elite bureaucrats, fear of EU immigration policies and fear of Turkey.

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