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Anti-Americanism and Anti-Europeanism

In the last few weeks, there’s been a growing discussion of what’s being perceived as an ‘anti-American’ point of view in Europe; see Thomas Friedman on the subject. On the other side, The New York Review of Books carries an interesting essay on this subject: Anti-Europeanism in America. It contains this revealing summary of a December 2002 study:

Asked to choose one of four statements about American versus European approaches to diplomacy and war, 30 percent of Democratic voters but only 6 percent of Republican voters chose ‘The Europeans seem to prefer diplomatic solutions over war and that is a positive value Americans could learn from.’ By contrast only 13 percent of Democrats but 35 percent of Republicans (the largest single group) chose ‘The Europeans are too willing to seek compromise rather than to stand up for freedom even if it means war, and that is a negative thing.’

The divide was even clearer when respondents were asked to pick between two statements about ‘the way in which the war on Iraq should be conducted.’ Fifty-nine percent of Republicans as opposed to just 33 percent of Democrats chose ‘The US must remain in control of all operations and prevent its European allies from limiting the States’ room to maneuver.’ By contrast, 55 percent of Democrats and just 34 percent of Republicans chose ‘It is imperative that the United States allies itself with European countries, even if it limits its ability to make its own decisions.’

It seems a hypothesis worth investigating that actually it’s Republicans who are from Mars and Democrats who are from Venus.

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