I must admit that it was a very entertaining special and I came away with the bemused feeling that preoccupation, imitation, and envy are the sincerest forms of flattery. But, I couldn’t help wondering why the producers of this PBS special (New American Media) left out the new Europeans? You know – the future of Europe?
This special was part of a continuing PBS event.
America at a Crossroads is a major public television event that premiered on PBS in April 2007. This groundbreaking series continues with occasional specials throughout the broadcast schedule.
Explore the challenges confronting the post-9/11 world – including the war on terrorism; the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; the experience of American troops serving abroad; the struggle for balance within the Muslim world; and global perspectives on America's role overseas.
The NYT review by John Strausbaugh “Love Us or Hate Us, Ya Can’t Ignore Us” offered a pretty fair rendition of what I observed. But apparently Strausbaugh didn’t notice that new Europeans were missing from the special.
Here’s an excerpt from the review:
At a fashionable dinner party in London a proper Englishwoman sniffs with supreme condescension, “Americans are the first nation to come from barbarians, skip the civilized bit and go into decline.”
In a French country kitchen a woman recalls, with horrified outrage, a trip to Chicago, where she encountered “the fattest people I ever saw in my life.” She gasps that she could have ridden on their “big fat behinds.” . . .
In Poland a large crowd in cowboy hats and boots waves American flags and cheers a bluegrass performance. If it weren’t for the accents and the odd spellings like “piknik” and “hod dog,” you might think it’s Branson, Mo.
Perhaps the answer to why the new Europeans are missing from this special can be found in Tuesday’s article by Cal Thomas, “England is Vanishing.” Here’s an excerpt:
“There’ll Always Be an England” — popular World War II song.
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND — Perhaps there will not always be an England. An exodus unprecedented in modern times, coupled with a record influx of foreigners, is threatening to erode the character of the land of William Shakespeare and overpowering monarchs, a land that served as the cradle for much of American thought, law and culture.
The figures, making headlines in London newspapers, tell only part of the story. Between June 2005 and June 2006 nearly 200,000 British citizens chose to leave the country for a new life elsewhere. During the same period, at least 574,000 immigrants came to Britain. This number does not include the people who broke the law to get there, or the thousands unknown to the government. Britain’s Office of National Statistics reports that middle-class Britons are beginning to move out of towns in southern England that have become home to large numbers of immigrants, thereby altering the character of neighborhoods that have remained unchanged for generations. . . .The problem for Britain and the United States isn’t just the change in demographics. It is the reluctance of both countries to inculcate the beliefs, history and, yes, religious ideals, which made our nations so successful that others wanted to come and be a part of them. The difference between many of the current immigrants and those of the past is that the previous ones wanted to become fully American or fully British. The current ones, in too many cases, would destroy what makes our countries unique. And the “leaders” of Britain and America refuse to stop it.
The greater tragedy is that the people of Britain have little say in any of this, so they are taking the road of last resort. They are leaving.
America at a Crossroads
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