The best thing about newspapers on-line is the comments section. Every local and regional newspaper has its on-line presence and most provide on-line readers with the opportunity to post their reactions to news articles. One learns more about the hearts and minds of Americans from reading these comments than one can possibly learn from a Gallop or Harris poll.

One comment that I see frequently, on any post that has anything to do with American politics, is some one from the right decrying the Obama administrations efforts on the economy, health care or the environment and offering the dire warning that if we are not careful we’ll end up just like Europe.

Which leaves me to scratch my head and say — exactly so, and good for us if we do!

Some smarty pants out there is likely to respond with a “if you love Europe so much why don’t you just go live there?” Because I was born here; this is my home, and I just want it to be as good a home, as comfortable a home, as safe a home, as other industrialized countries. Besides which, outside of England, they don’t speak English and being a product of American schools I don’t speak any thing but English.

Every time I see this comment I wonder, exactly what is it that these folks think is so awful about Europe?  What is the source of their images of Europe? What do they think they know that I don’t know?

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