The answer to this author’s question, “Why don’t Americans realize how poor their lives are?” is quite a simple answer. They don’t realize it, because it’s not true. There are cultural differences at play as well as individual choice. We don’t all want what the author of this piece wants. He starts the article with his idea of the blissful day,
“In London, Paris, Berlin, I hop on the train, head to the cafe — it’s the afternoon, and nobody’s gotten to work until 9am, and even then, maybe not until 10 — order a carefully made coffee and a newly baked croissant, do some writing, pick up some fresh groceries, maybe a meal or two, head home — now it’s 6 or 7, and everyone else has already gone home around 5 — and watch something interesting, maybe a documentary by an academic, the BBC’s Blue Planet, or a Swedish crime-noir.”
The first error he makes is assuming that this is the way life “should be” for everyone. It’s not. A great many people would love it, but a great many would also find it terribly boring. The second error he makes is in assuming you cannot have that kind of life here in America. You most certainly can. America is vast. I think people don’t realize just how large a country and how diverse it is. Whatever it is you want, can be found somewhere in America. But you aren’t going to remake all of America into one homogeneous place. We are 50 different countries and each one has a unique culture. There are ties that bind and things that make Americans American. But there are also differences that make a New Yorker much different from an Arizonan, or someone from Kentucky much different from someone from Illinois. I consider it a character flaw in those who are unable to consider that others don’t love the things they love or appreciate the things they appreciate. It’s snobbery at its highest level.
The author of the below article is just sure that American should just be more like Europe. He cries, “We are living in a world unable to learn from itself. What would sane societies do, watching each other, watching each other’s fortunes rise and fall? A sane America would look at Europe, see it’s tremendously higher quality of life in every possible regard, and say, “My God! That is what we should reach for, too!”.
His arrogance is a mirror of the arrogance of the left. It is a type of their mind-set, a singular version of a greater flaw. The left is the group that is so elitist, so arrogant, that they think they know better than all of us what is good for us. The author drives this point home when he expresses his frustration at American’s inability to copy the wonders of Europe, “Mimicry, of course, is how babies learn the most basic things — yet we cannot seem to even handle that much. So here is the unforgiving truth. We, in this age, this time, have regressed to something passed an infantile state: we cannot even manage the mimicry that babies perform happily, the most basic form of learning that exists.”
We Americans, it seems, are less than babies. And so, what conclusion do the leftists draw once they have painted this neat and untrue picture? They must think and act and do FOR US, since we are unable to do it for ourselves.
Therein is the danger and the evil of leftism.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” ― C.S. Lewis
In London, Paris, Berlin, I hop on the train, head to the cafe — it’s the afternoon, and nobody’s gotten to work until 9am, and even then, maybe not until 10 — order a carefully made coffee and a newly baked croissant, do some writing, pick up some fresh groceries, maybe a meal or two, head home — now it’s 6 or 7, and everyone else has already gone home around 5 — and watch something interesting, maybe a documentary by an academic, the BBC’s Blue Planet, or a Swedish crime-noir.