> there's just less poverty, inequality, and disease in Western Europe than > there is in the USA.
And then Dennis Claxton:
> I'm not a Pollyanna Europhile but I do remember sitting at the dinner
> table once with my ex mother-in-law when she had a heart attack.
I made a very specific objection to a very specific, demonstrably false claim by Wojtek that hateful rhetoric is confined to the margins of European political life, and you guys want to change the subject to welfare state provisions and health insurance. I didn't make any claims concerning those, and even conceded in an earlier post a long time ago that the core European societies are probably better than the USA in that respects (though rapidly worsening).
My point was that Wojtek's claim is wrong, really, really wrong, far out of touch with the political discourse here, and Joel Schalit, who lives here, would probably back me up on this. I stand by my broader claim that Wotjek's statement is a symptom of a broader idealization.
And I agree 100% with what Carrol says. I think it's easy to praise the refinements of European culture and welfare state provisions if NATO bombs are not falling on your head.