But Buttiglione?s ?live and let live? policy isn?t good enough in modern Europe. ?A man who openly discriminates against homosexuals and who is openly for reducing the role of women cannot deal with these affairs in the commission,? claimed Johannes Swoboda, an Austrian member of the European Parliament.
Of course, that?s not what the nominee had said -- he?d explicitly pointed out that his personal beliefs wouldn?t affect his politics. And that just highlights the problem in Europe today: The ?elite? seem to think they can censor not just the politics of citizens, but their very thoughts and beliefs as well.
Meanwhile, freedom of religion is thriving in the U.S. This year?s presidential election featured a well-known Protestant against a self-proclaimed Catholic. Four years ago, Joe Lieberman became the first Jewish man to run for national office. And we?ve already heard talk that Barak Obama, just elected to the Senate, may seek higher office in 2008. Obama?s grandfather was Muslim.
In order to calm the ?enlightened? Europeans, Buttiglione eventually withdrew from consideration for the justice commissioner?s job. ?I am the victim of a new form of creeping totalitarianism, which forbids the asking of certain questions. Anyone who doesn?t accept that is excommunicated,? Buttiglione told The Times of London.
That?s the sort of ?enlightenment? some would prefer to impose on American voters. The results on Election Day simply prove that we?d prefer to retain our traditional tolerance -- even if doing so angers some at The New York Times.