Paul  Kengor

That brings me back across the Atlantic, to Charlotte. That the Democrats, in 2012, would find themselves in a similar battle is no surprise.

I’ll never forget the night Barack Obama won the 2008 election, when I turned on CNN and glimpsed an unknown Republican congressman from Wisconsin named Paul Ryan. When asked about Obama’s victory, Ryan said he was most concerned about “the Europeanization of America.”

“That’s it!” I said to myself. “That’s exactly it. Who is this guy? He nailed it.”

A further “Europeanization” of America is the best description of what has transpired under the Obama administration, especially its first two years under a fully supportive Democratic Congress. In 2009-10, we witnessed incredibly wasteful Keynesian-style prime-the-pump “stimulus,” partial nationalizations, “Obama-care,” explosive public-sector growth and unionization, demonization of the banking and investment and oil industries, stagnant unemployment, class-warfare rhetoric unlike anything I’ve ever heard in this country, and debt-to-GDP ratios approaching Greece standards. We’ve experienced a record-long non-recovering recovery reminiscent not of the American experience but of Western Europe.

As someone who researches communism, I’m often asked if the Obama administration is pursuing socialistic or even communist policies. No, no, I’ve always said. If you want the closest model to what Obama is doing, look at the Attlee government in Britain after WWII or Western Europe today generally.

I recently did an interview with the BBC in Ireland. The host asked: “What’s wrong with you Americans? You call Obama a ‘socialist’ as if socialism is bad. Here in Europe, we think he’s doing exactly the right thing.” Likewise, a friend of mine recently returned from Spain. She was shocked by the overwhelming support for Barack Obama’s policies. It’s really no shock at all—not in Spain.

Here in America, the staunchest liberal-Democrat areas, such as California, Massachusetts, and New England, all have European-level birthrates, divorce rates, abortion rates, and even church attendance. New England, in many ways, is a microcosm of Western Europe.

By the time of the 2012 Democratic convention, party delegates had already (following Barack Obama’s lead) embraced everything from unlimited taxpayer-funding of abortion to gay marriage. How does one get to these positions? Answer: by removing God. Fittingly, then, the delegates merely need to take the next evolutionary step: exclude God. It was very … European.

The soul of the Democratic Party continues to change dramatically.