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Culture wars

America no longer stands for freedom

Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Growing up during the Cold War, I thought of the US as a “protector”, says Ed West in UnHerd. When I saw American troops at Checkpoint Charlie, I knew it was thanks to them that we weren’t like “the poor prisoners of East Berlin”. No wonder British conservatives used to embrace America, preferring the freedom it stood for to the “euro-socialism” they associated with the Continent.

But how different it all is now. Culture-wise, the US has become far more radical than Europe. America’s “deranged and malignant” elites believe racism damns them, and stoke hatred and conflict with their precept of “equity”, which enforces equality of outcome between racial groups. European liberals who despise mass-produced American brands are only too happy to lap up the idea that the US is a “unique force for racism and oppression”.

It’s worse in Britain, where our common language offers us little “immunity” from American ideas. And because our middle classes ape everything they read in The New York Times or watch on Netflix, America’s “history and discourse are transferred on to ours, a form of cultural imperialism”. So we see elderly Liberal Democrats in Oxfordshire kneeling outside their homes to protest about American police shootings. Would any of them protest about police killings in Brazil, which dwarf the rate in the US? “I still cheer for the Americans in the old films,” but their modern political culture is poisonous. “Yankees go home.”

Read the full article here.