During the euphoria I seem to have said that Europe could do with a politician like Barack Obama. On second thought – and after reading this cover story in one of our weeklies – I realize this is, apart from being nonsensical, also a serious error of judgment.
If he really would be our President elect, we could brace for an overkill of change.Â He would target some of the gems of our society . Yes, he could.
Of course he would abolish that charming relic of our feudal times, the Kingdom. He is convinced follower of the republican system. So goodbye to our gorgeous Princess Maxima.Â No more Queen’s day. And no longer our national squads, teams, sportsmen and sportswomen would wear the outstanding traditional orange shirts in international competitions.
But really serious would be the effect of his policies on government, social security and taxes. BO would be appalled by the 52% tax rate we have to pay for every Euro earned over â‚¬ 53000 a year. He even announced,Â though the US rate is only 25%,Â a tax cut for every US citizen earning less than about â‚¬ 150000.Â And of course he would drastically diminish both our government (still more privatization) and social security – because compared to his program ours is outrageous. But very dear to us.
Moreover Obama officially opposes most of what is characteristic about our liberal society. He is against same sex marriages, he is against ‘late-term’ abortions, he is against our ‘coffeeshops’ (places where one legally can have soft drugs). These kind of policies might be backed by a few people from our luny right, but it’s not exactly what the Dutch majority would consider wise or would want.
Nor do most of us think it is a good idea to boost the war in Afghanistan. Yet President elect Obama plans a ‘surge’ in order to overcome the Taliban.Â The present situation is that Dutch troops now in Afghanistan will definitely leave the battle grounds within 1,5 year. I guess most of us regret already their presence over there and at least want to stick to the promised date of withdrawal by august 2010. We could forget about that however with BO as our head of state.
Nuclear power is almost taboo in the Netherlands – no more plants, as long as the nuclear waste problem hasn’t been solved. During an Obama administration however, we would have to make a U-turn. Because he is in favor ofÂ what he calls a ‘realistic’ energy policy. Which means: much more nuclear power.
And another one or two. Of course we’ve abolished capital punishment. And private possession of weapons is very limited and strictly regulated.Â Obama wants it quite different. We would have to reintroduce the death penalty (for serial killers and perverts who have raped and/or murdered a child) and the possession of weapons would become much easier because he thinks ‘it’s an individual right to bear weapons”.
Well, with such a political program Barack Obama would not have been elected here. So after all I think under no circumstances we should import a Barack Obama from the US. No, to me it seems to be a much better idea to export Peter-Jan Balkenende, our prime minister, to the US.