At the end of every year, the McLaughlin Group hosts a discussion of best and worst categories, similar to the Academy Awards, but with a focus on politics, culture, and world events. If I were on the show for the last week of Year 2014, these would be my Year End Awards: Destined for Political Stardom in 2015
Nigel Farage Praises the USA, the Constitution
While conservative insurgents refocus on the Republican Party goals of limited government and individual liberty, libertarian activists in the United Kingdom have begun breaking away from the Conservative Party to form their own political group, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). The parliamentary system allows minor parties to exert majority influence, because the UK’s unitary system dispenses with the winner-take-all aspect of federalized elections.
Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP, has declared his intentions of rallying the widespread, yet disparate sentiment of Britons who resent European bureaucratization, the diminution of Westminster’s authority (the seat for the House of Commons), and the rising immigration numbers which pose a threat to the country’s unifying culture as well as national security.
Does anyone find this political trend reminiscent as well as troubling? In the United States, individual citizens fear the increased centralization of political authority and material access to Washington, along with an unceasing tide of illegal immigration, aided and abetted by a non-governing President in the nation’s capital.
Much like the Republican Party’s Tea Party coalition, established critics never believed that UKIP would gain much influence in the UK, let alone win any seats. However, in the past few months, two Conservative members of parliament, Douglas Carswell and Mike Reckless, have resigned their seats to join UKIP, then won back their seats in Parliament. More Conservatives are waiting in the wings, mulling the opportunities (or setbacks) should they choose to defect to UKIP, as well.
Confident that his will peel off support from Labor as well as Conservative constituencies to win a majority in 2015, Farage is pressing forward for an initiative out of Westminster which will allow British residents to determine whether they stay in the European Common Market, or leave.
In this interview, UKIP leader Farage explains his party’s relationship with Europe:
Our policy is that we like Europe, but not the European Union, this attempt to take away the individuality and democracy of nation states, to centralize everything in three big institutions: The European Commission, the European Council, and of course the European Corps.
Later in the interview, the reporter asked why the United State of Europe could not exist, like the United States of America. Praising the USA, Farage explained the incapability of a federalized system of European states under one government:
The difference with America is that, when America was set up, people left their homes, in Europe, went to the states, started with a blanket sheet of paper, and had the intention of forming very quickly a country.
That’s one way to put it. Europeans from different countries wanted to start over, find a new country, where the tides of peerage an prestige would not limit their opportunities to improve their fortunes.
And they did it. They had some brilliant people. They wrote a very good constitution, and on they went.
Thanks, Mr. Farage! Cheers! To this day, the United States is one of few countries still operating under its original Constitution, and the charter has held up remarkably well, in spite of civil wars, insurgencies, world wars, and domestic troubles. Remaining the supreme standard of limited government in service of individual liberty, the United States Constitution retains its admirers throughout the world.
Now the interesting thing is, it took them one hundred years after forming a country to form a proper monetary union. In Europe, we’ve tried it to the other way round.
Interesting insight. An economic union is meaningless, useless without a common national identity, and unified political culture, which Farage explains:
In Europe, there is no such thing as a European demos. There is no such thing as a real sense of European identity.
Yet in the United States, “American” is a distinct identity which unites individuals from California to the New York islands. A political culture based on the United States Constitution, rooted in English Common Law and legal precedent, the United States is bound to a Constitution, a charter of enumerated powers which expands power to the states, while preserving the individual, natural rights of the people.
Unfortunately for the American voters at this time, the current President does not have the same respect for the United States Constitution which UKIP leader Nigel Farage has. Perhaps in the next few years, America conservatives will learn a lesson from their British peers on the importance of individual liberty, no matter what the challenges, and the importance of fighting for those values, even at the risk of fracturing political unity in one group for a period of time to form a more perfect union.
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance.
Twitter — @ArthurCSchaper