Just as the United States makes its hard left turn toward European-style socialism, Europeans are becoming more like Americans. According to the New York Times, European socialism is slowing dying, even as the financial crisis undermines the credibility of capitalism. But, read farther down in the article, and you will see that the so-called center-right parties are hardly conservative by American standards:
Europe’s center-right parties have embraced many ideas of the left: generous welfare benefits, nationalized health care, sharp restrictions on carbon emissions, the ceding of some sovereignty to the European Union. But they have won votes by promising to deliver more efficiently than the left, while working to lower taxes, improve financial regulation, and grapple with aging populations.
In yet a further irony, the socialists are turning into conservatives, in the sense that conservatism means preserving the status quo, as they strive to preserve aging welfare states amid the pressures of the economic crisis.