President Obama today began haranguing the British to remain in the European Union, suggesting he should be permitted to interfere in their internal affairs because Americans died in Europe during World War II.
French President Francois Hollande immediately insisted that the United States legalize all immigrants within its borders, noting that France had provided America with critical assistance during the Revolutionary War and had better listen to what he says.
Okay, that last part didn’t happen, but the first part did. Writing in the Telegraph, Obama summoned the sacrifices of Americans who fought Germany in order to promote his quasi-Socialist vision of a united, borderless Europe subject to the whims and incompetencies of faceless Euro-bureaucrats.
I will say, with the candour of a friend, that the outcome of your decision is a matter of deep interest to the United States. The tens of thousands of Americans who rest in Europe’s cemeteries are a silent testament to just how intertwined our prosperity and security truly are. And the path you choose now will echo in the prospects of today’s generation of Americans as well.
Conservative London mayor Boris Johnson reacted with justifiable indignation:
The US guards its democracy with more hysterical jealousy than any other country on earth . . . For the United States to tell us in the UK that we must surrender control of so much of our democracy — it is a breathtaking example of the principle of do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do. It is incoherent. It is inconsistent, and yes it is downright hypocritical. The Americans would never contemplate anything like the EU, for themselves or for their neighbours in their own hemisphere. Why should they think it right for us?
Johnson is right, except that Obama is not “the United States.”
In his own op-ed, Obama used flattery . . .
As citizens of the United Kingdom take stock of their relationship with the EU, you should be proud that the EU has helped spread British values and practices – democracy, the rule of law, open markets – across the continent and to its periphery. The European Union doesn’t moderate British influence – it magnifies it . . . the US and the world need your outsized influence to continue – including within Europe.
. . . and a threat, suggesting Britain’s absence from the EU would diminish its usefulness to the United States:
When we negotiated the historic deal to verifiably prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, it was collective action, working together with the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, that got the job done. And the EU’s seat at the table magnified the United Kingdom’s voice.
And he told Britain how to handle its economy:
When it comes to creating jobs, trade, and economic growth in line with our values, the UK has benefited from its membership in the EU – inside a single market that provides enormous opportunities for the British people.
I suppose this many help those seeking to move Britain out of the European Union. So thank you, Mr. President.