Hamilton, Madison, Jay, Oh My!

Lord Rees-Mogg thinks Euro-Parliamentarians ought to read the Federalist papers.
The American Constitution has succeeded in providing the US with a stable democratic framework that has survived the great changes of the past two centuries, including - in the 20th century - two world wars, a Cold War and a slump. The US Constitution is 221 years old.... [snip] Surely, Europe should be asking this question: why did the US Constitution succeed when the French Constitution has repeatedly failed?
Then he gets to the nub of the problem, I think.
There is also the primary question of assent. The articles of the US Constitution were adopted by the Federal Convention in September 1787; the opening words are: “We, the people of the United States...” Combined with the earlier treaties, Lisbon does form a sort of constitution, though an unsatisfactory one. Yet no one would be entitled to start this European constitution with the words: “We, the people of Europe...”

Well, each state had to ratify the Constitution individually first, and if that were to happen in Europe, a certain "we, the people" would result. The trickier question for Europe is how it makes new citizens, especially assimilating its immigrants. We're having a hard enough time doing that here with our own immigrants, but at least "American" is not an ethnicity. Anyone who is committed to the principle that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness can be an American in full standing. What makes one French? Or Italian?

We had lunch the other day with a mid-level political appointee who recently traveled throughout Europe exchanging ideas with his counterparts in the governments of major European nations. He told us of talking to a man who was born in France, is third generation French, but whose ancestors came from Turkey. He can vote, but he's not considered "French," and there's nothing he can do to make himself "French." He will always be an outsider because there's no "French principle" to swear allegiance to. The only way to be French is for your family to have always been there.

Most of the European nations face that same difficulty. It means there's no real way for the individual countries to assimilate anyone, nowhere for all those angry Arabs in the ghettos of Paris to go, should they want to. The federal solution Lord Rees-Mogg doesn't favor is the only real way out of that particular difficulty I can see. Then our friend's acquaintance still might never be French, but he could at least be European and respected as such (presuming Turkey makes it into the EU). Of course, even presuming such a union could be structured to be free (and here the Federalist papers would definitely help), over time there would be a weakening of cultural particularity and identity as there has been in the States. Maybe that's inevitable anyway, dunno. At any rate, in the hands of the folk currently in charge of the project: unio europaea delenda est. Curtsy: ninme.