National Review Editor Rich Lowry saya:
Michael Moore set out to make a movie attacking the American insurance industry and ended up attacking the American character. By the end of his movie SiCKO, his plaint is less about American resistance to government-run health care than its overarching rejection of collectivism. As Moore puts it, everywhere else it's "a world of we," but here a "world of me."The rest of Lowry’s column is here.
His voice thus joins a vast, age-old chorus of left-wing bafflement and disillusion at American exceptionalism -- our national traits that have prevented the development of a statist politics along continental European lines.
Moore's explanation for this phenomenon is typically twisted: Americans are saddled with debt from college loans and health care, and that keeps us from demanding French-style pampering from our government for fear of foreclosure by The Man.
Tellingly, Moore picks up this theory in an interview with Tony Benn, an old-school British socialist of the sort who simply doesn't exist in the U.S.
Here, our left-wing politicians vote for war funding before they vote against it, always trimming to keep from rubbing too strongly against the American grain. Moore fervently wishes that grain were different, and he celebrates all countries where government has a vaster reach and tighter grip -- from Cuba to France.
America has many problems. We would only add to them by going “the French way.” Even the French seem to realize they’re headed in the wrong direction.
That’s why President Sarkozy was elected.
Anyway, if Americans want a stagnant economy, double digit unemployment and declining world power, we don’t have to imitate the French. We can just bring back Jimmy Carter.