The "Vision" Thing
Kyoto has been exposed as nothing but a whipping-boy to be used against American industrial success. The draconian restrictions the United States would be saddled with will do virtually nothing to change the world's climate, but would saddle American industries with enormously increased expenses, which would inflate the price of American goods to the point no one could afford to buy them, either in this nation or abroad. Each day more and more evidence comes to light that "global warming" is not anthropogenic (caused by man), but the result of fluctuations in solar output, and that such fluctuations have occurred hundreds if not thousands of times in the past. The Government of the United States wisely decided the evidence was incomplete and refused to commit economic suicide. The European world and its supporters are up in arms over our "intransigence". Their ploy to cripple the US economy didn't work, and they're angry at us for not being dumb enough to fall for their hype.
Europe, especially "Old" Europe, is also angry at us for insisting that the only way to ensure peace and stability in the world is to encourage the development of representative government in the nations of the world. This directly contradicts their standing that "things are better off with strong rulers in faraway countries". The Europeans believe they can continue to "deal" with the world's dictators, tyrants, and hereditary rulers. Part of this is historical prejudice - most of the nations of Europe were once governed by royal families, and many of them have had dictatorial governments of their own at one time or another. Another, major consideration against President Bush's ideas are just that they're HIS ideas, and not the idea of Europe. The majority of the elite in Europe hate our president simply because he's been successful - his ideas work better than theirs. Like spoiled children, they're angry that someone else has had a success they had no hand in.
The truth is, there are several things that MUST be in place in order for a society as a whole to succeed. One of those is the recognition of individual rights, and that those rights are "unalienable" - not something that the Government can grant or take away at its whim. European socialists hate such an idea - in their opinion, only GOVERNMENT is wise enough to exercise rights, and they in turn can 'grant' selected, limited rights to the governed. As the socialists in England, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, and the rest of Europe gain more and more power, they place more and more restrictions on the rights of the individual European. The European Constitution is an excellent proof of this.
Another MAJOR necessity for a successful society is recognition of the right to private property. Whether that property is a home, land, personal possessions, a business, or intellectual material, unless an individual can acquire and keep private property, they cannot prosper, and have no incentive to have children to pass that property down to. Any laws that restrict the acquisition of private property, and of bequeathing that property to heirs, will be counter-productive to freedom and wealth creation.
The final necessity is the establishment of freedom of religion. True worship cannot prosper unless it is devoid of state sponsorship, and has to stand on its own. The State cannot truly exist for the will of the people if it's tied to religious requirements. No religious denomination can avoid corruption unless it's faced with the challenge of standing on its own. Religion must exist to connect Man with God, not Man with the State, or Man with himself. That requires the freedom not only to worship as one chooses, but also NOT to worship. When Religion is state-sponsored, it merely becomes another bureaucracy of the State, and another means of opressing and controlling the population at large. Only those governments which allow the free exercise of religious preferences can provide equal service to all its citizens.
When individual and property rights are respected, when freedom to worship (or not) as one pleases exist, and where the rights of the people are protected by government, the people feel a sense of "ownership" of government itself, and commit themselves to supporting that government. Without the support of the people, and the oversight that the people exert upon governments, such entities tend to become corrupt, abusive, and disdainful of the rights of the individual. Economic growth can only occur when the people are assured that they will be able to keep the benefits they accrue through hard work. Contented citizens wish to protect their contented lifestyle, and are far less likely to go to war where they may lose the happiness and freedom they enjoy. Those who are deprived of the freedom to be contented, who are opressed and mistreated, will be willing to fight, especially if they think things will be better if they do. European governments have waged at least two major wars in the last 100 years (three, if you include the Cold War), while the contented, happy Americans have only waged war to preserve freedom and to oppose tyranny.
It appears to me that President Bush has discovered a major Truth, and Europe is the one that "just doesn't get it".