Cambridge University is one of the finest colleges in the world.
Yet even Cambridge students aren't perfect. Case in point: This House has no confidence in the American electorate. That was the title of a debate held at the university's famous debating society shortly before last year's U.S. presidential election. It was posted online this Thursday.
As usual, there were two speakers on both sides. But the only one worth listening to is the first speaker for the proposition. This eloquent young student encapsulates the essence of anti-Americanism.
He begins by offering up a history of American racism. It is always interesting to hear Europeans criticize the U.S. on this issue, given that their record of integration and social mobility is far inferior to our own. Still, the student claims that even today, systemic racism remains the core identifier of American society. "There is," he says, "in the American political system, such a deep strain of racism that it defines them as a nation."
That said, for the student speaker, American racism is not just systemic, it is genocidal. Speaking about U.S. police forces, he claims that "whenever African-Americans go walking around, buy a sandwich or whatever, they shoot them dead."
What else upsets the speaker about Americans?
For one, he laments that for "reasons I cannot fathom" Americans continue to support the second amendment. Here we see a frequent refrain of the European political establishment. Regarding government as both their master and their mother, the notion of individual empowerment is one to be afraid of. Society for leftists, such as this speaker, exists only in the collective.
Another issue? American "food is disgusting ... they produce slop." This is an extraordinary comment coming from a British subject. American food, though often unhealthy, is at least more tasteful and interesting than sausage and potato.
Finally, the student attacks Americans for our failure to embrace socialized medicine. Charlie Gard, you see, is just a casualty of the greater good.
Were I in Cambridge for the debate, I would have stood up and made one comment. "Sir," I would have politely said, "You're not American so you can't vote in U.S. elections. Thus, it doesn't matter what you think, and thank goodness for that."
Take my word for it, this line is guaranteed to infuriate even the most sardonic of European liberals.