AUTHOR: Roger Scruton in The American Spectator
THESIS: Liberals fake niceness while conservatives assume responsibility
LENGTH: 1,655 words
HOW LIBERALS FAKE NICENESS: Supporting same-sex marriage, letting children play, welfare, advocating peace
THE RESULTS OF FAKE NICENESS: "Mass illegitimacy, the decline of the indigenous birthrate, and the emergency of gang culture among the fatherless youth"
AND ALSO: The problems of postwar Europe
HOW WE KNOW THE NICENESS IS FAKE: Rousseau
CONNECTION: It's complicated
ANOTHER PROBLEM WITH FAKE NICENESS
: It makes conservative attitudes look "unattractive"
SYNONYM FOR FAKE NICENESS: "totalitarian sentimentality"
ONE REASON EUROPEANS DISLIKED BUSH: He believed in hard work
ANOTHER REASON: Europeans resent that America helps them
THE LAST WORD:

This is how we should understand the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama ... The prize is an endorsement from the European elite, a sigh of collective relief that America has at last taken the decisive step toward the modern consensus, by exchanging real for fake emotion, hard power for soft power, and truth for lies. What matters in Europe is the great fiction that things will stay in place forever, that peace will be permanent and society stable, just so long as everybody is "nice." Under President Bush (who was, of course, no exemplary president, and certainly not nice) America maintained its old image, of national self-confidence and belligerent assertion of the right to be successful. Bush was the voice of a property-owning democracy, in which hard work and family values still achieved a public endorsement. As a result he was hated by the European elites, and hated all the more because Europe needs America and knows that, without America, it will die. Obama is welcomed as a savior: the American president for whom the Europeans have been hoping--the one who will rescue them from the truth.

How America itself will respond to this, however, remains doubtful. I suspect, from my neighbors in rural Virginia, that totalitarian sentimentality has no great appeal to them, and that they will be prepared to resist a government that seeks to destroy their savings and their social capital, for the sake of a compassion that it does not really feel.