My wife and I travel frequently from our home in Seattle to Europe to visit her parents. I've been across the pond 20 times, and I've visited 18 countries there.
Whenever I listen to Americans talk about Europe, I'm struck by how little they actually understand it. To the Left, Europe is a progressive paradise -- scientifically savvy, technologically advanced, and culturally liberal with cradle-to-grave welfare for all. To the Right, Europe is a socialist hellhole -- an economically stagnant, irreligious, morally bankrupt continent of has-beens.
These diametrically opposed caricatures are completely wrong. As is often the case, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Take science policy, for instance. Europe notoriously embraces the "precautionary principle,"...