While I can understand why a given person might have a philosophical gripe about specific policies in given European country, the contempt that the continent as whole is held by some members of the American right is, honestly, rather remarkable.
Not really. At least, I don’t think. There are a few factors at play:
- How different is the American right from the European left in this regard? The sneering is hardly one-sided. We can say “But European sneering at us is justified while our sneering is just us being Ugly Americans.” This response touches of #2 and #3.
- The sneering isn’t particularly limited to the American Right or European Left. Yeah, our right does it with the megaphones, and maybe our politicians do it more than theirs (or maybe not), but they do it in part because it is effective with more than just the base. Not without reason, but I get the impression that more Europeans spent more time sneering at us than vice-versa.
- The other issue is American intramural sneering. Which is to say, if someone is of the general mindset that America is a backwards place, they are as likely as not to look at Europe as a counterexample. They’re what we’re not. They’re better than us. Where we are different than them, well that’s a deficiency on our part. This breeds a particular sort of reaction. This isn’t an American thing, but rather a human thing (though it’s a human thing that Americans are at least somewhat more prone to indulging than others, I’ll grant.). “Why can’t you be more like them breeds resentment towards them. Even if the “you” is “we.”