Those wacky Europeans don’t really hate us!

Todd Vanderwerff

Todd Vanderwerff

So I went to Europe over spring break.

I know, I know. It’s a far cry from winning that KSDJ contest and getting to go to wherever that contest winner got to go but I had fun.

And I got to eat Belgian waffles, which were delicious.

All in all, I would call it a good time.

When I went over, I was prepared to find bunches of people standing in the airport, whipping fruit at us because we in the SDSU concert choir were (shudder) Americans.

But I found exactly the opposite (even in France) everywhere we went. People were gracious and friendly. They seemed genuinely happy to make our acquaintance.

Somewhere in France, our eternally wise bus driver told us that the people of Europe don’t hate Americans.

Sure, they may disagree on our policies regarding Iraq, but so do many of our fellow countrymen. Let’s not forget that on the day of worldwide protest held on Feb. 15, two of the largest protests were held in America’s own New York City and Washington, D.C.

Europeans haven’t gone against our President’s wishes because they hold a huge grudge against the United States. We must remember that.

They are our friends and friends disagree sometimes. What is most important is that friends make an honest effort to meet in the middle somewhere and our governments are making that effort even as I am writing this and you are reading it.

Let’s consider the European defiance of American wishes to be a blessing.

After all, the fact that they can think for themselves and disagree with us shows that they still live in free societies, where intelligent thought and discussion reign.

They, and we, still have the power to think for ourselves.

And regardless of what you think of this war, when it comes right down to it, that’s a luxury that the subjects of Saddam Hussein aren’t privileged enough to have.

Todd VanDerWerff is the Collegian’s managing editor. Write to him at [email protected].