For as long as we can remember, we have been Europe’s fat, awkward friend, the friend that it didn’t really like but had to hang around with because of circumstance. Europe disapproved of our flashy, loud, aggressive parents and was disgusted by what they perceived as our own flaccid response to them. And no matter how hard we tried with Europe, despite the fact that we let them raid our closets (and our clothes always looked better on them than us), and were bend-over-backward nice and flattering and totally self-deprecating, in the end they’d always just look at us like, “Do you really want to eat those fries?” But now, finally, we have done something to impress Europe. Last night, it choked on its cigarette and spit up its wine — that’s how impressed it was. And this morning, it was all aflutter: The headline on Germany’s Bild said, “Good Morning Mr. President — Make the World Better!” and Le Figaro led with “The World Salutes Obama’s Victory.”
“At a time when we must face huge challenges together, your election has raised enormous hope in France, in Europe and beyond,” French fox-in-chief Nicolas Sarkozy said.
But the best part was that they are not just impressed, they’re jealous.
“Cross-race values in politics is not something that is happening here yet,” Bertrand Deprez, a consultant for the Centre, an E.U.-affairs lobbying firm, told the Journal, which also quotes a passage from Minorities.org, a blog devoted to European minority politics:
“Thanks to [Obama], minority politicians in Europe are looking at themselves as future Obamas … They’re congratulating him, but they’re also looking at their own future. They’re thinking ‘I can become mayor of Brussels.”
Now, America. We have to remember not to gloat too hard when we see statements such as the above. We can’t be like, Oh, yeah, if you try really hard, maybe you can achieve what we achieved in our massive country in your city of one million. We cannot etch, “Suck it, Eurotrash,” in our cornfields. We must remember the most important lesson that transformational teen movies, perhaps our greatest cultural legacy, have taught us: Despite the fact that we are now a shining beacon of awesomeness and basically prom queen, we can never forget the fat, ugly unpopular kid that we used to be and are still inside. We have to treat everyone like they’re just as unique and awesome and cool as us. Even France.