Ok sorry. The title is misleading. This is not about Ronald Reagan’s seminal 1964 speech. Unfortunately.
Follows is a brief extract from Daniel Hannan’s book, The New Road to Serfdom. This extract is his comparison of the US constitution and the EU constitution.
As we Australians are about 2 weeks from a national election, it is both interesting and deeply depressing to read. If only we had such a choice:
On my desk before me as I write are two constitutions: that of the United States and that of the EU. To demonstrate what makes the United States exceptional, I can do no better than to compare the two texts.
The U.S. Constitution, with all its amendments, is 7,200 words long. The EU Constitution, now formally known as the Lisbon Treaty, is 76,000.
The U.S. Constitution concerns itself with broad principles, such as the balance between state and federal authorities. The EU Constitution busies itself with such details as space exploration, the rights of disabled people, and the status of asylum seekers.
The U.S. Constitution, in particular the Bill of Rights, is mainly about the liberty of the individual. The EU Constitution is mainly about the power of the state.
The U.S. Declaration of Independence, which foreshadowed the constitutional settlement, promises “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The EU’s equivalent, the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, guarantees its citizens the right to strike action, free health care, and affordable housing.