One of the reasons, if not the principal reason, “Old Europe” and the US are drifting apart is a fundamental difference in the way we view the world. Over the last 25 years, the nations of western Europe have become so secularized that in some nations only about five percent of adults attend church weekly, compared to about one in three Americans.
“Americans are widely regarded as more comfortable with notions of good and evil, right and wrong, than Europeans, who often see such views as reckless.”
This explains a lot about the French and German reaction to the war in Iraq. It’s hard to condemn the atrocities of Saddam–or anyone, for that matter–when you don’t even acknowledge the existence of “evil”.
Maybe this is why the political left in the US sees Old Europe as the ideal we should emulate. By removing “good” and “evil” from the public debate, we no longer have any footing for arguments against extramarital sex, abortion, and so on.