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Americans Wouldn’t Want To Be Like Them! (Oh, Yeah?)

The Republican national committee seems to think they’re socialist. Dick Cheney dubbed them part of, you know, the “Old Europe,” suggesting they’re locked in a useless past. In any case, they’ve nothing to teach us, right?

Not so fast.

In a world searching for answers to multiple assaults, it’s probably not a bad idea to take off the blinders and look for what is actually working. I just spent two weeks in Germany and after I got accustomed to Hamburg’s wide, well-groomed biking and running trails and rest stops on the autobahn that look like swank New York cafes - embarrassing my German friend by taking photos of the salad bar - I looked further.

Crisscrossing the country in 10 stops, touring for my latest book Getting a Grip - in German, Packen Wir’s An! (Let’s go for it!) - I passed groves of tall wind turbines in every part of the country. Looking graceful and powerful, to my eyes, some stood just in front of old, sagging power lines. I drove by at least a few fields, called “solar parks,” blanketed with photovoltaic panels. I rode my first solar-charged electric bike.