While it is important to follow US news and understand our connection with this global superpower, Luxembourgers should not take notes at all times and imitate whatever they witness happening on the other side of the pond.
The United States probably never enjoyed a higher standing in Europe than they did in the years following the Second World War: the saviours that not only rescued the continent from the tightening grip of the Nazis, but also helped rebuild Europe to its former glory. Although faith in this quasi-flawless nation has over the decades been challenged time and again by their failed interventionist policies elsewhere in the world, the cultural proximity between the US and Europe has undoubtedly ensured a prevailing alliance.
And the ripples of this bond affect the lives of Luxembourgers on a daily basis. US news are being followed closely and in no time the continent seems to re-enact any given phenomenon. A brief look towards pop culture makes this evident as the cinematic 'Barbenheimer' storm that recently unfolded in the US also made its way across the pond to hit little Luxembourg.
This copy-paste effect rarely happens in parallel, however, the Grand Duchy usually trails behind. By a couple of days, months, or even years at times. And the imitation extends far beyond the realm of pop culture, it can also regularly be found in the realms of politics, society, or science.
Attentive followers of US politics will, for instance, certainly recognise phrases and approaches found at both ends of Luxembourg's political spectrum, most notably among junior politicians. While those on the left pride themselves in being "anti-capitalist", "queer-feminist", and "intersectional" in their thinking, those on the right consider gun ownership a pertinent-enough issue to make it one of their key pillars.
Hearing such utterances from national politicians always makes me feel like Marty McFly when he recognises a premiering episode of The Honeymooners while travelling to the past in the first Back to the Future instalment: "Hey … I've seen this one, I've seen this one, this is a classic!" What better than a US pop culture reference to help illustrate the point, right?
If Luxembourgers keep looking to the US, they should try to follow the nation in real time to avoid starting and rehashing debates that are already fading out in the States. For it is tiring enough to follow the near endless debate around drag queen story hour once, it seems a tad numbing to witness it also being introduced in Luxembourg – an idea that probably would have never come to anyone if the States had not set the example – and then unsurprisingly lead to the same social clash that the concept inevitably triggers.
And as for science, it seems reassuring that although there actually is a "Flat Earth Luxembourg" Facebook page, the site at least seems humorous rather than serious in nature. Good on us, I suppose.
Yes, it is laudable to be aware of what is happening elsewhere in the world and the US undoubtedly remain thought leaders in the West. However, that does not mean that every single trend needs to be internalised and imitated. Rather, we should strive to single out the best and learn from the worst without repeating it. After all, we have enough issues on our own plate, there is really no need to pile on additional problems that would have likely never come up if it were not for the constant gaze across the pond.