Funny thing, Dan Rather and Jim Lehrer didn't mention it at all last night. But Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, who got used to outflanking the American media establishment when he was covering Bill Clinton, had already predicted it: a massive vote for the anti-immigration Pim Fortuyn List in yesterday's Dutch election.
And he was right. According to Reuters, [Dutch Voters Shift Right in Dramatic Election], the Pim Fortuyn List, which didn't even exist in the last election, came in second, with the Christian Democrats first; the center-left coalition government of Willem Kok was destroyed:
The conservative Christian Democrats (CDA) were decisive winners, with 40 of parliament's 150 seats. Pim Fortuyn List (LPF) came a staggering second with 26 seats on its election debut. All three [government] coalition parties hemorrhaged votes.
The late Pim Fortuyn was an immigration skeptic who objected to the massive immigration that is transforming Holland. Holland is land of tolerant, hardworking Dutchmen and women who had few racial or religious prejudices. While majority Protestant, it was famously tolerant towards Catholics and Jews in the last two centuries, when such tolerance was not universal.
Holland today has a lot of tolerance for victimless crimes like drug use and prostitution. They also tolerate gays.
That was a reason for Fortuyn's immigration skepticism. The new immigrants from North Africa and Arabia were not tolerant at all.
They were misogynist, homophobic, and intolerant of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews. He didn't want that in Holland.
Adam Curry reports from Holland that
"During the interview [Fortuyn] was asked why he was so critical of Muslim immigrants. He said he found it shameful that foreign Islamic clergy here used offensive language against gays in this country, and that Muslim men tried to impose medieval rural customs in the Netherlands. 'How can you respect a culture if the woman has to walk several steps behind her man, has to stay in the kitchen and keep her mouth shut,' he said. "
Conservatives who have concerns about feminism, homosexuality, et cetera, never go to the length that the mediaeval Islamists do. In Islam, they have forced marriage, honor killings, clitoridectomy, and polygamy, any one of which would have been viewed with horror by an eighteenth-century American or European reactionary.
While conservatives are occasionally accused of wanting to go back to the 1950's or even the nineteenth century, Islam is stuck in the eighth century, and does things that would horrify a 12th century Englishman.
Fortuyn's positions were unexceptionable unless you're a Eurocrat, or have a mania for diversity.
Occasionally European rightists are accused of being "anti-democratic" as if they were planning to cancel all future elections once elected, like Adolf Hitler, or an African dictator. But in fact, immigration restriction strikes European (and American) elites as too democratic. Their bipartisan consensus ensures that immigration restriction will never be presented to the people for a vote. That's why third parties have been successful in Europe, and why Fortuyn seemed to be a breath of fresh air.
When the subject of immigration comes up, Establishment journalists just lose their minds.
Example: Heather Mallick [send her mail], of Toronto's Globe and Mail, wrote a column attacking French, American, and Canadian voters, in language which could get her arrested under Canada's anti-racism laws if she'd used it against a privileged minority, for voting for candidates she didn't approve of. A couple of quotes should give the flavor of her thought:
"17.8 per cent of Frenchmen are so nasty you could strip floors with them and so dumb you could use their brains for Styrofoam packing pellets.
"I label American voters as 35 per cent malevolent, mainly because of the Deep South factor and the rage that the ready access to guns brings, and 48 per cent hopelessly stupid, which encompasses the 35 per cent.
She ends her column by saying
Next up: The Netherlands, where a recently assassinated fascist could handily win the next election.
That's the kind of thing that killed Pim Fortuyn. And it's still going on after his death.
The strangest thing about these journalistic voices of hate is their basic guiding principle, the thing they're in favor of, the thing that you and I and the majority of Americans don't have, according to them, can be defined in one word: tolerance.
If this is tolerance, can I have some intolerance?
I'd feel safer.
May 15, 2002