Not many people take Holland, the Netherlands, Dutchland (?), whatever, as a locale of much political interest. Not at least since William of Orange.
But as of late Holland has fought back against the growing tide of unrestricted Islamist immigration. That current could, if unchecked, drown Western European culture and polities in the rapids of an emerging majority with little to no appreciation of Western social and political norms. This is not an ethnic or racial question. This is a question of the survival of national cultures. The same one that Germany has ignored to her own eventual risk.
So, the game’s afoot and we’ll need a scorecard. Here it is…
The Dutch intellectual counterattack gained steam with Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her 2004 short film “Submission” (The man who worked with her on the short, Theo van Gogh, was murdered by an Islamist extremist for the sin of his thoughts on fundamentalist Islam) and her brilliant 2006 book “Infidel: My Life.” A brave and accomplished Somali- born woman, she knew first hand what Islamist oppression entailed and warned Holland against it. If you haven’t read this book you are missing amazing edification on the topic. After a stint in Dutch politics where she braved threats and intimidation, Hirsi Ali is now a Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford.
About the same time, hard as nails populist conservative politician Geert Wilders hit the scene. Wilders understood the danger posed by mass Islamic immigration and aggressively campaigned against it. He drew, and draws, vicious criticism from the usual suspects. He is no extremist, but actually a right-wing liberal firmly in the moderate European tradition. His political party, the PVV, is a kingmaker in Dutch politics. Wilders’ platform is close to that of Pim Fortuyn. Fortuyn was a trailblazing erudite conservative Dutch politician who was murdered in 2002 by an animal rights activist.
And you thought Holland was boring.
Which brings us to the Dutch elections of Wednesday and a new populist star whose party, the Forum for Democracy, made solid gains in elections for the Dutch parliament’s upper house. Thierry Baudet, 36, combines Wilders’ populist appeal and message with Fortuyn’s elitist metropolitan persona. Baudet is a metropopulist, if you will. No, it’s not necessarily an oxymoron.
He’s not a fan of the EU, climate change theory, or mass immigration. His party’s performance on Wednesday outshone the vote of the PVV and Dutch PM Mark Rutte’s party, the VVD. Which is Wilders’ old party. The VVD is right of center. The two other parties are pushing it populist. If the PVV and Forum were to combine, Rutte could be out of a job.
Baudet is one of a growing number of young European leaders like Kurz of Austria, Marion Marechal of France, and Matteo Salvini of Italy who question the EU project’s goal of a borderless superstate that engulfs national histories, governments, and cultures. They are a rising voice to be heard.
Those such as Theresa May, Angela Merkel, and their parties, would do well to listen.