The Netherlands’ Lurch to the Right Has Lessons for Woke Democrats

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The winner of last week’s election in the Netherlands was Geert Wilders, one of Europe’s most notorious migrant-bashers. It was a good week for populists as Argentina elected Javier Millay as president, another mutation of a former president. Donald Trump. The reason these things happened will be given to America in 2024.

The teaching of Democrats They are at risk if they don’t get the culture war positions offensive to most Americans right if they don’t get it right, with a desire to please progressive youth who are desperate not to alienate everyone.

What does it have to do with Holland? Well, let’s take a look at Wilders, who is known for his peroxide hair and looks Black beast Dutch politics for two decades.

Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders waves in The Hague on November 23.
John Tice/AFP via Getty Images

His party for freedom (PVV in Dutch) basically stands for freedom from immigrants, and won about a quarter of the votes cast on November 22. That may not seem like a lot, but it’s more than 15 parties. to Parliament, and doubles the deadline. The PVV is the largest of what can be called – although a confusing landscape divided on many issues – a conservative majority.

Therefore, Wilders, who can be called the Dutch version of Trump, the former president of Brazil Jair Bolsonaroor the French perennial run as well Marine Le Pen, basically won the election. It is unlikely (but unlikely) that the Prime Minister’s job will be blocked by other parties and contenders who do not have an alliance. In the normal case, the result will be given.

Wilders’ anti-immigration sentiment has struck a nerve in the country, which has legalized backpackers from all corners of the world, shown tolerance for misbehavior and boasts a famous red-light district.


Although the country is 5 percent Muslim, the immigrants are seen in the big cities. Similar conditions are triggering severe backlash in nearby Germany, Belgium and France. The Dutch are becoming illiberal on this issue because they want to keep their country liberal.

We are talking about a global definition of liberalism, which is somewhat different from American politics. This does not mean “far left”, a centrist focuses on freedom, humanity and individualism. The influx of culturally conservative Muslims (along with old-fashioned racism) and the threat of newcomer illiberalism has led to an epidemic of illiberalism from liberalism. It is ironic that deserves scholarly attention (as This paper from Central European University).

In this way, Wilders cast himself as a disciple of Pim Fortuyn, who was killed by anti-Islamic protesters in 2002. Fortuyn, an openly gay ex-Marxist who rejected his far-right label, held these positions because Muslim influence had made Holland unfriendly to gays.

Wilders feels the same way and has argued for closed borders and “zero asylum seekers”. And during a recent speech, his party manifesto called for the banning of the Koran, Islamic schools and mosques. He is also looking for an engineer to leave the Netherlands European Union, the fiasco that Brexit turned out to be for Britain went unhindered. That’s mainly it. A. H Membership obliges the Netherlands to accept anyone who has been admitted to other EU countries.

A clue to the reason for his ascension may be found therein. Recent polls This shows that 51 percent of Dutch people are “negative” or “very negative” about immigrants from outside the EU – a dog whistle for Muslim immigration.

Antipathy for Pen, whose signature issue is immigration, is a sentiment found across Europe, including France. Leading in the polls.

Which brings us to the poor US Democrats, who once believed themselves to be the party of power because growing minority groups – blacks and Hispanics – would forever vote for them.

That idea was formulated 21 years ago in “The Emerging Democratic Majority” by co-authors John Giudice and Rui Teixeira. This month, the duo published another book:Where have all the Democrats gone?Saying that the capacity is broken The party over-embraced progressives on cultural issues rather than mainstream economic issues.

Democrats remain Aligned with majorities of Americans on abortion, gun rights, health care and climate. While abortion was an effective motivator for them, the others were not; Something is troubling the American people even more. Among my friends who tend to vote Republican, it really is the culture wars.

Democrats have been associated in the human imagination at least with their obsession with gender and transgender rights, with the idea that racism is everything, and especially with protecting the nation’s borders.

It’s interesting that it even exists. Most Hispanic Americans They agreed that borders should be borders. It is as if they left Latin America because they wanted to leave Latin America. And it’s an incredibly no-nonsense Latino community. Refuse To label themselves “LatinX,” tone-deaf non-Hispanics provide a safe space for Spanish speakers.

Minority communities in the United States also generally do not like gender politics or “defunding the police.” they They want a better policeBecause crimes affect them disproportionately. Nor, troublingly for Democrats, are they particularly uncoupled from the apathy toward religion that characterizes coastal elites.

Identity politics is tricky. On the one hand, many people (generally unselected) like to celebrate their heritage. On the other hand, obsessing over ethnic and group identity does not strengthen national identity, but can make the society weak. We want the best of both, not the highest of both.

Moreover, the president Joe Biden Inflation, which cost him much of his tenure, still hurts. It is the same issue (high inflation differentials) that brought the government despised Mille to power in Argentina. The masses hate inflation as much in North America as in the South because, unlike unemployment, its effects are universal.

In the US, Democrats have a strong case for major economic issues; It’s clear to enough voters, including working-class whites, that the Reagan revolution created massive inequality and didn’t benefit the middle class. It can be easily verified Republicans They are not the party of fiscal prudence they claim to be.

But for Democrats to win the culture wars, they must expect a future Gen Z majority. Today, fewer than ten Americans identify as progressive—the center-left is mostly liberal, and the two concepts are on the rise. Liberals are less likely to trivialize the scourge of racism (or anti-Semitism) by declaring it ubiquitous, and they reject all narratives as equally valid life experiences.

Broadly speaking, global elites have conceptualized “transformation” with a worldview that is no less technological. But they forgot that they have to convince the people that the given change is for them. better than. Without that persuasion, people often like things the way they are. He wanted Holland Holland Holland Holland enough. Few Americans, including immigrants, want America to be as it was, or as they remember it. Unlike Holland, the US is not a nation-state, but it still works.

If the Democrats don’t figure this out soon enough, the Trumps of Argentina and the Netherlands aren’t the only ones rolling into power. For all its troubling oddities and despite its obvious and present danger, the original can do the same again.

Dan Perry is a partner at Thunder11, a communications firm based in New York. He is the former Cairo Middle East editor and London-based Europe/Africa editor for The Associated Press. Follow him at

The views expressed in this article are those of the author.