A new populist, Eurosceptic party has achieved the remarkable feat of going from zero seats to becoming the largest single party in the Dutch Senate in a single election, as a young politician likened to a “Dutch Donald Trump” beat seasoned professionals in Wednesday’s poll.
Thierry Baudet’s Forum for Democracy party, which has gained attention for its Euroscepticism, campaigned against open borders politics and against what he calls “climate-change hysteria,” winning 86 seats across the Dutch regions. The victory put his party ahead of even the ruling mainstream conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), which achieved 80 seats.
How do you go from 0 to 80 in a single election? This sort of thing seems to be happening all over Europe, with the Vox party in Spain also coming from nowhere to become a big player in Spanish politics.
I suppose that I look at European politics from the perspective of an excluded and marginalised smoker, because that’s what I am. And given a population of 500 million Europeans, and a 30% smoking prevalence, the way I see it is that there are about 150 million angry, excluded and marginalised smokers scattered all over Europe. Why should any of them have any time for a European Union which has been working since 1989 to exclude them and marginalise them. They once used to be respected members of society, but they’ve now been made pariahs.
Smoking tobacco is a 500 year old tradition. It’s part of European culture. So also is drinking alcohol. And eating meat. And countless other things.
But these days all cultural traditions are under attack. Every single one. And they’re under attack from political progressives (many of them in the European political class) whose idea of progress always seems to first entail the demolition of everything traditional. And so we have gay marriage, and you can have any sexual preference you like, as long as it isn’t traditional heterosexuality. And you can have any religion you like, except Christianity. And you can smoke more or less anything you like, except tobacco. The progressives bend over backwards to champion every sort of minority, and to actively discriminate in favour of them, while resolutely excluding and marginalising traditional culture in absolutely every respect.
And when this happens, and you have more and more people who been expelled from society for not toeing the politically correct progressive line in one way or other (and perhaps in multiple ways), and nobody speaks up for them, it is to be expected that when somebody manages to speak for them, they’ll rush to support him.
And that’s probably how Thierry Baudet’s traditionalist Forum for Democracy party became the largest political party in Holland almost overnight. He must have said something that struck a chord with a great many Dutch people, and it was something that the progressive elites in the EU haven’t been saying, and they’ve rushed to vote for him.
After being pushed to the margins by strident progressivism, traditional values are returning in a tidal wave. People who have been shouted down, and silenced, are finding their voice again. Everything that has been suppressed is re-emerging.
Here’s Steve Turley talking about Forum for Democracy:
And here’s Baudet speaking about the EU in the Oxford Union: