What European Populism Tells Us About Us

The influx of Middle Eastern and Northern African migrants to Europe is transforming that continent.  The near collapse of Angela Merkel’s government in Germany given the rise of populist, nationalist parties in the German parliament have put the continent on notice.  Popular nationalism stuns and offends the trans-nationalists, secularists and technocrats that rule by edict from the EU headquarters in Brussels. Is this so different from what defined the United States pre-Trump?

 Europe’s ruling class views unfettered immigration as a net positive.  Any restrictions on immigration is perceived immoral to the ruling elite. The leaders of the EU and their willing accomplices in member states like Germany and France have been drained of national loyalties.  Listen to them talk about immigration and you hear exactly what the Left here in the United States professes. They say that these migrants inject necessary diversity into the population, that with them comes youth and fresh ideas.  It is a moral obligation that they let migrants into Europe. It is a moral obligation that we grant asylum to anyone crossing the border anywhere screaming “asylum” here in the United States.

The European press, like the American mainstream media, tells us that illegal migration is down.  They point to the fact that in 2017, there were only 200,000 asylum requests in Germany, down from 1.4 million in 2009.  That “only 200,000” figure excuses away all illegal migrants just as a decrease in illegal border crossings here in the US excuses away the approximately 11 million illegal immigrants already here.

And who in Europe is attracted to these nationalist parties?  They bear a striking resemblance to their counterparts here in the United States and the very people who are responsible for putting Trump in the White House.  They are middle and working class taxpayers who feel the uneven heavy burden of immigration and globalization in lost jobs, depressed wages, bad schools, poor health services, and crime.  They rarely benefit from the supply of cheap labor which clearly works to the benefit of their more affluent metropolitan brethren. Is that any different than here in the US?

Those in Europe have a desire to preserve an inherited language, arts, religion, and wealth.  They are property owners and families raising children who live outside the big cities and tend toward conformity.  They respect order and hygiene. They even own dogs and eat pork. They disapprove of those who suckle at the teat of government, even domestic sucklers.

In the United States, high profile examples of crimes committed by illegal aliens are explained away as the “exception to the norm.”  In Europe, they are likewise covered up or explained away. We are told that “on net,” immigrants- legal and illegal- contribute to society by payment of sales taxes, store purchases, etc.  To the father who lost his job, to the family where both parents work to struggle to make ends meet, any concept of “on net” means next to nothing.

Like Europe, those who are attracted to the nationalist populists are often described as the new Wehrmacht, compared to Vichy France, and ultimately branded as fascists.  In fact, they are none of these things just as the Trump supporter here is not a fascist. They are simply people comfortably attached to their ways seeing “their ways” under relentless attack.

Also, consider this fact: only 29% of French, 20% of Italians and 18% of Germans say they are willing to fight for their country.  That is scary news if the EU believes it is some bulwark against military aggression. That same year, only 52% of Americans said they were proud of their country- a new low in Gallup polling.

The press in Europe, like the press here, labels these people as “far right” or “crypto-fascists.”  This is intended to shame and discredit and, in some cases, criminalize people who view the current state of affairs as an affront to their values and beliefs.  These beliefs and values in Europe were inculcated over centuries. But, the EU bureaucrats say we must welcome outsiders and remember the sins of Old Europe. In the US, the Left says we must welcome outsiders before placing the plight of the illegal immigrant on par with slavery after citing the poem on a statue in New York Harbor as if it is codified immigration policy.

In Europe, leaders in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland have said, “No sale,” much as Donald Trump did in the United States.  In 2015, about 1 million migrants roamed Europe with no identification. Some were middle class people looking for opportunity non-existent in their homeland.  Others were genuine refugees while others were simply adventurers or criminals on the run, and jihadists.  The media focused on the few women and children just as the media here focuses on some 3,000 children separated from their parents out of thousands more roaming the country.  It was described by the Left as a “humanitarian crisis” just like the European migrant scenario is a “humanitarian crisis.” Is that old picture of a drowned child on the shores of a Greek island any different than scenes of kids crying at our border?

While it may be true that immigrants here and abroad perform menial tasks natives prefer not to, there are many more unemployed.  Since 2015 in Germany, the number of immigrants on the government dole rose from 200,000 to over 1 million by 2018. While living off a benevolent state, these immigrants in Germany and elsewhere have absolutely no inclination to assimilate into their host country’s society.  Likewise, the same happens here. The next time you see an immigration march on television, count the number of American flags compared to the number of Mexican flags.

Folding into the European or American fabric is not their design.  In some cases, they wish to rip that fabric apart one string at a time.  They certainly don’t plan to leave or go home. In some cases, there may not be a home to go to.

Like here, a growing number of European voters are tired of making concessions in the name of multiculturalism.  In Bavaria, there is a movement to put crosses in all classrooms. Austria recently closed down several mosques and deported several Muslim clerics.  Denmark is starting to enforce strict integration policies while Hungary has stared down the EU. Italy recently turned away a boatload of North African “refugees.”  

During the last four years, 600,000 semi-literate North Africans who hail from areas with barely any electricity have arrived on the shores of Italy.  Today, through a zero tolerance policy (sound familiar?) Italy has declared, “No more!” For every North African migrant who got through, there are thousands more wishing to do so after the spigots were opened.  Is that any different from the policies of the Obama administration which only encouraged more illegal immigration from Central America?

These “nationalists” in Europe are no different from voters here in the United States who catapulted Trump into the Presidency.  Today’s Democratic Party is the equivalent of the EU bureaucrats in Brussels who lecture us about the advantages and morality of open borders, even going so far as to suggest the abolition of ICE.  The similarities between Europe and here are evident in the rural/urban divide, the polarization of the politics of immigration, and a desire to retain values and, in some cases, a civilization. Just as the nationalists are winning in Europe, so shall “the basket of deplorables” as long as the Left continues down their dangerous path.