Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pim Fortuyn - a hero of freedom

Bruce Bawer is remembering Pim Fortuyn who was gunned down in a parking lot in Hilversum in the Netherlands.

....An extremely intelligent, well-educated, and charismatic man, graced with humor and gifted with an extraordinary courage that enabled him to withstand the most brutal and unfair assaults from his ideological enemies, Fortuyn was poised, some of us felt, to become a Churchill – a hero of freedom who would inspire his fellow European heads of government to follow his lead. There were those of us who saw him as the man who might well save Europe. But those dreams were dashed in a moment, ten years ago last Sunday....

....Ten years later, those “Turkish and Moroccan boys” are men. Other “Turkish and Moroccan boys” are sitting in what used to be their classroom seats (only in much larger numbers). And the situation Fortuyn deplored has unfolded in pretty much the way he feared. Geert Wilders, to be sure, has been a gallant, noble successor who has done everything he has been able to do. But he’s faced a challenge Fortuyn never did. The Netherlands’ mainstream parties, and the rest of its cultural elite, learned their lesson from their encounter with Fortuyn – that renegade who came so close to yanking the reins out of their hands. He woke them up. From that experience, they learned never again to let themselves be surprised by an upstart from out of left field. They had demonized him as best they could, but after he was gone they became even more ruthless. They drove Ayaan Hirsi Ali out of the country; they dragged Wilders into court.

For this reason – and, quite simply, because the problems in the Netherlands have grown so much more formidable than they were when Fortuyn was still alive – saving that little country now is a considerably more challenging proposition than it was a decade ago. (Ditto Europe; ditto North America.) Without question, the best news for the Netherlands in 2012 is that Wilders is alive and well and full of fight – and it doesn’t hurt, either, that his new book is selling like pannenkoeken in the U.S. One suggestion: buy it, if you haven’t already. Give him your support. Help make it clear to the Dutch people that, despite everything their political and media establishment have done to destroy one after another of the crusaders for freedom that their country has produced, Wilders (whom the bien pensant types in the Netherlands routinely compare to Hitler) is recognized internationally as his country’s – and, perhaps, the West’s – last, best chance. Maybe – just maybe – this will put a bit more wind beneath Wilders’s wings. In any case, nothing could be a finer tribute to Pim Fortuyn on the tenth anniversary of his murder.

Read the article: Remembering Pim Fortuyn