Friday, April 26, 2002

SCARY THOUGHT: Mark Steyn says Europeans will continue to vote for unsavory characters like Le Pen because the savory characters have made the two burning issues of European politics -- crime and immigration -- taboo:
Europe's ruling class has effortlessly refined Voltaire: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death my right not to have to listen to you say it. You might disapprove of what Le Pen says on immigration, but to declare that the subject cannot even be raised is profoundly unhealthy for a democracy. The problem with the old one-party states of Africa and Latin America was that they criminalized dissent: You could no longer criticize the President, you could only kill him. In the two-party one-party states of Europe, a similar process is under way: If the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain topics, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable politicians -- as they're doing in France, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and elsewhere. Le Pen is not an aberration but the logical consequence.
You could summarize his argument thus: if the mainstream politicians won't make the trains run on time, the people will eventually elect the fringe candidate who will. Kind of makes you appreciate America's "crude" and "unsophisticated" politics, huh?

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails