Wednesday, May 08, 2002

HOW DO YOU SAY "COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATIVE" IN DUTCH? "Our positions are businesslike, but with a heart" -- that was slain Dutch libertarian Pim Fortuyn's campaign slogan. This is the man the Euros and American leftists called a "far right" and "extreme right-wing" populist before an apparent left-wing extremist -- oh, sorry, "activist" -- murdered him. Actually, they're still calling him that, lacking the decency to speak honestly of the dead. Here's a few excerpts from the late Mr. Fortuyn's campaign platform (via The Angry Clam):
On education: "Teaching staff to be paid a market salary, and the education system to be restructured, partly on the basis of the wishes of the labour market. The central theme of the LPF is that youngsters should be educated to become modern, caring, assertive citizens. Deregulation will make the education system feasible again." On crime: "The justice system is another area that is ripe for reorganisation on every front and at every level. Fewer than a quarter of all the 45,000 police officials is actually involved in implementation. We need more police on the street and fewer behind desks. Every policy of toleration regarding a lack of safety in the public space must be scrapped. This requires that priorities are set. Violent crime, in particular, must be tackled vigorously. It is incomprehensible that the Ministry of Justice prosecutes citizens who exercise their right to defend themselves, but sets the real criminals free due to a lack of time. On public finance: "Inflation, with its particularly crippling effect on the weakest members of society, must be tackled forcefully. Any taxes which contribute to inflation or increase costs, such as an excessively high VAT, stamp duty, ECO tax and taxes imposed by lower levels of government, must be removed from the tax system."
I'm not excerpting his positions on restricting immigration and encouraging assimilation of immigrants, because everyone else already has. Others have explained why Fortuyn's villification by European elites, and now his murder, spell trouble for European politics and society. Either it foreshadows the resurgence of a violent, terroristic left, or the resurgence of a violent, autocratic right that speaks to problems like crime and immigration that mainstream parties won't confront. But it also spells trouble for the United States. The fact is, there's not much daylight between Fortuyn's platform and that of mainstream American conservatives, especially economic and socially libertarian conservatives. Most Democrats would sign on to what Fortuyn stood for. If European elites regard men like Fortuyn a public enemies out of office, how do you think they regard the United States under conservative rule? That can't be good.

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