"The Trump Effect"
by EDWARD CLINE
February 21, 2017
It's so refreshing to report some tentatively good news for once.
I left this comment on a Gatestone column of January 22nd, 2017, "Trump Fires Up Europe's Anti-Establishment Movement":
I am encouraged and heartened by the sentiments reported in this column. I would really like to visit Europe again someday. But not at present. I think now I would have to look over my shoulder and resort to dodging Muslims. I would also have to watch what I say about immigration. I don't want to be arrested by Germany's and France's and even Britain's "speech police."
The indefatigable Soeren Kern in his January 2017 Gatestone article, "Trump Fires up Europe's Anti-Establishment Movement," lets us in on what the European "anti-establishment" is up to.
Dutch politician Geert Wilders (head of the PVV or Party for Freedom) got together with other leaders of opposition European parties (or "anti-establishment" parties) to exchange information and to map strategies on how to come up on top in the upcoming elections in Germany, France, Italy, and Austria. Although the opposition, aligned especially against the European Union's (EU) sadomasochist immigration policies and its ambivalence toward culture-sapping and rampaging Islam, has been building for some years, this is the first time so many of these leaders have gotten together at a "rally" to address the "forgotten men and women" of Europe on what is possible, what the issues are, and what is at stake, which is nothing less than a wholly Western Europe and not an Islamized one.
Energized by the formidable Wilders and by what is being called here as "The Trump Effect (or by Donald Trump's sweeping anti-establishment victory and the actions he has been taking since taking the oath of office on January 20th), in addition to Brexit, also in attendance at the rally in Koblenz, under the banner of "The Year of Patriots," were Marine Le Pen, head of the French nationalist opposition party, the National Front, since 2011; Frauke Petry, the leader of the Alternative for Germany (AfD); Matteo Salvini, head of the Lego Nord party of Italy; and Harald Vilimsky head of Austria's Freedom Party.
It is hoped that these European anti-establishment activists, if elected as the heads of their own countries, can begin to "drain their own swamps" of unelected EU bureaucrats, conniving, career politicians and political appointees, retired politicians who have turned to lobbying to further their parties' agendas (and their own incomes) for more regulation and for special interests (many EU bureaucrats own substantial interests in their own countries' farms that conform to Brussels' environmental and regulatory diktats), of politicians who do not apply themselves to representing their constituents' interests, and those who are simply moribund in lassitude.
Polls indicate that the political sea change engulfing the United States is fueling support for anti-establishment parties in Europe. In addition to anger over eroding sovereignty, a growing number of Europeans are rebelling against decades of government-imposed multiculturalism, politically correct speech codes and mass migration from the Muslim world.
In Germany, the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party (AfD) has become the third-largest party the country, with support at around 15% percent. The AfD had gained representation in ten of Germany's 16 state parliaments, and the party hopes to win seats in the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) for the first time in national elections set for September 24, 2017.
Europe's establishment parties, far from addressing the concerns of ordinary voters, have tried to silence dissent by branding naysayers as xenophobes, Islamophobes and neo-Nazis.
Enter Trump. If sufficient numbers of European voters are inspired by the political transformation taking place in the United States, the balance of European political power may begin to shift in favor of the anti-establishment parties. European political and media elites will therefore surely view Trump as a threat to the Europe's established political order.
It is not the anti-establishment parties that are worried about Donald Trump. It is the leaders of the entrenched European establishment that suffers from what is loosely called the "Trump Derangement Syndrome," a tenacious malady that drives its victims to various states of madness, hysteria, and certifiable irrationality.
The Democrats and the Left, writes Daniel Greenfield about the Syndrome, believe in their own absolute entitlement to power. Any election that they win is legitimate. Any election that they lose is illegitimate.... Like all dictators, the Democrats believe in democracy only until they lose an election.
The last time a national mental breakdown this severe happened was sixteen years ago when Bush beat Gore. The Democrats reacted gracefully to their defeat by insisting that they didn't really lose because Bush stole the election. Psychiatrists were soon tending to lefties suffering from depression. Others protested outside the Florida Supreme Court, President Bush's home and their parents' basement.
Jesse Jackson accused Republicans of a "coup." Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson warned that "without justice there will be no peace." Thousands protested Bush's inauguration waving signs like, "We want Bush out of D.C." and "You're not our president."
The Congressional Black Caucus tried to obstruct the certification of the Electoral College vote. Then when Bush won again in the next election, they did it all over again. Expect them to try it one more time.
There must be something flawed about how American elections are held and decided, writes Greenfield, about the ubiquitous teeth-grinding reactions of the losers.
#NotOurPresident on Twitter quickly gave way to riots in major cities. Democrats in the affected cities decided that the riots were a great idea even though it was their own police that were being attacked.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City's radical leftist boss, claimed that "more disruption... will change the trajectory of things". Even though the only trajectory that the protests have changed thus far is New York City traffic. "The more people fight back, the more it takes away his power," he insisted.
Wiser heads on the left recognized that messing up Manhattan traffic wouldn't stop Trump from taking office. Instead they decided to abolish the Electoral College. Senator Boxer will introduce a bill to that effect. Bernie Sanders mumbled that it's time to rethink it. Michael Dukakis [a first-class loser from long ago] fired off an angry email insisting that Hillary Clinton had won and that abolishing it should be a top Democratic priority.
Since Hillary lost, the Electoral College is, according to Slate, an "Instrument of White Supremacy-and Sexism". And probably Islamophobic and Homophobic too.
Greenfield is sardonic about the Derangement Syndrome. But he rarely writes tongue in cheek. He's not making anything up. He's simply reporting the craziness, hair-pulling, and head-banging over Trump's victory and the prospect of yammering yahoos having brainstorms that will somehow turn the sands of Mars into caramel syrup.
The outer reaches of Trump Derangement Syndrome include calls to boycott three brands of toilet paper because they're allegedly made by the Koch Brothers. Never mind that the Koch Brothers weren't supporting Trump. Facts, like democracy, only matter when they happen to be on your side.
Then there are the ritual burnings of New Balance sneakers on YouTube and Instagram. Not to mention support for the secession of California from the United States of America.
A man has sued Donald Trump for $1 billion for having inflicted "great emotional pain, fear and anxiety on Election Day and beyond." Students at Cornell held a "cry-in" to mourn the results of the election. The University of Kansas offered students therapy dogs. At the University of Michigan's multi-ethnic student affairs center students took comfort in regressing to childhood with coloring books and Play-Dough.
John Hopkins recommended a healing circle. Stanford University urged students to "take care of yourselves and to give support to those who need it." Vanderbilt encouraged them "to take advantage of the outstanding mental health support the university offers."
At the University of Maryland, an astronomy test was canceled to help students cope with "a personally threatening election result." A Yale economics professor made his test optional because students were "in shock" over losing an election. A dozen midterms were rescheduled at Columbia.
Kern writes that the Trump Derangement Syndrome is a kind of unique American export (as are "safe spaces") that only EU bureaucrats and national politicians and commentators purchase. Some however are trying medication - call it the political pragmatism of realism or doses of cognitive Valium to cure themselves of the Syndrome:
Commentator Hubert Wetzel said that Trump posed a threat to European security and called for European unity to weather the next four years. In an essay laced with hyperbole, he wrote:
"Europeans will have to adapt to a new tone in dealing with America. Trump has made it clear in his speech that he will pursue a nationalist foreign policy, and his speech contained no reference to America's allies. [Trump actually said: 'We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones,' and 'We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world']. His willingness to spend money on the defense of other countries is limited. He does not see the USA as a protective power of democratic values in the world; and he is the first U.S. president since the end of the Second World War who has openly expressed doubts about the value of European unity and the existence of NATO. At a time when Russia is trying to weaken the West by means of diplomatic, intelligence, and military means, it is an attitude that is a serious threat to united Europe."
In Switzerland, Roger Köppel, editor-in-chief of Die Weltwoche, warned against efforts by European elites to belittle Trump. He wrote:
"Trump's election was a healthy shock. The shock was necessary. Not only power cartels, but also worldviews are breaking down. This disruption is fruitful. The taboos of the last few years are now fully on the agenda: illegal immigration, Islam, the nonsense of open borders, the dysfunctional EU, the free movement of people, jobs, law and order. Trump's predecessors did not want to talk about it, but the majority of voters did. This is democracy."
I do not know enough about the mechanics and methods of European politics to be predict with any prescience whether the muscle-flexing anti-establishment parties will fall into the errors of a compromise with the establishments, or fashion tailored tyrannies of their own, or fail miserably in their appeals to a European population that fears freedom and independence from the EU. In Germany, for example, there is a very real possibility that its fed-up citizens may trade a Merkelian totalitarianism for a more populist one. I hope not.
But I hope I have not misplaced my confidence that many Europeans are as rational and proud as Americans have been in the last election here, and that they hear the people singing and decide to throw off their tyranny.
When tomorrow comes: What will it bring to Europe?
Edward Cline is the author of the Sparrowhawk novels set in England and Virginia in the pre-Revolutionary period, of several detective and suspense novels, and three collections of his commentaries and columns, all available on Amazon Books. His essays, book reviews, and other articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Journal of Information Ethics and other publications. He is a frequent contributor to Rule of Reason, Family Security Matters, Capitalism Magazine and other Web publications.