Here’s one reason to hold out some hope for 2019. On January 9 — while the British political class continued to bungle Brexit, French officials kept battling the gilets jaunes, and leaders across Europe persisted in waving the EU flag and waving in armies of Muslim immigrants — Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini went to Warsaw and, at a press conference with Polish Interior Minister Joachim Brudziński, envisioned Italy and Poland as ushering in a new “European spring” to challenge the primacy of the “Germany-France axis.”
The Guardian spelled out to readers just how they should feel about this “European spring.” Identifying Salvini — in the first two sentences of its article, mind you — as a “far-right interior minister” who seeks “far-right alliances” and leads “the far-right League” (later in the piece, Marine Le Pen, too, was labeled “far-right”), Guardian scribe Angela Giuffrida was quick to add that Salvini’s party and Brudziński’s “share similar anti-immigration, anti-Muslim and Eurosceptic views.”
It would be fairer, of course, to say “anti-Islam” here rather than “anti-Muslim,” and to describe Salvini and Brudziński not as “anti-immigration” but, rather, as opposed to suicidal immigration policies that have flooded much of Western Europe not with potential Nobel Prize winners but with likely rapists, Jew-beaters, gay-bashers, and lifelong welfare recipients, not to mention more than a few would-be jihadists and cheerleaders of terror.
Salvini further declared that if Europe follows along the path charted by himself and Brudziński, which involves “strengthening borders,” it might well experience a “renaissance of European values” and reverse the severe damage done to the continent by bureaucrats in Brussels and in the various national capitals. To any American, needless to say, this rhetoric will sound very familiar. And indeed, the fact is that while the Western European political class and its allies love to sneer at Donald Trump, millions of ordinary citizens across the continent wish dearly that they had a Trump of their own.
Only last week, for example, a caller to Nigel Farage’s radio show in Britain expressed the desire that Trump, and not Theresa May, had negotiated Britain’s exit deal with the EU. Farage shared her sentiments. Then there’s the up-and-coming Dutch political leader Lennard van Mil, known in his country as a “gayservative” (short for “gay conservative”), who can be seen in many photographs online wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap.
Trump’s allure is potent even in Scandinavia. In November 2016, on the day before the election in the U.S., the Norwegian alternative-news website Document.no ran a piece by Magne Reigstad headlined “Why We Need a Trump.” Reigstad spelled out the reasons. America isn’t the only Western country in which too much power accrues to self-seeking bureaucrats and lobbyists who don’t give a damn what ordinary citizens think or want or need. America’s not alone in being run by politicians who, preoccupied with short-term personal gains and political prospects at the expense of the long-term national interest, pursue disastrous policies that threaten to bring down Western civilization. And America isn’t the only country whose mainstream news media spread “fake news” about all the above, whitewashing dangerous alien cultures while showing insufficient concern for our own.
“We have to fight to preserve this culture,” asserted Reigstad. “Therefore the West needs a real leader, a non-politician in the Trump mold.”
You can see similar sentiments expressed in the comments sections of news sites all over Europe (at least those that haven’t already shuttered their comments sections). And it’s not just Europe. As has been pretty widely reported in the U.S., many supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, the new president of Brazil, have said that they voted for him because “we need a Brazilian Trump.” (Which, of course, makes Bolsonaro a “far-right” figure in the eyes of the mainstream American media.) I’ve seen comments by readers of newspapers in Mexico, Peru, Australia, and a number of other countries who also long for a Trump of their own.
Elections for the European Parliament are scheduled for May. Afterwards, said Salvini during his Warsaw visit, Poland and Italy will seek to encourage other EU members to sign onto a “joint action plan” aimed at reducing bureaucracy, adding jobs, increasing national security, and re-emphasizing Europe’s “Christian roots.” The EU has, of course, systematically denied these roots while exaggerating out of all proportion the benign historical influence of Islam on European culture and sidestepping the fact that Europe has, in fact, spent fourteen centuries fighting off efforts at violent jihadist conquest.
Is it possible that this Rome-Warsaw entente might really make a difference — that it might help rescue Western Europe from the dark future toward which the Berlin and Paris poobahs are steering it? Well, to quote the immortal Justin Bieber, “Never say never.” The Brexit vote helped shift the American ground, if only a bit, toward Trump. In turn, the daily reality of Trump is, despite the best efforts of the worldwide media, empowering those in Europe who are standing up for patriotic values and against Islamization.
And so it goes. Voters in Britain, the Netherlands, and elsewhere have been frustratingly loath to support non-establishment parties, but one would imagine that the Italians’ election of a government that actually heeds their wishes and that gives the bird to Brussels makes the once-unthinkable idea of voting for Anne-Marie Waters or Thierry Baudet, say, seem very attractive. And as this kind of sane self-interest gradually comes to feel like the norm in Western Europe, citizens will increasingly recognize the sheer folly of being in thrall to a treacherous elite that doesn’t give two hoots about them.
Or so, at least, we can hope, as we ease into a new year in which nothing in Europe seems certain except for the prospect of volatile change.