Tuesday, June 09, 2009

EU: The People Are Not Going Obama's Way

The paradox of the European Parliament is that as its power has grown, the public's interest in its activities has declined. Each election has brought lower voter turnout than the one before. Even more brutal than this year's turnout: Many of parliament's new members don't believe that the body in which they sit should be allowed to exist...Take the colorful Geert Wilders, whose anti-Islamic-immigrant party shot up to second place in the Netherlands with 17% of the vote after the Christian Democrats, who won 19.9%. He ran on a manifesto that included a pledge to abolish the European Parliament. In the United Kingdom, the two biggest parties were the Conservative Party (committed to abolishing the Lisbon Treaty) and the Independence Party (committed to getting Britain out of the EU). The British National Party picked up two seats with its pledge to "end the blood-sucking scam" of the EU...In Austria, the xenophobic Freedom Party got 13% of the vote with a call to remove the EU from Austria's affairs. A party set up to protest against the abuses of the European Parliament managed to pick up 17.9% of the vote. Anti-European populists also picked up significant support in Hungary, Denmark, Slovakia and Finland....Europe's Self-Hating Parliamentarians, Mark Leonard, Wall Street Journal, 6/9/2009

You know how it goes. An arbitrary, bureaucratic decision is made, with the claim that the people can't be trusted, that only the good matters. Indeed, the more haughty and remote these anti-democratic elites become, the more fervent the democratic opposition becomes. Elites never acknowledge the obvious, that politics is, by and large, local. If our neighborhood is being burned by a band of radicals who've moved here from another country, who gives a damn about high and mighty notions of fairness, equal treatment, and justice? The ashes belong to us. And we have, as a human right, the urge to restore, secure, and save the places we live, and the people we care about. Elites never get this point. That's why the monarchies disappeared, and that's why bureaucratic dictatorships, like the one in Brussels, or the one forming in Washington, don't represent a plausible future, but a delusion upheld by a contempt for ordinary events and ordinary citizens.


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