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Extreme? Pim Fortuyn was not who they say he was.
National Review Online ^ | May 9, 2002 | Rod Dreher

Posted on 05/09/2002 7:09:17 AM PDT by xsysmgr

Associated Press: "In the first assassination in modern Dutch history, a gunman fatally shot far-right leader Pim Fortuyn on Monday..."

Agence France-Presse: "Dutch far-right leader Pim Fortuyn was shot dead today..."

BBC:"The killing of Dutch far-right politician Pim Fortuyn, only days before the country's general election, has stunned the European political world."

Supporters of murdered Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn have long been accusing the media and the Dutch political establishment of character assassination for their exiling the maverick libertarian to the racist fringe. Placing Fortuyn on the "far right" or "extreme right" was a ridiculous smear, entirely typical of the Left (one is reminded of the abuse Rudolph Giuliani, another common-sense reformist, routinely endured from the Left in New York City during all but the last few months of his mayoralty). But it was effective.

How "extreme" was Fortuyn, really? Read his platform for yourself. But if you don't have the time or the patience to parse the slightly wonky verbiage, here it is in plain English. Does this sound like neo-Hitlerism to you?

Europe is a bureaucracy that barely interests its citizens, let alone inspires them. The Dutch ruling coalition has meant high crime rates and massive problems with the healthcare and education systems. Its twin policies of generous immigration and tolerance of extreme multiculturalism are dividing the country. The country can't absorb all these newcomers, and the government gives them no incentive to assimilate and become a part of Dutch society. This has to stop.

1. Health: The healthcare system is overregulated, and people have to wait absurdly long for treatment, even for life-threatening illnesses. The heavy hand of the state must be lifted, and market-based reforms must be introduced.

2. Education: Teachers must be paid a market salary, and the education system should be deregulated to get rid of the excessive red tape discouraging educational experimentation and freedom of choice for teachers. Smaller schools are preferable, and each child must be within cycling distance of a primary school.

3. Social affairs: The abuse of the disability-claims system is costing too much, and must end. [Note: One out of seven Dutch workers is on full disability] Workers can only get disability benefits if they are injured on the job. Private insurance should cover other situations.

4. Public order and safety: Cops need to leave their desks and get out onto the streets. Disorder in public places must not be tolerated. Authorities must cease prosecuting citizens who defend themselves, and redouble their efforts to punish criminals. Control of the police should devolve to local officials, and chief constables should be replaced if they don't deliver results. If we have to build more prisons, fine. To beef up security forces, the military police will be given the same powers as the standard police.

5. Finances: The Dutch pay unnecessary taxes [Note: The top personal-income-tax rate in Holland is 60 percent; the average Dutch worker pays 50 percent of his income in tax.], and there must be a thorough accounting for tax policy at all levels. Some taxes, such as the capital-gains tax, cannot be justified. If it cannot be explained why the tax is charged, and it is not clear what is done with the tax collected, then eliminating it should be considered.

6. Emancipation and integration: Dutch society can't function with large groups of people from countries that did not experience centuries of Judeo-Christian-humanist developments, as Europe has had for centuries. [Note: He's talking mostly about immigrants from Islamic nations.] We've got to do something about it. The government should redouble its efforts on housing, schools, and cultural education for these groups, but it should also require these groups to make maximum effort themselves. Cultural developments which are diametrically opposed to Dutch values — such as arranged marriages, revenge killings, and female circumcision — must be fought. Discrimination against women in fundamentalist Islamic circles is unacceptable. In a democratic society like ours, all citizens have the same rights and obligations. Our hard-fought freedoms are worth protecting against increasing fundamentalism.

7. Immigration: Holland is not an immigrant country. We have one of the densest populations in the world. [Note: 16 million people in a place roughly the size of Rhode Island] We have to get our own society in order before we can accept more immigrants. Bringing in more poorly educated people with no income is a burden we can no longer bear.

8. Mobility and spatial planning: The government must stop spending money on prestige transportation projects, and instead improve local transport. Get tough on crime and vandalism in public transport to encourage people to use it more. End crime and restore social order in the cities, and people will quit leaving for the suburbs.

9. Culture: Subsidizing cultural development should take place only with the greatest of restraint. This will have to be based on the profit principle, with the primary focus on scholarship.

10. Defense: Reduce Dutch participation in NATO peacekeeping operations. Emphasize dialogue as well as military operations in the war on terrorism. Restructure the armed forces to eliminate bureaucratic overlap.

11. Agriculture: Deregulate Dutch agriculture to free up farmers to be more competitive in the marketplace. End onerous regulations in the areas of food safety, animal welfare, and the environment.

12. Domestic government: Citizens should take more responsibility for running their own lives. As a general principle, local control is preferable to centralized bureaucracy, which has proven that it's not responsive to the needs of the average citizen.

13. Europe: The EU is a good thing, but Holland should retain its own identity and, where possible, sovereignty. New member states will only be permitted to join after the Dutch people have been given their say in a politically binding referendum on the matter. This will keep politicians accountable to the voters for EU decisions.

That's it. That's the political platform of Pim Fortuyn. If mild free-market libertarianism like this is "far right," what on earth do we call true fascists? Of course, what accounted for Fortuyn's "extreme right" reputation was not his tax or agricultural policies, but his views on immigration and acculturation, which were easily caricatured by malicious opponents.

For example, Fortuyn, who was openly gay and a self-confessed libertine, came out in favor of repealing Article 1 of the Dutch constitution, which forbids the government and individuals from discriminating on "religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex, or on any other grounds whatsoever." That makes him a racist, sexist, anti-religious bigot, right?

Wrong. He was a civil libertarian who believed in free speech. As written, this constitutional clause potentially forbids frank and open discussion of the crime problem in Holland, which is largely one of predominantly Arab youth gangs. As NRO's Dave Kopel has observed, "In other words, Fortuyn [was] proposing that free speech protection in Holland be expanded to the levels of the American First Amendment."

About those youth gangs. Did you know that swimming pools, libraries, and other public places across Holland have been closed by police because of harassment and trouble caused by these young men, chiefly from Turkey, Morocco, and Tunisia, who are often armed? The police there find it easier to shut down the facilities than face the politically correct uproar that would ensue if they enforced the law.

Years of tolerating this abuse has produced a nation of voters like this Dutch woman wrote to NRO yesterday, relating common Dutch experiences and views:

Everybody in Holland has had culture-clash experiences such as these. I can honestly say, that I know of no one in my circle of friends who is racist. But every single person I know gets their prejudices and stereotypes justified just about every day when confronted with such situations; they just do not assimilate.

Here we are, conservative, normal, sober, Dutch people, quietly living our lives, proudly earning our money, keeping up with the Jones's but certainly not standing out from the rest, and gladly paying our taxes for the better good. And while bicycling to our work, we see the "foreign" youth, hanging out on the street, skipping school, up to no good, and we avoid them for our own safety.

We see "foreign" adults and elderly, hanging out on park benches, doing nothing, shooting the breeze, all day! And we say nothing, for the neighbors might think us intolerant and critical. And we bicycle off to our eight-hour workday, so we get our paycheck and can pay our bills and taxes. And they close our pools because we might not be safe there, and our police don't dare to deal with them, and they live off of the state (our collective money), never making much of themselves or putting in their two cents' worth — and some never being able to speak Dutch, while the Dutch government offers free (long-term) Dutch lessons for all immigrants to help assimilate.

And Pim Fortuyn is said to be a racist because he talks about this in public? This is why the Dutch are awaiting these elections with much anticipation. How are the government elite going to deal with the things Fortuyn finally said out loud?

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: pimfortuyn
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1 posted on 05/09/2002 7:09:17 AM PDT by xsysmgr
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To: xsysmgr
Nice piece. Bump.
2 posted on 05/09/2002 7:13:55 AM PDT by July 4th
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To: xsysmgr
i>Bringing in more poorly educated people with no income is a burden we can no longer bear.

This is the truth for USA as well. Immigration should be limited to need. If we need programmers then all immigrants must be programmers..ect.....

3 posted on 05/09/2002 7:19:28 AM PDT by alisasny
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To: xsysmgr
Thanks for the article. Whenever the mainstream media labels people as "Far Right," I assume they're moderate until proven otherwise.
4 posted on 05/09/2002 7:37:58 AM PDT by VoiceOfBruck
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To: balkans
5 posted on 05/09/2002 7:59:09 AM PDT by DTA
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To: xsysmgr
Fortuyn's death is forcing people to take an honest look at what he really stood for, and at the demonization at the hands of the Left. Right-wing parties will sweep the elections there.
6 posted on 05/09/2002 7:59:15 AM PDT by xm177e2
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To: xsysmgr
I love how Reuters and AP won't use the word "terrorists" to describe people who fly planes into buildings on the grounds that it is too subjective an appellation, but have no problem using a meaningless term like "right wing" that is used to describe everyone from Adolf Hitler to Alan Keyes.
7 posted on 05/09/2002 8:06:45 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: xsysmgr
Postwar European politics, when Socialist or Social Democrats weren't in power, were dominated by Christian Democrats who embraced the welfare state and sought to fuse left and right in a union against Communism. As for the the older "bourgeois" liberal parties, even in cases when they retained something of their free market roots they still left middle-class or traditional moralism far behind behind them. So reform of the welfare state, immigration procedures and social policy gets left up to outsiders who are labeled "extreme right."

One sees the same dynamic in Canada and in some states of the US. It's certainly curious that the sort of liberals who would most readily cite J.S. Mill would be so quick to support the suppression of dissenting ideas, something that he deplored. It may have something to do with the fact that people who become liberals -- and indeed people who become politically active for any cause -- have a stronger sense of their own virtue and its importance and greater desire to change the world, than to dispassionately and disinterestedly consider ideas which go against their own.

8 posted on 05/09/2002 9:25:44 AM PDT by x
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To: knighthawk; shermy
Pim Fortuyn thread.
9 posted on 05/09/2002 1:45:08 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: xsysmgr
"Fortuyn, an extreme hard right ultra Nazi conservative anti immigrant politician was killed by a concerned voter..."
The sheople are waking up. The media are one of the wolves in the pasture.
10 posted on 05/09/2002 2:02:26 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: xsysmgr
Nice compilation of his views.
He sounds more like an ideal American than anything else (racist, nazi etc) and I would probably have voted for him.
Actually, I think our country would be the better to have more politicians of this stripe and honesty.
11 posted on 05/09/2002 2:30:57 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: aristeides
This is the best one, ty.
12 posted on 05/09/2002 5:00:42 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: skeeter; Shermy; Yehuda; Billthedrill; bjcintennessee; nmh; 4Freedom; Phillip Augustus...

1948 - 2002

13 posted on 05/09/2002 5:06:26 PM PDT by knighthawk
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To: xsysmgr
Oh sure: That Fortuyn guy was a regular Adolf Hitler.

The media goaded a nut to slay Pim Fortuyn with their constant assault on him.

The news-gatherers even control who dies now, instead of just how they live.

14 posted on 05/09/2002 5:29:41 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid
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To: VoiceOfBruck
Whenever the mainstream media labels people as "Far Right," I assume they're moderate until proven otherwise.

Excellent-rule-of-thumb bump.

15 posted on 05/09/2002 5:33:48 PM PDT by general_re
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: knighthawk
If mild free-market libertarianism like this is "far right...

I consider myself conservative, but I have no problem with Pim's positions- looks like common sense to me. It is certainly not extremist by any stretch of the imagination.

Personally, I've always followed Ronald Reagan's dictum,

"If he's with you 80% of the time, he's not your enemy..."

And I have always believed that you can support a man you do not always agree with- but you can't support a man whose word you can't trust.

Being from the South, I have, in years past, voted for Democrats who were more conservative than so-called "moderate" Republicans- my criteria for support were "Does he strongly support the First & Second Amendments, and understand the vital importance of the other eight?" "And understand the need for a strong military?"

I always figured if we kept America free, sovereign, and strong, we could argue the details of the other stuff- like abortion and drug laws- later. First things first.

17 posted on 05/09/2002 5:44:57 PM PDT by backhoe
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To: xsysmgr
Mr. Fortnyn was no fascist, but, sadly, no conservative either. Here is better article on Fortyn than the one starting this thread:

How the West was lost

18 posted on 05/09/2002 5:45:03 PM PDT by Steve Eisenberg
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To: knighthawk
Thanks for the heads-up, Knighthawk.
19 posted on 05/09/2002 6:44:10 PM PDT by 4Freedom
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To: xsysmgr
The hypocritical left loves to tell people "The world is not black and white", yet they are the ones who live in a black and white world. If one does not follow their stance on an issue, then that person is labled as a member of the extreme right....
20 posted on 05/09/2002 7:09:19 PM PDT by LRS
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