A Setback for Geert Wilders

Last week, even as the Islamic world was erupting in yet another bout of Koran-fueled fury that put the 2006 explosion over the Danish cartoons in the shade, the Dutch electorate, apparently having decided that the clash of civilizations was yesterday’s news, handed Geert Wilders’s Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV) , or Freedom Party – the only one of the Netherlands’s several major parties that is seriously critical of Islam and of the country’s current immigration and integration policies – its first setback ever. While the two top parties received about twenty-five percent of the vote apiece, up about five percent from the last election, the PVV got ten percent, down from fifteen.  It remains the third largest party, but just barely, with fifteen out of 150 seats in the House of Representatives, while the fourth, fifth, and sixth largest parties will have fifteen, thirteen, and twelve seats respectively.

“For the first time since he founded the PVV in 2004,” reported De Volkskrant on Friday, “Geert Wilders lost an election, and substantially so.  How can that be?”  The newspaper Trouw claimed to have the answer: “The Netherlands of 2012 is radically changed….the protest vote for the PVV has disappeared.”

On Saturday, I met Wilders’s right-hand man and fellow Member of Parliament, Martin Bosma (48), at a café in Amsterdam, to discuss the election results.

“Rumors of our death are greatly exaggerated,” he said with a tired grin.  It had been a long week and he hadn’t had much sleep.

Bosma rejected the idea that the election had been a referendum on immigration – in fact, he pointed out, “immigration was not a subject during the campaign.”  The PVV didn’t bring it up, and “if the PVV doesn’t bring up immigration, nobody does.”  This time around, with the Euro in what seem like its death throes, the PVV decided to focus its campaign on the EU.  Should the Dutch should continue to slavishly follow directives from Brussels which, among other things, compel it to cough up 56 billion euros a year to subsidize Greece and other countries?  The PVV said no.

Alas, the Dutch have always been temperamentally conservative, and, as Bosma put it, “leaving the EU feels like an adventure” – a leap into the unknown.  (Of course, the EU itself was an “adventure” that was foisted on them, step by step, without their approval; but now it’s the status quo, and Dutch voters are reluctant to reverse it.)  And so, on Election Day, the PVV took a dive.

Still, Wilders and Bosma are in it for the long haul.  “Ten years from now, everybody will agree with us,” Bosma told me.  “At least about the EU.  About mass immigration, I don’t know.  Maybe they’ll still be in denial.”

This I frankly don’t get.  How can so many Dutchmen, at this late date, still be in denial about the reality of Islamic immigration?  How – especially – can they be in denial about it at a time when violent mobs are attacking Western embassies in one Muslim capital after another?

Bosma shrugged.  “It’s far away,” he said about all the Middle Eastern mayhem.  He gestured toward our fellow customers, most of them elite Amsterdam types sipping lattes.  “Ask anybody here what they think of Islam.  They’ll say that, well, there are rotten apples everywhere.”

“Even after everything that has happened?”

“Yes.  They’re deluding themselves.  They don’t want to face the truth.  Because if you face it, you have to do something about it.”

But how can they not feel any responsibility to keep their country from going down the drain?  Bosma suggested that many Dutch people simply don’t think about their country that way: “The Dutch form of nationalism is internationalism.”  Besides, bending over backwards to accept the unacceptable “proves that we’re good human beings.  And as soon as you start asking questions, you’re a right-wing extremist.”  Still, he insisted, the bloom is at least somewhat off the multicultural rose.  “Multiculturalism has lost its self-confidence and its glory.  People don’t wear it on their sleeve anymore.”

He emphasized, moreover, the well-known fact that when it comes to multiculturalism there’s a big difference between the Dutch elites and the rest of the population.  “Every morning at 8:30,” he said, elite multiculturalists in the Netherlands drop their kids off at the “white schools” in which they’ve enrolled them so as to avoid contact with Muslims – “and then, at 9:00, they’re behind their desks, calling Geert Wilders a racist.”

Bosma recently published a candid and illuminating memoir in which he discusses the modern history of Dutch immigration politics and recounts his own political migration.  Born into a social democratic family, he began as a journalist, working first at a small-town Dutch newspaper and later, in New York, at CNN, ABC, and the New York Times; he also studied sociology at the New School, where he encountered, and found nourishment in, the works of Friedrich Hayek, William F. Buckley, Allan Bloom, and Leo Strauss (none of whom, he points out, was ever discussed at the University of Amsterdam).

After Theo van Gogh was slaughtered by a Dutch-born jihadist in 2004, Bosma quit his high-level executive job in Dutch radio and went to work with Geert Wilders, performing a wide variety of tasks – writing speeches, strategizing, creating a website – for their fledgling anti-immigration party.

Not all Dutchmen reacted to van Gogh’s death in the way Bosma did.  Many ran for cover.  Wilders’s  blunt talk about Islam scared them.  Even some of those who were eager to help Wilders’s cause insisted on doing so anonymously.  “We had to function,” writes Bosma, “as a kind of half-underground resistance organization.”

One irony Bosma notes in his book is that opposition to mass immigration in the Netherlands was once a left-wing – and thus acceptably mainstream – cause.  The first party to explicitly criticize the large-scale admission of Muslims into the country was the leftist DS ’70.  But “what once was accepted as mainstream,” writes Bosma, “would later be seen as extreme.”

Since the nineties, polls have shown consistently that most Dutchmen oppose mass immigration.  Yet during the same period, the political and cultural elite was forming a pro-immigration consensus. Ignoring the will of the people, the ruling parties oversaw a huge influx of Muslims that transformed the country forever.  Wilders’s motive for founding the PVV was to return power to the people.  Yet over the years the people’s very powerlessness had bred a widespread fatalism about immigration.  “Mass immigration has always been treated as weather or climate,” Bosma told me.  “It’s there and we can’t do anything about it.”

Sooner or later, however, something’s got to give.  “Your Ph.D.s leave and your illiterates come in,” he sighed, summing up the Netherlands’ current situation.  “You can’t do that forever.”

On his website, Bosma features a quotation from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead: “I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline….The sky over New York and the will of man made visible.”  Bosma doesn’t include the next few sentences, but they’re worth quoting too, and have a special poignancy in the post-9/11 era: “What other religion do we need? And then people tell me about pilgrimages to some dank pesthole in a jungle where they go to do homage to a crumbling temple, to a leering stone monster with a pot belly, created by some leprous savage. Is it beauty and genius they want to see? Do they seek a sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window – no, I don’t feel how small I am – but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body.”

Reading these words from Ayn Rand, I find myself wondering for the thousandth time: why don’t the Dutch feel this way about the Netherlands?  No other country I know, after all, is a more magnificent example of the will of man made visible.  Much of it was reclaimed from the sea, and protected from it for centuries thereafter, through the use of technology that even today remains awe-inspiring in its ingenuity.  Amsterdam, this glorious jewel, used to be nothing but swamp.  To travel around the Netherlands is to marvel at the pristine beauty of its cities and villages; to read its history is to be stirred by its longtime role as a beacon of freedom, a refuge for people whose religious beliefs or lack thereof made them anathema in their own lands.  In short, it’s a country whose people, one would imagine, would feel a deep obligation to protect and preserve for their posterity this extraordinary inheritance that their forebears worked so diligently and brilliantly to create.  It’s a mystery to me, and a cause for lamentation, that so many of them don’t feel this way.

Yet – well – at least ten percent of them do.  That’s something.  And Geert Wilders and Martin Bosma are hanging in there – persevering valiantly, in the face of non-stop vilification and demonization at home and abroad, in their effort to keep this small land free.

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  • crackerjack

    Wilders topples the VVD / CDA goverment with the promise of securing opulent, Greece style socialist benefits for pensioners and white-collar-workers without a hint of how or when the Netherlands can foot the bill.

    At the same time, Wilders ran a rampage against East European immingrants and hopped on the anti-circumcision and anti-koscher slaughter bandwagon.

    Wilders has proven himself as a risk to any coalition in the Netherlands and going by the laws of politics, his days of active influence have ended as soon as they began. A good agitator is not necessarily a good politician.

    • Viet Vet

      The problem is that most of the 'free' world including the left in the U.S., displays cowardice in the face of Islamic extremism.

      • crackerjack

        Cowardice? don't you follow the news?
        US troops in Bagdad. German troops in Kabul. Dutch troops in Kirkuk. Swedish troops in Basra. British Royal Navy of Hormus. French Foreign Legion in Hamant.
        All cowards?

        But back to Wilders. Geert is a one-trick pony and his trick is islamization. But folks are beginning to realise that Islam is not capable of defending its own territory, let alone conquer the West. The very idea is absurd and not worth serious discussion.

        • Kufar Dawg

          I'd describe you as one of the below:

          i. dumb as a box of rocks

          ii. as ignorant as any cave-dwelling Al Qaida troglodtye

          iii. lying through your teeth.

          • EUSSR

            yes he/she is, all of them. I am Dutch. Wilders was a scapegoat and given the blame for the collapse of the previous government and for everything under the sun.This lying propaganda worked. The Queen hates Wilders but her powers have been restricted in forming the coalition since the last election, so she and her cronies needed bad press about Wilders.Obvious once you delve deeper here into politics, which I never did years ago so was just as ignorant as many back then.The info. is out there though.

  • Love Freedom

    …"This I frankly don’t get. …How – especially – can they be in denial about it at a time when violent mobs are attacking Western embassies in one Muslim capital after another? …. “Ask anybody here what they think of Islam. They’ll say that, well, there are rotten apples everywhere.” “Even after everything that has happened?”

    “Yes. They’re deluding themselves. They don’t want to face the truth. Because if you face it, you have to do something about it.”…. (boyz, ain't that the truth!)

    Right now it's exactly like in the early 1930's when England and France could have rather easily stopped Hitler's rise to power and thereby prevent the deaths of 40+ million people–but they didn't have the will to do so. We all know that islam is an obvious, growing threat to Freedom—and Western govt's are doing NOTHING to neutralize it (due to multi-culti worship, elitist arrogance, willful blindness).

  • Love Freedom

    (cont) What "something" CAN we do about it?

    1.) Continue–and re-double–our efforts to educate, inform, and warn our fellow citizens about the existential threat that Islam is.

    2.) Promote voter initiatives and laws that clearly codify that only American Law will be enforced in the USA. NO shariah law in America!

    3.) As Congresswomen Sue Myrick (R-NC) proposed several years ago, anyone entering America or being sworn into precious American citizenship will sign a legal statement to NOT promote shariah law in America. If proven they violate it, they're kicked out.

    We need a united, coordinated effort to legally do—what else? What else can be done legally to stop the islamification of America and Europe? ("nuking mecca" is not a solution right now) We need to act NOW, will there's still time.

  • Chezwick

    BRUCE: "How can so many Dutchmen, at this late date, still be in denial about the reality of Islamic immigration?"

    When the MSM blacks out the issue as conscientiously and comprehensively as has occurred, an electorate with a short attention span – not unique to Holland – will inevitably look to other issues. Shame on the PVV for abandoning its bread-and-butter issue.

    But it's not JUST the attention span….it is the fickleness and self-centeredness of the electorate that gives one the sad impression that democracy is not long for the world.
    For example, in America, considering our crushing debt problems, the electorate should be punishing in the polls any party that advocates new spending programs. But not so. The Dems are touting new education initiatives, Obamacare, etc., and it's helping, not hurting them, in the polls.

    I have been a life-long champion of Democracy, but as the Western world descends into a self-imposed insolvency due to the prerogatives of selfish electorates and corrupt politicians ('future generations be damned'), I've begun to entertain the possibility that I've been wrong all these years….that a non-democratic technocracy may end up being the most viable form of government.

    God willing, a Romney victory could restore my faith in the entire enterprise.

    • http://twitter.com/AnneKavkaz @AnneKavkaz

      I think you're right. I'm a Canadian, where the economy is not so bad, but the impression I get from reading comments in the New York Times is that people do not want to give up entitlements, in fact, they want more! Even if this is not going to be affordable in the long run.

  • http://twitter.com/AnneKavkaz @AnneKavkaz

    I understood that Wilders was backing an exit from the Eurozone. I think people are afraid of that. Whether or not it was pushed through by the elites or not, it is now the status quo and people are afraid to change, for fear the Eurozone crisis will get even worse. This election may have been more about that.

  • Silverfinger

    The Dutch are Europe's tallest people but midgets in the fight against the desert monkeys. My apologies to monkeys.

    • herbert

      Let me join you with your apologia to monkeys and the animal kingdom as well. Animals don't act or behave like muslims do.
      And since we are just after their 9/11 barbarism, here is the answer for all those hurt feelings of muslims:
      The Koran is full with INSULTS !!!
      Muslims are ordered by the Koran to deceive, degraded, subdue, slave, rape, rob, mutilate, kill, etc… all of us no-Muslims, unless we comply to their stone-age “morals”… and we are called: PIGS and MONKEYS !
      These orders BY THE KORAN AGAINST ALL OF US NON-MUSLIMS ARE MORE THAN INSULTS.
      Much more !!!
      ISLAM OWE US TONS OF APOLOGIES… INDEED!

  • jemaasjr

    One of the core problems the Western world has is that it is being sold out by its own intellectual elite. That added to the usual, historic problems is what is bringing us down.

  • https://www.facebook.com/theo.prinse Theo Prinse

    I am Dutch and in my town we voted 20 seats for the PVV and in Spijkenisse under the smoke of Rotterdam for 30 !!!

    The Dutch voters were massively deceived in 2 weeks up to election day on September 12 by the monopolized public (NOS & RTL) media controlled by the social-democratic party (Labour Party PvdA) politicians under the lead of Greenpeace Diederik Samsom (PvdA) and to some extend Ike Teuling Socialist Party (former greenpeace) and Liesbeth van Tongeren GreenParty (frm Greenpeace)

    Greenpeace International has huge capital funds of manny hundreds of millions and has a huge international political power base with Al Gore and George Soros and thus had a strong hand in deceiving the Dutch voters …

    2. Through daily AVRO TROS television presentation of two forged statistical histograms of a weighed huge block undecided voters an alleged 'race' between the liberal VVD and socialist PvdA was presented to the people in the Netherlands.

    This daily heavily distorted weighed undecided voter poll was run by the partisan AVRO TROS Eenvandaagpeiling (Gijs Rademaker) who used this faked representation of the electorate to DELIBERATELY confuse the Dutch voter in his or her actual voting towards a trend of strategic voting for their alleged liberal VVD or socialist PvdA …

    3. The socalist VARA, NOS NTR as well as the liberal AVRO TROS and to some degree RTL television programs had contineously confused most candidates invited in their studio's by confusing them as well to have in some cases 4 anchor man in one interview in a rocket staged fashion comment first before asking the politicians opinion …

    4. The socialist Labour Party also had influenced the socalled 'outcome' of the debates with groups of politicians over the weeks through TWITTER ATTACK messages into the live debate programs adressed to the(ir) Anchor Man's SECOND SCREEN during LIVE TV Debates.

    CAUTION!: This TWITTER INTERNET ATTACK and political smear campaign against the Dutch Freedom Party PVV was also participated by explicitly PVV hostile foreign governments such as that of Foreign Minister Gull and President Erdogan of Turkey, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia and circles around the wife of the President of Jordan Rania Al-Yassin and many other Islamic governments with their Secret Services

    5. The anti-PVV media smear campaign by TROS Sven Kockelmann and JSF Stork Fokker Sjoerd Vollebregt was also supported by social-democratic pro European cliques in most Member States of the European Union such as that of Martin Schulz of the European Parliament for the Social Democratic Party of Germany …

    6. A few days after the forged elections Maurice de Hond now polled the party of Diederik Samsom (Labour Party) only has 26 instead of 38 seats !!! A drop of 12 seats in 3 days !!! Mr. Emile Roemer of the Socialist Party – who was sky rocketed in 4 weeks from 24 to 38 and then back to 15 seats – wants a debate in Dutch Parliament on these polls during election time !! Lawyer Bram Moszkowicz also has asked RTL4 media anchor man Albert Verlinde to inquire for the total costs of all these extreme partisan polls …

    • Eva

      Excellently written. Thank you, Theo.

    • Radegunda

      Thank you for providing the inside scoop. The intrusion of Erdogan et al. is particularly disturbing. Islamic countries are certainly eager to export their citizens to the formerly free world, aren't they?

  • LAL

    The reason the Dutch don't get it is that most practicing Christians among them have emigrated to the US and
    Canada. They are very different breed than those they left behind in the Netherlands.

    • Eva

      Very true, LAL. The same holds true for other European nations. Greeks residing in the US (for example) are way different than their counterparts in Greece, who feel that they are entitled to retire at the age of 41 with 95% of their pay. It is for that precise reason Europeans with the desire to succeed emigrate to the US, and a lot of them DO become quite successful.

    • EUSSR

      Indeed true many Dutch emigrate about 100.000 per year if I am correct. I am not sure they are all Christians though .What we do know according to statistics, those emigating are mostly young single graduates and middle class families with teenagers.I doubt few others , Christians or otherwise could afford to emigrate plus the fact it is becoming increasingly difficult to emigrate out of Europe due to many rising restrictions from the countries of entry. Muslims of course have no problem entering i.e. Australasia , the US and Canada seemingly.

  • Jossi

    About mohammedan immigration (anywhere) which is abhorrent, and in this case in Holland, where the open talk is leaving the Euro, I would refer to what A. Schopenhauer said: "All truth pass through 3 stages: 1. It's ridiculed – 2. It's violently opposed and 3. It's accepted as being self-evident".
    And make no mistake, by the time it is self-evident, too many mohammedans in Holland (Europe generally) and the collapse of the Euro, only 2 possibilities will exist consequently: Or an internal European explosion, or submitting to a German master. As I know the Europeans, they'll submit having a master, liberty and freedom are concepts that continental European countries definitively lost in 1945. Painfully, I note, the Europeans didn't move a finger against Nazi-Germany, (worse, some govt sided with the enemy) until the British and the Americans intervened. The European Union and the Euro were decided by the elite from above and introduced as a fait accompli without asking the people, and when asked their referendum, (where held) was royally disregarded.

  • chowching259

    Protests are expected in desert kingdoms when the new cigarette named PEDOPHILE hits the stores. It will show a logo of Muhammad on the packaging. No Muslim will smoke it, but it will be purchased by millions of Islamophobes. The brand and its logo are being sold to beer and clothing makers, a football team is negotiating for the right to use the name.

  • Laura Latini

    Wilders was the first to throw his own themes under the bus. As his assistant admits, he said nothing against immigration and little against Islam. Instead, he was stupid enough to imagine that an anti-European vote existed in a country that only exists because it is at the core of European trade networks. He not only bet on the wrong horse, he showed that he does not understand his countrymen. Also, he managed to look fickle – dropping his main theme for a faddish new one – and easily changeable, and so even the idea that he was a man of conviction who would stand by unpopular ideas went by the board.

  • Reggie

    He is a lunatic. Start with the muslims but don't forget the jews too. They're a dirty desert tribe as ruthless as the muslims if not more so. Just as sneaky, just as violent, just as subversive, just as ugly.

    • SpiritOf1683

      It seems that Jewish-invented vaccines and medicines were wasted on a Jew-hating sub-ape oxygen thief like yourself.

      • Reggie

        It seems that you are not being fair on the issue. As soon as Americans are done hating the muslims they will turn just as fast on the jews and kick them out of the country. Don't believe me? Just wait. You can fight the muslims but at the same time fight the jews. They are blood thirsty and have hundreds of nuclear weapons threatening to erase the entire globe!

  • Ghostwriter

    Reggie,by any chance are you pals with Schlomotion? I see his familiar,Jew-hating rhetoric so there is a possibly of that.

  • johan

    Give or take a few years but I guarantee our grand and great grandchildren will fight a war against ialam. I was born in this shamefull country of the Netherlands. A long time before the Hitler years , Germany called the Dutch dumb Hollander. They will never understand what they are losing and I say they are losing their country and losing their identity. Wilders must be supported by all Dutchmen if they want their country back because I might as well say they have lost the country. A religious jihad is in the making.

  • Bobo

    it seems to me there are enough Americans right now. Why have any immigration at all?

  • Jim

    Christian Democrats black out information in ways even George Orwell did not think of.

    Their power exists because they own the megaphone .

  • Indioviejo

    We have the same problem with our population ignoring the Islamic threat. Our school books and our Universities are involved in the brainwashing of our youth into accepting Islam as the Religion of Peace in spite of it's historical record. Nobody studies history.

  • Anamah

    If in the Nederlands people have the news with the same degree of cheaters we have in the mainstream media their fate is sealed as ours is…the future is sinking in front of our eyes.

  • johan

    When the Dutch heard of the mosque the muslims want to build at ground zero immediately the Dutch sent them a million euro's. Many groups of Americans stand behind Wilders and keep the money flowing to the PVV.