Remembering Pim Fortuyn


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But now he is history.  The years have gone by, one after the other.  His assassination was followed by that of a second Dutch critic of Islam, Theo van Gogh; by what may be fairly described as the forced exile of a third, Ayaan Hirsi Ali; and by the cruel and deplorable prosecution of a fourth, Geert Wilders.  The Netherlands now – well – stumbles along.  Ten years after his death, Sybrand van Haersma Buma, a Christian Democratic politician who was voted into Parliament in that May 2002 election that Fortuyn did not live to see, admitted to NRC Handelsblad that Fortuyn had given a voice to the voiceless, emancipating a whole class of Dutch people who had felt they had no say in their country’s affairs – and that, during the decade since his death, all of the country’s political parties have been trying without successful to figure out what to do.

The answer, of course, is really not all that difficult: face the facts.  Tell the truth.  Take responsibility.  Do what he would have done.  To mark the anniversary of Fortuyn’s murder, De Volkskrant reprinted a February 2002 interview in which Fortuyn spelled out his views of Islam with great candor.  The candor was very Dutch; the lack of regard for multicultural delicacies was not.  “I have traveled a lot in the world,” Fortuyn said.  “And wherever Islam is in charge, it’s just terrible.”  He noted further that thanks to the rise of Islam in the Netherlands, the advances of feminism were being rolled back and that “Turkish and Moroccan boys in the classroom” were driving gay teachers back into the closet.  These were just two examples of the kinds of developments that every alert citizen of the Netherlands had noticed in recent years.  What more did you need to know?  How much more data did you need to collect?

Ten years later, those “Turkish and Moroccan boys” are men.  Other “Turkish and Moroccan boys” are sitting in what used to be their classroom seats (only in much larger numbers).  And the situation Fortuyn deplored has unfolded in pretty much the way he feared.  Geert Wilders, to be sure, has been a gallant, noble successor who has done everything he has been able to do.  But he’s faced a challenge Fortuyn never did.  The Netherlands’ mainstream parties, and the rest of its cultural elite, learned their lesson from their encounter with Fortuyn – that renegade who came so close to yanking the reins out of their hands.  He woke them up.  From that experience, they learned never again to let themselves be surprised by an upstart from out of left field.  They had demonized him as best they could, but after he was gone they became even more ruthless.  They drove Ayaan Hirsi Ali out of the country; they dragged Wilders into court.

For this reason – and, quite simply, because the problems in the Netherlands have grown so much more formidable than they were when Fortuyn was still alive – saving that little country now is a considerably more challenging proposition than it was a decade ago.  (Ditto Europe; ditto North America.)  Without question, the best news for the Netherlands in 2012 is that Wilders is alive and well and full of fight – and it doesn’t hurt, either, that his new book is selling like pannenkoeken in the U.S.  One suggestion: buy it, if you haven’t already.  Give him your support.  Help make it clear to the Dutch people that, despite everything their political and media establishment have done to destroy one after another of the crusaders for freedom that their country has produced, Wilders (whom the bien pensant types in the Netherlands routinely compare to Hitler) is recognized internationally as his country’s – and, perhaps, the West’s – last, best chance.  Maybe – just maybe – this will put a bit more wind beneath Wilders’s wings.  In any case, nothing could be a finer tribute to Pim Fortuyn on the tenth anniversary of his murder.

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  • Chezwick

    A very moving and depressing tribute, though Bruce deftly closed on a hopeful note.

    I just wanted to reflect on one of his rhetorical questions….

    "What direction would race relations in America have taken if Martin Luther King, Jr., had not been cut down?"

    RESPONSE: I personally believe the direction wouldn't have been too different than how it actually unfolded. King was a much more marginalized figure by 1968 compared to his iconic status 4 short years earlier.

    This was attributable mostly to the success of his movement. Though residual racism certainly still existed (and will for as long as man himself does), basic Civil Rights had become a reality for most blacks. By 1966, the Vietnam War had eclipsed race as the main issue gripping the soul of America. King had refused to be drawn into the anti-war movement, thinking it would detract from the Civil Rights struggle (though by '67, he had finally begun to speak openly against the war). Thus, the baton of leadership had passed to more militant black spokesmen.

    Had he not been martyred, it is doubtful that King would ever have achieved his venerated status in the American collective psyche.

    • poppakap

      A thoughtful comment and rational conclusion which I had espoused during a rather raucous debate during my undergraduate years. The blood of a martyr seals the testimony of the deliverer in a way that elevates their perceived importance not possible in natural death or a long life.

  • Brian Donegal

    Pim Fortuyn was a leftwing liberal without a doubt. What set him apart is that he did not possess the suicidal trait of his continent: white liberal guilt. Had he lived and become prime minister he could have saved Holland.

  • Schlomotion

    Two hundred years ago Nordics were obsessed with Turkish and Moroccan boys too, but the Romantic poetry was so much better.

    • reader

      Forget the Nordics, troll. You are obsessed with the Jews and there's nothing poetic about this. Go see a shrink.

  • towelhead

    None of the existing anti-Islamic parties, organizations, and activists (freedom parties, defense leagues, stop Islamization organizations, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Pamela Geller, Lawrence Auster and the rest) propose practicable solution to the explosive growth of Muslim population. There is a new debate forum about this topic. It is posted here: http://templars.forumshome.com/

  • Theo Prinse

    Thanks for this fine article mr. Bruce Bauer.
    Your name will always be remembered by the Dutch Republick … De Verenigde Republiek der Nederlanden
    greetings form the Netherlands !

  • EBDM

    Having lived and worked in the Netherlands for the last 13 years I totally agree with Bruce's description of Pim Fortuyn and and his analysis as to how the Dutch political establishment reactd to his rise.
    However, I do have to disagree with his comparision of Fortuyn with Wilders. Whereas Fortuyn did seem to have an idea of how to solve the problem of countering the subtle Islamisation of Dutch society and the "acceptance" of its excesses under the guise of tolerance (which in fact is nothing but indifference in the Netherlands), Wilders, even though he has his valid points regarding the aforementioned problems of Islam in the Netherlands, does not sem to have a proper programme but reacts in a populist way to every challenge Dutch society faces, for example his "Polenmeldpunt", a website were people can denounce Polish labour migrants when suspected of "stealing" jobs from the local or just genereally seem to be a nuisance; the same people who actually ensure that Dutch products {especially agricultural} can still be sold competetively. Wilders at times seems to be on the verge of pure xenophobia, something Fortuyn never could have been accused of.

    • curmudgeon

      xenophobia. the very favorite word among people who hate their own country. when you hear or see the word xenophobia, you are hearing or reading the words of a traitor. every time. it is a word of pure hate that is used invariably by traitorous haters.

  • PAthena

    On openly homosexual political leaders: the Roman emperors Trajan and Hadrian were openly homosexual. Hadrian even had statues of the boy he loved, Antinous, distributed throughout the Roman empire, and, I think, named a city after him.

  • esperantominoria

    Talking about Islam again,in Muslim civilization there has never been any abolitionist movement,but check this out:

    "The First Declaration of the Aboliton of Black Slavery,in Mexico in 1642,by the Man who Inspired Zorro"
    http://www.antisharia.com/2012/05/09/the-first-de

    AND ALSO

    "One of the Most Sacred Hindu Temples,that of Shiva in Somnath,was Destroyed 6 Times by the Muslims"
    http://www.antisharia.com/2011/06/12/one-of-the-m

    "Article IV about the Enslavement of Christians by Muslims in Literature:French Novelist Lesage and Islam"
    http://www.antisharia.com/2012/03/10/article-iv-a

  • JDC

    I have never been able to get an english translation of his book. Ideas anyone ?

    • Ray Olson

      Dear JDC,

      Is this what you seek?

      Marked for Death: Islam's War Against the West and Me. May 2012. Regnery, $27.95. ISBN: 978-1596987968. The only copyright on the verso of the title page is Mr. Wilders, so either he wrote it in English or translated it himself. (Or, more likely, his assistants did either or both, of he's like other Western politicians.)

  • Georgina

    If you mean Gert Wilders' book, it is now available on Amazon.
    http://www.amazon.com/Marked-Death-Islams-Against

  • Guest

    How many times do we have to see this made up hero true degenerate, Martin Luther King, portrayed as something wonderful what if he had lived? You don't need to ask. You have two of his understudies right here to see daily and ask. Sharp ton and Jackson.