Monday, July 04, 2016
On America's Independence Day, the push for independence in countries on the other side of the Atlantic is to be admired and applauded
After Brexit, the People’s Spring Is Inevitable
A cogent essay below by the popular Marine Le Pen, president of the National Front party in France, a party critical of immigration and the EU
IF there’s one thing that chafes French pride, it’s seeing the British steal the limelight. But in the face of real courage, even the proudest French person can only tip his hat and bow. The decision that the people of Britain have just made was indeed an act of courage — the courage of a people who embrace their freedom.
Brexit won out, defeating all forecasts. Britain decided to cast off from the European Union and reclaim its independence among the world’s nations. It had been said that the election would hinge solely on economic matters; the British, however, were more insightful in understanding the real issue than commentators like to admit.
British voters understood that behind prognostications about the pound’s exchange rate and behind the debates of financial experts, only one question, at once simple and fundamental, was being asked: Do we want an undemocratic authority ruling our lives, or would we rather regain control over our destiny? Brexit is, above all, a political issue. It’s about the free choice of a people deciding to govern itself. Even when it is touted by all the propaganda in the world, a cage remains a cage, and a cage is unbearable to a human being in love with freedom.
The European Union has become a prison of peoples. Each of the 28 countries that constitute it has slowly lost its democratic prerogatives to commissions and councils with no popular mandate. Every nation in the union has had to apply laws it did not want for itself. Member nations no longer determine their own budgets. They are called upon to open their borders against their will.
Countries in the eurozone face an even less enviable situation. In the name of ideology, different economies are forced to adopt the same currency, even if doing so bleeds them dry. It’s a modern version of the Procrustean bed, and the people no longer have a say.
And what about the European Parliament? It’s democratic in appearance only, because it’s based on a lie: the pretense that there is a homogeneous European people, and that a Polish member of the European Parliament has the legitimacy to make law for the Spanish. We have tried to deny the existence of sovereign nations. It’s only natural that they would not allow being denied.
Brexit wasn’t the European people’s first cry of revolt. In 2005, France and the Netherlands held referendums about the proposed European Union constitution. In both countries, opposition was massive, and other governments decided on the spot to halt the experiment for fear the contagion might spread. A few years later, the European Union constitution was forced on the people of Europe anyway, under the guise of the Lisbon Treaty. In 2008, Ireland, also by way of referendum, refused to apply that treaty. And once again, a popular decision was brushed aside.
When in 2015 Greece decided by referendum to reject Brussels’ austerity plans, the European Union’s antidemocratic response took no one by surprise: To deny the people’s will had become a habit. In a flash of honesty, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, unabashedly declared, “There can be no democratic choice against the European treaties.”
Brexit may not have been the first cry of hope, but it may be the people’s first real victory. The British have presented the union with a dilemma it will have a hard time getting out of. Either it allows Britain to sail away quietly and thus runs the risk of setting a precedent: The political and economic success of a country that left the European Union would be clear evidence of the union’s noxiousness. Or, like a sore loser, the union makes the British pay for their departure by every means possible and thus exposes the tyrannical nature of its power. Common sense points toward the former option. I have a feeling Brussels will choose the latter.
One thing is certain: Britain’s departure from the European Union will not make the union more democratic. The hierarchical structure of its supranational institutions will want to reinforce itself: Like all dying ideologies, the union knows only how to forge blindly ahead. The roles are already cast — Germany will lead the way, and France will obligingly tag along.
Here is a sign: President François Hollande of France, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy and acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain take their lead directly from Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, without running through Brussels. A quip attributed to Henry Kissinger, “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” now has a clear answer: Call Berlin.
So the people of Europe have but one alternative left: to remain bound hand-and-foot to a union that betrays national interests and popular sovereignty and that throws our countries wide open to massive immigration and arrogant finance, or to reclaim their freedom by voting.
Calls for referendums are ringing throughout the Continent. I myself have suggested to Mr. Hollande that one such public consultation be held in France. He did not fail to turn me down. More and more, the destiny of the European Union resembles the destiny of the Soviet Union, which died from its own contradictions.
The People’s Spring is now inevitable! The only question left to ask is whether Europe is ready to rid itself of its illusions, or if the return to reason will come with suffering. I made my decision a long time ago: I chose France. I chose sovereign nations. I chose freedom.
Dr. Frankenstein Elites Created Populist Monsters
Following the Brexit, Europe may witness even more plebiscites against the undemocratic European Union throughout the continent.
The furor of ignored Europeans against their union is not just directed against rich and powerful government elites per se, or against the flood of mostly young male migrants from the war-torn Middle East. The rage also arises from the hypocrisy of a governing elite that never seems to be subject to the ramifications of its own top-down policies. The bureaucratic class that runs Europe from Brussels and Strasbourg too often lectures European voters on climate change, immigration, politically correct attitudes about diversity, and the constant need for more bureaucracy, more regulations and more redistributive taxes.
But Euro-managers are able to navigate around their own injunctions, enjoying private schools for their children; generous public pay, retirement packages and perks; frequent carbon-spewing jet travel; homes in non-diverse neighborhoods; and profitable revolving-door careers between government and business.
The Western elite classes, both professedly liberal and conservative, square the circle of their privilege with politically correct sermonizing. They romanticize the distant “other” — usually immigrants and minorities — while condescendingly lecturing the middle and working classes, often the losers in globalization, about their lack of sensitivity.
On this side of the Atlantic, President Obama has developed a curious habit of talking down to Americans about their supposedly reactionary opposition to rampant immigration, affirmative action, multiculturalism and political correctness — most notably in his caricatures of the purported “clingers” of Pennsylvania.
Yet Obama seems uncomfortable when confronted with the prospect of living out what he envisions for others. He prefers golfing with celebrities to bowling. He vacations in tony Martha’s Vineyard rather than returning home to his Chicago mansion. His travel entourage is royal and hardly green. And he insists on private prep schools for his children rather than enrolling them in the public schools of Washington, D.C., whose educators he so often shields from long-needed reform.
In similar fashion, grandees such as Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg and Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos do not live what they profess. They often lecture supposedly less sophisticated Americans on their backward opposition to illegal immigration. But both live in communities segregated from those they champion in the abstract.
The Clintons often pontificate about “fairness” but somehow managed to amass a personal fortune of more than $100 million by speaking to and lobbying banks, Wall Street profiteers and foreign entities. The pay-to-play rich were willing to brush aside the insincere, pro forma social justice talk of the Clintons and reward Hillary and Bill with obscene fees that would presumably result in lucrative government attention.
Consider the recent Orlando tragedy for more of the same paradoxes. The terrorist killer, Omar Mateen — a registered Democrat, proud radical Muslim and occasional patron of gay dating sites — murdered 49 people and wounded even more in a gay nightclub. His profile and motive certainly did not fit the elite narrative that unsophisticated right-wing American gun owners were responsible because of their support for gun rights.
No matter. The Obama administration and much of the media refused to attribute the horror in Orlando to Mateen’s self-confessed radical Islamist agenda. Instead, they blamed the shooter’s semi-automatic .223 caliber rifle and a purported climate of hate toward gays.
Many Americans were bewildered by the logic. It’s reasonable to conclude that the shooter was conflicted over his religion’s strict prohibitions about his lifestyle — and especially the American brand of tolerance as exemplified by the nightclub. Mateen’s immigrant father from Afghanistan is a crude homophobe who had praised the murderous Taliban. Mateen somehow had cleared all background checks and on at least two occasions had been interviewed and dismissed by the FBI.
In sum, elites ignored the likely causes of the Orlando shooting: the appeal of ISIS-generated hatred to some young, second-generation radical Muslim men living in Western societies, and the politically correct inability of Western authorities to short-circuit that clear-cut connection.
Instead, the establishment all but blamed Middle America for supposedly being anti-gay and pro-gun.
In both the U.S. and Britain, such politically correct hypocrisy is superimposed on highly regulated, highly taxed and highly governmentalized economies that are becoming ossified and stagnant.
The tax-paying middle classes, who lack the romance of the poor and the connections of the elite, have become convenient whipping boys of both in order to leverage more government social programs and to assuage the guilt of the elites who have no desire to live out their utopian theories in the flesh.
America’s version of the British antidote to elite hypocrisy is the buffoonish populist Donald Trump. Like the architects of Brexit, he arose not from what he was for, but what he said he was against.
Which Immigration Laws Do They Want to Enforce?
There’s no question illegal immigration is a thorn in the side of those Americans who are interested in fairness and Rule of Law. Many millions are offended at the thought of people circumventing the system while those who go about it the right way are played for suckers by a government that has made the legal process more time-consuming and expensive. And that’s not to mention the cost and other crime involved.
Discussions of building a wall for border security and ending “birthright” citizenship for non-citizens, though, have much less meaning when it’s clear that those currently in charge of law enforcement have little interest in stemming the flow of illegal immigrants, particularly the tide that flows across our southern border. (As many as half of illegal immigrants are illegal because they have overstayed their legal permission to be here, but we have at least some idea of who they are since they have paperwork on file — not that anyone is rushing to address this issue, either.)
Yet while we have a president who would rather wield a pen and a phone than wait on Congress to hash out common-sense immigration policy, his approach was given a default rebuke by a split Supreme Court last week, as the justices chose not to overturn a lower court decision which said that Barack Obama’s approach was not a constitutional one.
Picking and choosing which laws to enforce or ignore is of course no way to maintain Rule of Law, but it’s Obama’s preferred style.
Meanwhile, as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson defiantly told the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, illegal immigrants are “here and they’re not going anywhere.” And as long as the issue remains alive it can be used to score political points, as Mark Alexander wrote in the wake of the 2014 election.
But there’s an argument, proffered by Andrew McCarthy at National Review and seconded by Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, that the most effective way to deal with illegal immigration is simple: “attrition through enforcement.” We have the laws on the books already — after all, they’re not called “illegal aliens” for nothing — so the impediment to success is a lack of willingness to uphold the law. It may create a lot of headaches for certain businesses and the pro-amnesty national Chamber of Commerce, but McCarthy and Krikorian argue that limiting the opportunities for undocumented workers would likely convince them to return home.
Further, McCarthy makes the case that the matter is not one of national security, but law enforcement. “The distinction is important because, while national security threats must be defeated, law enforcement problems are managed,” writes McCarthy. “We don’t expect to wipe them out. We figure out how many offenders there are and what resources we have to address them, and we deploy the resources in a manner that gives us the biggest bang for the buck.”
Yet the most immediate issue for law enforcement is the danger of being overmatched at the border by organized crime, which has exploited our lax border security and enforcement and found a willing market for their illicit activities. Is that “here and not going anywhere,” too?
We can argue whether the damage from amnesty 30 years ago is too great, as two more generations of illegal immigrants have impatiently waited for their own “permiso.” But letting them know that there won’t be a second round of amnesty, that the law is the law, and that it will be enforced appropriately would do as much to solve the problem as any wall would.
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Posted by JR at 12:25 AM