Beck, Wilders, and His Boosters’ Blind Spot

Ilana Mercer, March 12, 2010

On the whole, Glenn Beck is unique on the mainstream right. He is perhaps the only member of this clique to treat Bush with the contempt he reserves for Obama. And no one on the mainstream right has done what Beck has to illuminate the catalysts to America’s insolvency: monetary policy and state profligacy. Still, as a recovering neoconservative, Glenn often loses his way.

Beck frequently confuses genuine forces for liberty (Ron and Rand Paul, Peter Schiff) with snake-oil merchants (the Conservative Political Action Conference, the Republikeynsians of the Wall Street Journal). Although Beck had a breakthrough at CPAC ─ declaring fleetingly that, “We don’t need to export democracy; the best example to the world is to lead by example” ─ he persists in identifying patriotism with a blind support for the two wars we have going, and appears partial to opening up a third front in the Middle East.

Glenn also vastly overestimates the virtues of the “American People,” and underestimates the forces (state-managed mass immigration) that are dissolving what remains of that people and busily electing another. (Glenn: Once the country is 50 percent Third World, you might as well be talking to the hand.)

And the other day, the Fox News host insinuated that Geert Wilders, an influential Dutch parliamentarian working against the spread of Islam in his country, is a man of the fascist, far-right.

Wilders is certainly a man of the hard right. His fans and followers in the US disco around this immutable fact, flimsily defending him on the grounds that he defends the rights of women and non-Muslims, the right of free speech, and is against Shari’a and clitoridectomy.

The Yang to Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Yin. (A classical liberal Dutch feminist, Hirsi Ali is a model of lucidity on all things Islam, with the looks of a model. In free societies, both she and Wilders would not live in fear of their lives. In a free society, Wilders and Hirsi would thrive, while their assailants flee in fear of being hunted and exterminated like vermin.)

However, my family in the Netherlands votes for Wilders not because of his stand against honor killings and genital infibulation.

Yes, the Party for Freedom is one of economic liberalism and cultural conservatism. The Party for Freedom is Euroskeptic and favors devolution of powers and less taxation. But the reason Wilders now occupies nine of the 150 seats in the Dutch Parliament and, come the general election on June 9 ─ in the estimation of Ian Traynor of the Guardian ─ “could muster three times that,” is not because he supports the rights of women and free speech. The Dutch and their representatives have been down with those ideas for decades.

Wilders may become a “potential prime minister or kingmaker in the Dutch coalition system” because he has promised to “halt immigration from non-western countries. … and significantly reduce the dominant presence of Islam in the Netherlands.”

The man is an immigration restrictionist. He purports to avert the demographic doom delineated and lamented by Mark Steyn by turning away the millions of young men from The Maghreb, or from Yemen, Pakistan and Gaza. Steyn sees the inflow of these men, “raised in the death cult of Islam,” as inevitable; Wilders does not.

Exemplified by Steyn, Wilders’ worthy supporters in the US make sure he knows they love him for standing tall for speech, women, and individual rights ─ no-brainers all. Like Steyn, they generally steer clear of addressing the perils for their own country of mass, third-world immigration (legal and illegal).

I am told that I don’t understand Mr. Steyn of the dooms-day demographics. So I listened to his “End of Europe” lectures, in which he vividly describes the multitudes of Muslims going forth to North America and Western Europe to be fruitful and multiply and push for Islam. Their Pan-Islamist identity trumps their new assumed identity. Because of numbers, Mark asserts, History is on the march in the Muslim direction. By 2030 much of what we think of as the developed world will be part of the Muslim world.

Here Steyn hits a brick wall. Other than making babies at home and total war abroad, he proposes nothing much at all. Oh yes, if you’re not already fighting (futilely, in my opinion) in Iraq and Afghanistan, you can show your marbles by publishing offensive cartoons, making rightwing movies, and writing right-wing text.

The “One-Man Global Content Provider” is wrong. Demographics need not be destiny. The waning West became what it is not by out-breeding the undeveloped world. We were once great not because of huge numbers, but due to human capital — people of superior ideas and abilities, capable of innovation, exploration, science, philosophy.

Declining birth rates─and their antidote; the mass immigration imperative─are the excuses statists make for persevering with immigration policies that are guaranteed to destroy western civil society and shore up the State.

If, as Wilders and Steyn contend, “Islam is a problematic religion; every school of Islam is basically at its core jihadist; and the religion is much closer to a conventional imperial project than to a faith” ─ its religionists must be kept out. State-engineered mass immigration must be halted.

Yes, postmodernism, political correctness, and relativism hobble the West. Post-colonialism, however, affords it the opportunity to redraw the frontiers at the borders. This is the Wilders project. It has yet to be embraced fully by his American boosters. As Steyn has openly conceded, “For a notorious blowhard, I can go a bit cryptic or (according to taste) wimpy when invited to confront that particular subject head on.”

Back to Beck, who signed off his CPAC address with a paean to “The New Colossus,” a sonnet penned by the progressive Emma Lazarus, and engraved on a plaque inside the Statute of Liberty. All the manipulative maxims of mass immigration invariably flow from ─ or end with ─ the Lazarus sonnet.

No wonder Glen scorns Wilders.

March 12

CATEGORIES: Barack Obama, Bush, EU, Immigration, Islam, Nation & Nationhood, The West