– April 30, 2002
When fascism comes to America, said Huey Long, it will come in the guise of anti-fascism. And since Vietnam, it has been so.
Brownshirt tactics, shouting down speakers, disrupting opposition rallies, demonstrations that degenerate into riots – all have been used repeatedly by self-described fighters against racism and fascism. And invariably, these crimes against decency and democracy have been ignored or condoned by those who share the left’s revulsion of the right.
In the wake of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s capture of 17 percent of the vote in the first round of France’s presidential election, the French Establishment, too, has shown great tolerance for fascist tactics in resisting any rebirth of the European Right.
No sooner had the returns come in, eliminating socialist Premier Lionel Jospin from the run-off, than mobs were in the streets. French President Jacques Chirac, who had won fewer than one in five votes, swiftly embraced Trotskyite and Communist support in the second round, but refused to debate Le Pen. In the European Parliament, Le Pen was shouted down. Protesters threatened to disrupt his press conference, forcing its cancellation.
Though Le Pen has made radical and foolish statements, there is no evidence he is a Nazi. His hero is not Hitler but Joan of Arc, and he and his National Front have accepted defeat in every election they have lost. No, Le Pen is hated and feared not just for who he is, but for the issues he has raised. And what are those issues?
He wants France to opt out of the euro bloc, as the British have done, and to restore the franc as France’s national currency. He is calling for a national referendum on whether France should reclaim sovereign powers it has surrendered to the European Union. Cannot Americans, who would never give up our dollar and who reject the new International Criminal Court, understand?
Le Pen opposed America’s war in Kosovo. But so, too, did a majority of House Republicans. He denounces what the Israelis are doing on the West Bank, but even President Bush wants Sharon out. He does not want a war on Iraq, but neither do any of our other allies. He wants a France forever independent of the United States. Cannot Americans, to whom independence is sacred, not understand how other nations might not wish to be part of an American Imperium?
Le Pen supports capital punishment and believes the French should be allowed to vote on its restoration, and not have the death penalty outlawed by the EU. We Americans, too, would be rebellious toward any supranational political body that dared to dictate an end to capital punishment in the United States.
Crime is the issue driving voters into Le Pen’s corner. He associates rising crime with rising Arab and Islamic immigration, and wants illegal aliens expelled. But Americans, too, want illegal immigration halted and gate-crashers sent back. And a rising share of our own prison population consists of illegal aliens, and our own president’s proposed amnesty for illegal immigrants ignited a storm of protest across America, forcing the Republican Party to back off.
As European elites deny Le Pen courtesies they routinely extend to Communists and Trotskyites, the message is clear: In the New Europe, some issues are closed forever. They have been decided, and no second thoughts will be entertained. While Trotskyites and Communists are welcome, the Populist Right and its ideas are pariahs. There is no room for them, or the people who advance them, in the New Europe.
On the Index of Forbidden Issues are any restrictions on Third World immigration, the deportation of illegal aliens, statements critical of minorities and any return of sovereign power once ceded to the EU. Though the death penalty may be favored by majorities in European nations, capital punishment is to be outlawed forever. It is outside the restricted range of issues that the people may henceforth decide.
As it is often the criminal himself who is first to cry, “Thief!” so it is usually those who scream, “Fascist!” loudest who are the quickest to resort to anti-democratic tactics.
Today, the greatest threat to the freedom and independence of the nations of Europe comes not from Le Pen and that 17 percent of French men and women who voted for him. It comes from an intolerant European Establishment that will accept no rollback of its powers or privileges, nor any reversal of policies it deems “progressive.”
As the New Europe taking shape is the prototype of the World Government to come, Americans should take note. Let us hope that Sunday, French voters will deliver that New Europe a good right cross to the head.