Dutch Voters Rejected Populism
I have never been a fan of populism. Reason and the absence of a mob-like mentality with emotions weighted to facts is where I land politically. Therefore I was very pleased to read that Dutch voters shunned the thinking that placed Donald Trump in the White House.
Dutch voters turned out in force to back pro-European parties and help Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberals easily beat off an election challenge by the anti-Islam Freedom Party of Geert Wilders, drawing a line in the sand over the spread of populism.
The outcome was worse than the majority of opinion polls had suggested for Wilders, representing a rejection of his platform of pulling the Netherlands out of the European Union, abandoning the euro, closing Dutch borders and stopping all immigration by Muslims. It suggests that the nationalist sentiment that prompted the U.K.’s Brexit vote and won Donald Trump the White House will struggle to secure as big a foothold in Europe’s core.
“Dutch voters rejected populism and voted for Europe,” said Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a senior fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “It seems like Rutte’s appeal for a ‘centrist fightback against Trump and Brexit’ was heard.”