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Dutch Voters Rejected Populism

March 16, 2017

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.”

One Comment
  1. U. Sinclair Solly permalink
    March 16, 2017 3:21 PM

    As a former Journalism major, I don’t hold out much hope for the national media, but I hope CP will be more careful in the future in not lumping all “populists” in the racist, fascist, xenophobic and misogynist category of this Dutch dope or our Cheeto-in-Chief. Bob Lafollette, Ed Garvey, Bernie Sanders and William Jennings Bryan were/are populists. People who delude a great number of people are charlatans. Here is a good take on the subject, from another great populist, Jim Hightower: Hightower’s statement on Brexit: “This isn’t populism!
    Yet again, the political and media establishment (excuse the redundancy) misconstrue “populism” as an ignorant and bigoted political fringe. The working-class people of Great Britain have every right to be upset and frustrated with their government: austerity and corporate cronyism, just as it has here in the US, has brought people to their knees. But with ‪#‎Brexit‬, they’ve been bamboozled into believing that their troubles lie with immigrants and EU fees, not with their own elite– the aloof bosses, bankers, big shots, bastards, and bullshitters who think they are the top dogs and the rest of us are fire hydrants. Want to understand what real populism is? Check out this introduction we’ve got over at the Hightower Lowdown:
    All of these (and more) have added up to an enthronement of the rich and the normalization of inequity. They threaten to squeeze the life out of America’s core values of democracy, equality, and justice.
    But there is a medicine to fight this disease, a powerful antidote deeply entwined with our nation’s history: populism—a political doctrine rooted in the rebellious spirit and commitment to the common good of ordinary, grassroots Americans. Time and again throughout our country’s history, populist rebellions have been sparked when ordinary folks were being run over by abusive concentrations of power. And so it is today: hundreds of thousands of Americans—young and old, white and black and brown—are again speaking up and standing against the armed robbery of the people’s rights and the grand theft of the American Dream. That is populism.

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