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Monday, February 20, 2017

The Coming Change in Europe

Europe is changing. The UK is leaving the European Union after Brexit.  Even prime minister May who supported staying in the EU is now firmly on board with departing that organization.  In Germany, Angela Merkel looks like she is going to be defeated for re-election.  Merkel appears to have been done in by her support for bringing over a million immigrants into Germany from Syria and the Middle East.  In France, Marine LePen is leading the polls for the first round of the upcoming presidential voting.  The polls still show her losing in the runoff, but LePen is moving up quickly and may well get a surprise victory.  In the Netherlands, the leading party for the next election is one that is strongly nationalistic and which wants Muslim immigrants in the country to integrate into Dutch society or leave.  In Sweden, there is a major backlash against the Muslim refugees as a wave of rapes has swept through that country.  Some governments in eastern Europe have barred entry to refugees with great public support.

 If you're an Obama-type liberal, you are worried that a wave of fascism is about to engulf that continent.  At least that is what you say.  The truth is that no one could honestly or accurately lump these developments together as fascist; in Germany, the likely replacement for Merkel is a socialist.  No, what links these political developments is a desire for these countries to retake control of their own futures.  The Brits didn't want to surrender their sovereignty to the EU bureaucrats in Brussels.  The French, Germans and Dutch want to determine for themselves who is to live in their countries.  The liberal, big state bureaucrats in Brussels do not speak for them.  In many ways, these moves are or will be a victory for the nation-state over the globalist bureaucracy that the left has tried to foist on the world.  It's similar to the reasons for the victory by President Trump here last November.

Across the West, there are millions of ordinary people who feel that their lives and their concerns are being ignored.  The UN or the EU both seem sclerotic, frequently forced to inaction on issues that require a response.  Even worse, the issues that both consider often are focused on the victim group of the month, be they Syrian refugees or some other group.  Think of the resonance that Donald Trump's promise to represent Americans who have been ignored has gotten.  Similar promises in Europe are having a great effect.

It is unclear whether these forces in Europe will succeed in taking control of many countries.  Nevertheless, it is certain that Europe will have to change to accommodate these forces. 

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