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Saturday, 10 December 2016

Geert Wilders - the Verdict

Last Friday, the court ruled in the (second) Geert Wilders trial. Wilders was found guilty but without receiving any penalty. The court case was about his alleged "group insulting" of Moroccans in 2014. The court deemed his subsequent restriction to criminal Moroccans as overdue. There is an important element in this ruling (ie, race) that may get him off the hook after his appeal. Using "race" as a legal basis for this verdict is weird. Moroccans are clearly no race.

The ones who felt offended by his words were surprised about this verdict (guilty without penalty). His fellow politicians had hoped for an acquittal as this trial has only boosted Wilders in the polls for the March 2017 Dutch general election. His supporters believe Wilders' claims that he is being victimized by the courts for his political opinions. The judges are upset that Wilders used the court case as a political forum for his beliefs. Wilders subsequently called them "bonkers".

The Dutch (or any other European) left-wing parties play a minor role in this debate or the upcoming 2017 elections. They still struggle to accept the new reality in which the historic Left-Right divide has been replaced by Nationalism vs Internationalism. See my 13 July 2016 blog and please also see George Friedman's GPF analysis of 30 November 2016.

Some media have labelled the recent Austrian presidential elections as a left-wing win. This is a serious misrepresentation of reality. It took a grand coalition of all Austrian parties (supporting an independent candidate) to defeat a nationalist candidate of 1 party and only by a small margin.

For many months, Donald Trump has lashed out against left-wing media and labeling them dishonest. Trump "fails" to see that these media express their beliefs, just like he does. These beliefs conflict. The nationalist beliefs are however winning and ultimately that is all that counts. Sooner rather than later, left wing opinions will become politically incorrect. In Trump's case, it's likely that he will sue them into submission or into bankruptcy, similar to the Gawker Media trial.

George Friedman's analysis makes an astute observation: "As in all things, the issue is not simple. Internationalism has been dramatically successful in enriching the world since World War II. Its problem is that nationalists charge that only part of the population has enjoyed this wealth, and there are things more fundamental than wealth such as cultural identity and differences. Internationalism is tone-deaf or hostile to cultural identity, which is its weakness."

Countering nationalism isn't that difficult. First and foremost, we must recognise and accept their beliefs, their truth. This is too hard for many. Secondly, we must present solutions for these beliefs. Thirdly, we must expose that the solutions of nationalists are nothing more than slogans. In a globalized world there are no easy solutions, just compromises. 

In the Netherlands, we have only 1 politician who counters nationalism like this. He is in a tight race with Wilders for the 2017 general elections. I am waiting for the March 2017 verdict.

Joe Jackson - The Verdict (1984) - artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2