It’s the Immigration, Stupid

By | 2019-06-13T14:08:08-07:00 June 13th, 2019|
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Perhaps it is a lot to ask, but Democrats could learn a great deal from the recent Danish elections.

Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), and the rest, have spent decades imploring anyone befitted with an ear canal to take heed and learn something from the Scandinavian countries that so besotted them.

In what certainly was a bucking of recent trends, the Danish social democrats stormed to first place and to power.

The denials, and the quite-obvious obfuscations spilling from mainstream media outlets perhaps said it all. Most claimed “climate change” was the key election issue. Oh, how we laughed!

In reality, social democracy has been dying across Europe. Its old voters, mainly what New York Times anthropologists term the “white working-class” are deserting the parties once founded to defend their interests. Quite simply, they don’t like the cosmopolitan stance on immigration. The deserters instead form behind so-called populists.

That is a word British establishment newspaper The Times, like the corporate leftist media in America, employs with an unfiltered contempt. “Populist” is a euphemism for racist, parochial, ill-educated . . . you get the picture.

So, when the Danish social democrats won the election last week, after stealing the hard-line (or perhaps sensible) immigration clothes of the apparent “far-right,” papers like The Times spun into laudanum-like delusion.

“Danes ditch populists as climate fears dominate election,” claimed The Times. Which, given the collapse of the Danish People’s Party, is kind of true. What The Times was loathe to mention was what actually won the election.

The Danish social democrats adopted, almost to the letter, the immigration policies of the populists. Enough of their old voters came home and pushed them into power. Indeed, the Danish People’s Party collapsed from 21 percent to a nudge over 8 percent.

No, it wasn’t the weather. Much to the chagrin of the New York Times, immigration is the central issue for most voters across Europe. Promising sensible, also known as “tough,” action on immigration is the keystone to any winning platform.

Denmark, long considered a bastion of progressive and liberal policies, has mainstreamed immigration restrictionism. Now all parties, save the far-left, are in agreement about driving down immigration rates, and insisting upon a tough integrationist approach.

Crucially, all agree that the sanctity of their social-democratic model hinges on the support of those paying rather high taxes to fund it. They even talk about community cohesion! Nobody serious shouts “racist!”

The social democrats may have disappointed some of their own voters. But they won. “Populist” policies, such as barring family reunification for partners under 24, seizing migrants’ valuables to help pay welfare claims, and doubling sentences for crimes committed in designated “ghettos,” turned out to be popular.

With what she called the new Danish Social Democratic Model, Mette Frederiksen, 41, should now become Denmark’s youngest-ever prime minister.

Many within the pages of progressive magazines decried the Danish Left’s apparent right turn. Seemingly uncomfortable with progressives winning elections, The Nation claimed the Danish social democrats had abandoned progressive values. By that, they mean progressive values since the mid-1990s. In other words, the same values that have skewered social democratic parties across Europe since that time.

By and large, the Danes combined moderate economics (or left in terms of the American Overton Window) with a hard and popular line on immigration. They won. Why is that so hard to understand?

The lesson here is flashing amber to anyone not entombed in a vat of glycerin. Most voters support sensible immigration policies. And they demand those arriving, for whatever reason they may have, embrace and adhere to the host culture and way of life.

This used to be common-sense in both America, and Great Britain. At least until the increasingly volatile self-loathing Left decided all borders are racist and asking new arrivals to respect and adopt host norms is tantamount to oppression.

Which is why the Democrats will learn nothing from Denmark. American Democrats have sauntered too far down the identity-politics rabbit hole to reemerge with any sensate awareness of the new politics.

They should do their homework. Yes, most Americans are in favor of legalizing the so-called DACA kids. But they also support a merit-based immigration system, E-Verify, a strong border deterrent (just don’t call it a wall). Sizeable numbers even support curtailing legal immigration.

Former Democrats find President Trump’s four-pillar immigration plan palatable. They voted for him. De facto open-borders might excite the virtue-signaling coastal cadres—those who largely are inured to its wage-killing and community-corroding effects, but the leaf-cruncher vote cannot replace the old Democratic base.

And they know that. Hence, their blithe encouragement of illegal immigration, and the eventual amnesty of 20 million illegal aliens—80 percent of whom will vote Democratic, ensuring a one-party state and the permanent politics of resentment.

But that masterplan crumbled when Hillary Clinton became the first female to lose a presidential election to Donald Trump. Americans like immigration. Just not the kind the Democrats are schlocking.

Which presents an opportunity for the generationally hapless GOP. Still lunching on the Reagan era, the Republican establishment and the bow-tied brigades at various “conservative” magazines perhaps aren’t keen to cater to the desires of their new voters.

That diaspora of ex-Democrats, socially conservative, economically moderate, doesn’t fit the desires of Republican donors, to whom winning elections matters little. They get paid regardless who sits in the White House.

But it is not 1980. Nor the year 2000. Voters aren’t too keen to accept the scraps of whatever the elites prefer.

The incoming Danish prime minister understands.

“For me, it is becoming increasingly clear that the price of unregulated globalization, mass immigration and the free movement of labor is paid for by the lower classes,” she recently told The Guardian.

Of course, Americans aren’t European. The leftist economics of social democracy doesn’t play so well in the United States.

But research, (as I am belabored to point out almost every week!) shows a majority of Americans are socially conservative and economically moderate. A party with the nous to accept this reality would likely govern for a generation.

That party won’t be the Democrats as currently constituted. Neither will it be a Republican Party stuck in the past.

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Photo Credit: Ole Jensen/Getty Images

About the Author:

Christopher Gage
Christopher Gage is a British political journalist.