EU • Europe • Post • Republicans

Of Brexit and Boobs

Thickly daubed upon her milk-white breasts was a poignant message. Across the sternum: “Brexit.” Above the right breast: “Leaves.” Above the left: “Britain.” Under both pendulous offerings: “Naked.”

This wasn’t an exhibit at the Tate Modern. But live TV.

The owner of the breasts, Dr. Victoria Bateman, an economics fellow at Cambridge University, is, as you may have deduced, not too happy about our looming departure from the European Union. Her point, had something to do with the emperor’s new clothes. Or scantily-clad women in advertising. Or apparently “voiceless” women.

Dr. Bateman takes her clothes off in protest. But she is “not an exhibitionist.” And this is definitely not about her. She’s merely naked. On one of the country’s most-watched TV shows. In front of millions. Of whom only the most determined, and discerning, would actually get to read the message on her blurred-out breasts.

But was this theatre of seemingly impregnable confidence, or something else entirely? Had Great Britain voted to remain, I’m faintly sure Nigel Farage wouldn’t have treated the nation to his sunlessly British torso.

Such bizarre behavior has gained currency among the losers of 2016. The Remainers. Hillary’s voters.

The supremely confident, the forward-thinking, the producers, the open, the Uberized, have struggled with reality since.

Because most of us didn’t fancy playing their game. The globalized, “open society” did not appeal. Unaccountably, we did not care for the cogs which they lubricated with paeans to equality while presiding over the opposite.

Pointedly, Ms. Bateman had a point:

The British economy faces many, many problems right now: shortage of housing, problems with the NHS, wages stagnating, too many people up and down the country using food banks.

The key message that I want to deliver is that Brexit is the emperor’s new clothes. What high-profile Brexiteers promised Brexit voters is just not possible to deliver.

Just not possible! What’s curious is that these ailments are largely the result of 30 years in thrall to the uncaring whims of an unfettered market wedded to an overweening state.

Breaking free of the EU wasn’t some hankering for a time “when faces were white,” but a rejection of the insecurity that cloaks itself in a see-through “freedom” cape while stoking social and economic apartheid.

Because those who rule like to claim that the status quo is a mad conjuring of nature. Those jobs made their own way to China. Borders cannot be plugged. It’s just the way it is. Once Trump is impeached, once Brexit is overturned, all will return to tepid normality.

Perhaps the circus of the bizarre rolls on precisely because reality dawns. Trump isn’t going anywhere. Brexit, though wading in treacle, is almost done. In France, whose own elite elected the apparent savior of the status-quo, roils gloriously each weekend in yellow-vested protest.

Those now ambered in insecurity watch on in pain as those they told to “learn to code” reorder the world around them into something at least feigning sanity.

It’s not going away. European parliamentary elections this May should elect one-third in the populist mold. What the Financial Times hastily dubs “peak populism” has mutated into something much more serious as populist outsiders shapeshift the mainstream parties.

Curiously, this shift preceded President Trump, yet now lags behind his capture of the GOP.

In his recent state of the union address, Trump’s melding of policy left most Americans nodding in agreement. A strong majority also agreed with his sensible immigration comments, understanding, contra the naysayers, that controlled borders don’t mean building Fortress America. That fixing trade deals doesn’t amount to a dreaded and mindless “protectionism.” That the market doesn’t and shouldn’t rule all and expect fealty from those it is meant to serve.

That was before the AOC-sized gift of the Green New Deal gave Trump, and the Republicans something to aim at.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a permanent feature on any politico’s newsfeed, has elevated above Nancy Pelosi in the negative ad Olympics. Her manipulation of the media is Trump-like in its effectiveness.

And for good reason. Some of the Green New Deal’s more quixotic elements offer what the president himself has said amount to a “high school paper with a low mark.” And near forty percent of Americans regard its cheerleader as unfavorable.

Perhaps Americans aren’t particular fans of the president. But we know this already. They didn’t elect a priest. They sent him to move fast and break things.

What better than to contrast Trump’s common-sense offering of once bipartisan aims, with the ramblings of political impossibility. Banning air travel? Bovine diapers? Lord. What could be sillier and more politically impotent? Apart from plastering one’s breasts in pointless rhetoric, that is.

Photo Credit: Good Morning Britain 

Economy • Elections • EU • Europe • Post

Davos Is Dead

The people who ruined the world all gathered high in the Swiss Alps this week to insist, to themselves at least, that all is well and good.

Yes. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, everything is just swell.

President Trump wasn’t there because he is busy demanding a wall across the southern border. British Prime Minister Theresa May wasn’t there because she is demanding Great Britain leave the European Union, kind of. French President Emmanuel Macron wasn’t there because platoons of yellow-vested French citizens are demanding he leave office.

To those engorging themselves on canapés and canned applause in the Swiss mountains, this is just swell.

Germany’s Angela Merkel, of course, was there. And she wasted little time in lambasting British citizens for opting to leave her European Union. In a luculent attack hallmarked of one’s last words, Merkel underlined that the EU, crumbling though it may be, was set up by people who “knew what they were doing.”

Because, apparently, the British people don’t.

But the charm of the Davos set slicks dry. And it is no mystery as to why. They’re terrified.

Another storied buzzwig couldn’t help himself. He seldom can. Former British PM Tony Blair dementia-grinned his way into the TV cameras, insisting that his work in overturning Brexit was, in fact, democratic.

Which is hilarious. Blair’s 13 years at 10 Downing Street adrenalized this great bubbling mess.

It was Blair’s disastrous open-borders fetish that turned British majorities against immigration. It was Blair’s Iraq war that destroyed public trust in the political class. It was Blair’s neoliberal Davos-approved economics that helped plunge the financial system into chaos.

Brexit is Tony Blair. The Rust Belt is Tony Blair. The Gilets Jaunes are Tony Blair.

Of course, he doesn’t get it. Psychopaths never do.

His ilk swans around the ski resort of Davos with an unbridled arrogance, telling each other that this Brexit thing is just a game. A second referendum is coming! And the proles will vote the right way, this time.

But the people that ruined the world are not of the world.

It is they who don’t know what we were voting for. Brexit upended practically everything the Davos set holds dear. They may feign a diagnosis. But their prescription is the same—more globalization. More of this thing of ours.

Because Brexit just cannot happen. Like the wall, it is a total repudiation of the Davos creed.

Which is why, with just over two months to go, they still think 2016 was theater. The audience dare not chime in.

But their delusions are not entirely unwarranted. Our political class remains engaged in a dirty protest against the people. After watching Brexiteers suffocate Theresa May’s withdrawal deal to leave the EU, Remainers are now telling EU bosses that a feather-soft “Brexit” is within reach.

In fact, Europe’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, is now convinced that May’s dead deal fell to historic defeat because it wasn’t soft enough.

Remarkably, Barnier told the Luxembourg Times this week that the hated “Irish Backstop” was “not the central issue.” That is despite practically every Conservative lawmaker stating that it was, in fact, the central issue leading to their overwhelming rejection of May’s proposal.

This is not what they had in mind. The drowning of May’s deal was meant to force the EU to junk the backstop. For now, they haven’t blinked.

But the threat of no Brexit at all is enough for Brexiteers to take it seriously. Jacob Rees-Mogg and company are keenly reassessing their options. As I noted last week, if May secures any change on the backstop, her deal will go through. They just need something.

Yet, Remainers—whom form a majority of lawmakers—are jostling for a second referendum. Or they were. That was until the Orwellian-named “People’s Vote” group of lawmakers dropped their plans to usher in another referendum.

Perhaps they realized that most Britons oppose a second vote. Or perhaps they realized that every Leave voter would relish the chance to boot them again, while a sizeable portion of soft Remainers—many unimpressed with such perfidy—would take a rain check on a second vote.

Because the scare-stories haven’t worked. Rather than the threat of “crashing out” of the EU without a deal spooking people straight, most are happy to do so. The audience of last week’s “Question Time,” a political debate show usually replete with Remainers, raucously applauded no-deal.

Before the referendum, I cannot recall one person whose preferred destination was to leave the European Union with no deal at all.

Which is why the Davosie is dead. Nothing they say can convince people otherwise.

Perhaps they are right. Perhaps we have lost our minds. Or maybe, we can see this grand thimblerig for what it really is—a glittering party for the few.

Well, as the notable absences at Davos underscore, that party is over.

Photo Credit: Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images

Center for American Greatness • Defense of the West • EU • Europe • NATO • Post

Desperate Embrace At Europe’s Core

Europe’s most powerful personages on Tuesday signed a treaty for the “unification,” of Western Europe’s biggest countries. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel inked the deal at Aachen/Aix la Chapelle. It was there in the chapel that Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer had knelt at Holy Mass to celebrate the signing of the 1963 Franco-German treaty of cooperation that sealed their peoples’ vow of friendship and cooperation. In the ensuing half century, it produced just that. France and Germany became the core of the Common Market and then of the European Union.

Today’s treaty, its pretensions notwithstanding, is between regimes that are overwhelmingly occupied trying, with decreasing success, to fend off domestic challenges to their legitimacy. The treaty is a desperate attempt by France and Germany to change the subject from their internal struggles. Nevertheless, the treaty cannot but have major and deleterious effects on intra-European relations as well as on relations between Europe and the United States.

In 1963, de Gaulle and Adenauer had hoped for even greater coordination in foreign and defense policy as well but, under U.S. diplomatic pressure, the German Bundestag added a clause to the treaty’s ratification that privileged the Federal Republic’s defense relationship with America. By contrast, the 2019 treaty’s main thrust is to sever that clause. The two countries will act “as a single unit with regard to relations with third countries.”

Lest there be any doubt, the final sentence reads: “The admission of the Federal Republic of Germany as a permanent member of of the United Nations Security Council [where it would share France’s seat] is a priority of Franco-German diplomacy.”

For other European countries, and for the United States, Macron and Merkel’s real domestic worries matter far less than the fact that, henceforth, the European core’s main weight will be wielded in unison.

Rules notwithstanding, the EU never was a club of equals. As the years passed, and especially after the advent of the Euro and the European Central Bank, Germany became primus inter pares, and then more to the point, other states learned that Berlin was the place to ask for EU favors, and Germans the folks to blame for not getting them. Henceforth, with Berlin and Paris jointly at the helm, other countries will wonder whether asking or blaming will be of any use. The EU will do whatever the two will dictate to Brussels from their joint councils of ministers.

The EU has always suffered from a “democratic deficit.” Europeans have rightly felt largely excluded from decisions affecting them. Henceforth, that exclusion will be greater and the EU’s legitimacy will decline even further.

The United States will now be faced with continental Europe’s two major powers asserting not so much a common affirmative defense policy as a common non-defense policy. When it comes to foreign affairs, the United States is far less likely to enjoy automatic joint support than automatic joint attempts at backseat driving. At the U.N.—for all that matters—the United States is likelier than ever to be completely isolated, leading Americans to value that institution ever less.

In sum, the new Franco-German core is sure further to erode the EU, NATO, and the United Nations. But even as the French and German alliance is poised to disrupt so many international institutions, it is soft inside because it arises from both regimes’ alienation from their own peoples.

Neither has France’s Macron found, nor is he likely to find, a way of appeasing the anger that the French people, via the “yellow vest” movement, have demonstrated for the way they have been governed for a half century; nor have Merkel and her allies on the traditional Left and Right been able to stanch the hemorrhaging of their electoral support, for reasons that differ little from those that motivate France’s yellow vests. France’s 1958 Fifth Republic constitution and Germany’s 1949 Grundgesetz largely insulate the respective governments from immediate popular pressure. But these governments’ alienation from their citizens is substantive and cultural. It is not such as can be healed by time—or by treaties.

Charles de Gaulle, Konrad Adenauer, and the people then in leadership positions in their countries were in basic sympathy with their peoples’ civilization. They wanted to keep France French and Germany German. As Catholics, the notion of enforcing the religion of  “global warming” would have been repugnant to them, as would any of the current, ever-changing dictates of “political correctness.” They did not imagine themselves regulators of energy usage or of the details of life. As nationalists, they rejected the notion of supranational institutions beyond the peoples’ electoral control.

In all these regards, Merkel and Macron, and their recent predecessors, have abandoned their peoples. The abandonment is mutual. Consequently, their regimes are rotting. On January 22 they took another step that transfers this rot to the international institutions of which their countries are part.

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Photo Credit: Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images

Elections • EU • Europe • Post • self-government

The Time Has Come for Britain to Embrace a ‘No Deal’ Brexit

Ever since June 2016, when the British people voted 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the European Union, establishment British politicians have been grappling with the consequences. With some notable exceptions, they have conceded that the will of the people would have to be honored, and some form of Brexit would indeed take place. Few politicians, and few ordinary Britons, however, understood or agreed precisely on what “Brexit” would mean.

That Britain would formally leave the EU was fairly obvious, but the extent of the ties that would remain, and the degree to which Britain would still obey EU laws and regulations, was anything but clear.

Not surprisingly, given the vehemence with which many Britons opposed Brexit, the “Remainers” worked hard from the start to manipulate the terms of Britain’s divorce from the EU so that the practical impact of Brexit would be minimal. Some would like to stay in the EU customs union, for example, and allow for the free movement of EU and British citizens back and forth—calling into question whether “Brexit” would have much real meaning at all.

Now the British people are approaching crunch time: the deadline for Britain to leave the EU is March 29th. British Prime Minister Theresa May struck a deal with EU authorities that would have scripted Britain’s departure from the organization and kept most economic ties in place. That solution, though, was roundly rejected by Parliament, which is divided between those who want a fuller, more robust version of Brexit—something akin to a definitive break—and those who see even May’s demi-Brexit as going too far. This large faction in Parliament would like to cancel Brexit altogether, or submit the matter to the British electorate a second time, so that voters would have the option of reversing course.

In addition to the pro- and anti-Brexit forces, some British party leaders are simply playing political games: they seek to destabilize May’s Conservative government and precipitate a general election, although it is by no means clear that such an election would ease Britain’s path to (or away from) Brexit in any way, shape, or form.

In a nutshell, the British political establishment appears hopelessly divided, dysfunctional, and paralyzed. Generating a workable plan for Brexit that would pass Parliament appears next to impossible.

Under these circumstances, politicians usually fudge the issue: they decide not to decide (just yet) and give themselves an extension. This is indeed an option for Britain and the EU, but both would have to agree on the terms and extent of any Brexit postponement, and none of this would make sense if the deadlock in Parliament seemed irresolvable. Extending the deadline for Brexit would also be a profound humiliation both to the British government and the EU. They would be admitting that, after almost three years of negotiating, they are unable to move forward.

From Theresa May’s perspective, however, the alternative to a postponement—a “no-deal Brexit,” which would abruptly sever all ties between Britain and the EU—may appear even worse. Economists, legal experts, journalists, and others have been warning for months that a no-deal Brexit would be deeply painful and disruptive, especially to trade. The status of Britons living in Europe, and Europeans living in Britain, would be jeopardized. The border between the Republic of Ireland and British Northern Ireland would once again become meaningful, and border crossings and cross-border trade would have to be, or might have to be, policed by customs officials and border authorities.

Remainers have worked hard to convince the British people that such a “hard” Brexit would produce “chaos” and misery on an apocalyptic scale. May, as a theoretical opponent of Brexit herself, may be inclined to give credence to these doomsday scenarios.

The truth, however, is that anti-Brexit propaganda consistently has attempted to play on the fears of British voters, and it frequently has exaggerated the ill-effects that a vote for Brexit, or actual Brexit, would produce. By and large, the British economy has performed well since 2016, despite the massive uncertainties surrounding how Brexit will be implemented. Indeed, the confusion regarding Brexit is arguably more harmful economically than Brexit itself.

Remainers like to argue that the Brexit vote should be overturned, because some of the claims made by Brexit supporters were inaccurate. The same could be said about the claims of Remainers both at the time of the 2016 referendum and today. No election takes place in a context of perfect honesty and intellectual clarity.

The best and most balanced assessment of the situation Britain finds itself in today, then, is this: despite the hyperbolic rhetoric on both sides of the debate, nothing truly terrible has befallen the British people because they voted to leave the EU, and if they do leave the EU in March, even under no-deal conditions, life will go on. Britain will still be strong, prosperous, and free. Some suspect, and I am one of them, that it may even be stronger, more prosperous, and certainly it will be freer and more fully sovereign than it has been in decades.

The one option that any right-thinking person must reject is another referendum. The British people have spoken on the issue of Brexit, and it is high time for their political leadership to accept the legitimacy of the people’s views. The attitude that elections are only valid when they lead to results congenial to the ruling class, which appears to be spreading throughout the West, and which certainly has a firm grip on the hard-left of the U.S. Democratic Party, is not one that can be reconciled with the integrity of the democratic process and the values that undergird it. Britons cannot be asked by their elitist, internationalist political masters to keep voting on Brexit until they get it “right.” Theresa May should disabuse the Remainers of this fantasy once and for all.

So there is only one path forward for Britain that respects the democratic rights of her people: a no-deal Brexit. Whatever temporary “chaos” such a move generates, Britons and Europeans should have confidence that, ultimately, life outside the purview of EU bureaucrats is possible—as we in America can attest—and in truth it isn’t so bad.

I strongly endorse the concept of a no-deal Brexit, and I look forward to welcoming the people of Britain into the family of truly sovereign nations, where they have always belonged.

Photo Credit: Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

EU • Europe • Foreign Policy • Political Parties • Post

Mayday Redux

It should serve as immutable proof of cultural decline that “people on Twitter” are regarded as an authority of Socratic relevance.

Ladling opinions that once never would have seeped beyond the confines of urine-fragrant public transport, such corrosive waffle now booms through all political discourse.

But reading the greatest hits from that symposium of dullards is too strong a temptation. Forgive those who claim with force that the earth is flat; that shapeshifting lizards slither beneath elite skins; that the “sheeple” just need to wake up, man. Those are, at least, entertaining.

Reading such exquisite tripe requires caution. A time-limit. Too much will eat through one’s besieged synapses like late-stage syphilis.

Twitter, the abattoir of original thought, claims Brexit is “dead.”

In reality, this was the week in which everything happened. And nothing changed. Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal deal to leave the European Union fell to the biggest defeat for a sitting government in our history—pestled by a majority of 230.

Some 118 of May’s own lawmakers joined the slaughter. As the result announced itself, audible gasps could have sucked the skin from her ashen face.

But May trundles on. May muddles through. And the current tragicomedy of British politics serves as a tonic for our friends on the continent. They’ve always enjoyed a British one-footed waltz.

Perversely, the clamor to extend this circus thickens. While most Britons just want Brexit to be over, and the word forever expunged from discourse, many lay in obsessive hope of a re-run.

One such man is Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. After spending most of his political life barking from the backbenches about obscure, and faddish left-wing causes, “Jeremy” found himself shunted to the top.

A perfect case-study for the Dunning-Kruger effect, Jeremy now believes a new election would march him and his Marxist fanboys to power.

Calling a vote of no-confidence in the government, Jeremy was prime minister-elect for all of 18 hours. That bid failed. May survived.

People on Twitter, no doubt, blamed the lizards.

But Corbyn keeps on. That’s despite being six points behind probably the most inept of governments in recent history. Ted Bundy, juggling a cracked vial of smallpox, could do better.

Somehow, the man who canoodles with the worst of humanity, and then denies photographic evidence of having done so, terrifies May’s Conservative Party. They are convinced he could win. His praise of the late Hugo Chavez resounds.

Which is why this skirmish is so compelling. Conservative lawmakers gunned down May’s hated deal on the runway. But they don’t want another election, and they certainly don’t want a second referendum. They know, as we all do, the rulers appreciate not the opinions of the ruled.

They have played a skillful game of brinkmanship. As Boris Johnson told the media, May’s deal isn’t entirely unfit for consumption. The hated “Irish backstop” which would tie us to EU rules and regulations, is the issue.

Dangerous a game though it may be, Brexiteers blasted the deal with sub-zero calculation. As the clock runs perilously close, May must now head back to Brussels with her hands out. The message from the Brexiteers is faintly clear: junk the backstop, and we may climb onboard.

There are few other options. Revoking Article 50 (the Brexit starting-shot) is political suicide; a second referendum is the nocturnal emission of a jilted few; a new election would tell us nothing; a “no-deal” Brexit is preferred by only the most granite of believers.

Tick, tock, tick, tock.

What remains, and what is most feasible, is for the European Union to junk the backstop in a manner in which they won’t have to admit to having done.

This is not a popular opinion. The media, which has spent two-and-a-half years ladling the most absurd of scare stories, claims it is just not possible.

But their influence, like much of the political class, withers when the people who actually matter start to pipe up.

The threat of no-deal spooks German industrialists. With a recession in the EU’s engine swerved for now, the calls for compromise grow more rancorous by the hour.

Even Angela Merkel, de facto leader of the EU, has softened—knowing a downturn in Germany threatens the entire EU project.

It is a grand game of chicken. But who will blink?

Ignorant of their hard-nosed demeanor, EU high priests have little choice. Populists are tipped to swarm one-third of European Parliament seats in May. Those arriving have root-and-branch reform on their minds.

Until recently, such elections mattered little. “More Europe!” the mithridate to all ills.

But a yellow-vested French rediscovery of their noble pastime rages across Paris and La France périphérique. While their besieged president Emmanuel Macron admitted that no-deal is “scary for everybody.”

They want their $50 billion goodbye check. And we just want to leave. Except, of course, those people on Twitter.

Photo credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

EU • Europe • Post

Brexit Boils Over

The definition of words matters little these days. This week, a handful of yellow-vested protestors harangued a British lawmaker outside Parliament.

The bleary crew demanded that Anna Soubry, a virulent Remainer, acquiesce to their apparently unreasonable suggestion their vote to leave the European Union actually count.

They used the F-word. They called her a “Nazi,” a “fascist,” and other monikers that escape print.

Television cameras caught the whole thing. And journalists could barely conceal their glee in “proving” the unfortunate spectacle was irrefutable evidence of the Brexit gangrene reaching the knees.

Here is the evidence. We were right all along, they insisted. Brexit has unleashed a fascist movement. The 17.4 million who voted to leave might not take to such public lynching, but they probably nod along, went the threadless trope.

Sadly, this feudal thinking now stitches through all political life.

Soubry obviously doesn’t deserve spittle-sodden abuse, yet has spent two-and-a-half years campaigning to overturn the clear wishes of a majority of voters. It doesn’t require a neuroscience degree to excavate why those protesters aren’t impressed with her, or the political class.

Of course, that political class jumped on the skirmish. Never letting a confected crisis go to waste.

Speaker of the Commons, John Bercow, a bubbling corrosive on the rusting steel of British political life, decried the brouhaha as a “type of fascism,” perhaps forgetting that the radiantly obvious work of overturning the result is hardly democratic.

That same man, alleged and obliged to impartiality, drives around with a “Bollocks to Brexit” sticker embossed on his car window. It’s not his, of course.

Bercow is the animation of the Bluffocracy. An ecosystem of privileged mediocrities whose lofty station in life is indebted to their upbringing within Britain’s still wretched class system. An education costing more than the average wage, the buy-in price. Bercow is the most noisome example—he didn’t attend our public-school elite factories, he just acts like he did.

Brexit exposes the bluffers for what they really are—Latin-reciting fabulists who’d struggle to rise to the top of a McDonald’s if they were born in the wrong part of town. Contritium praecedit superbia, posh boys.

They’ve never met someone whose job was shipped overseas. They’ve never met anyone whose livelihood is forever threatened by cheap labor. They’ve never met anyone whose stretched their last tenner to a swift pint before payday lands.

They’ve never met anyone like James Goddard, de-facto leader of the yellow vests, whom the powers that be embossed as a “fascist” before deleting his Facebook and Paypal accounts for “hate speech.” Which isn’t faintly fascist—not at all.

Goddard, before his digital banishment, said of Anna Soubry in a Facebook post, what should by now be obvious.

“She’s called a Nazi, because she is acting like one. If the political class weren’t trying to thwart Brexit, then I wouldn’t have to approach these treacherous MPs.”

To them, this Brexit business is all a big misunderstanding—that 17.4 million people “didn’t know what they were voting for!” If only they understood this thing of ours, say the Remainers, they’d get onboard.

But it is they who don’t understand. Brexit, much like the Trump phenomenon, is wrongly cast as a backlash from the “left-behind”—those victims of an unbridled globalization which chewed them up and spat them into an Uber.

Yes, the precariat drove Vote Leave across the line. But Brexit is a revolution of the middle-class. So is that of the Gilets Jaunes. But, don’t tell the media. They’d rather their reality unshaken.

And it cannot be stopped. That is despite government “rebels” (hilarious, given their soldiering of the status quo) defeating Theresa May’s government on two key votes this week in a kamikaze bid to stop a no-deal Brexit—en route to stopping Brexit entirely.

But no-deal, I’m afraid, is the default. Britain leaves the European Union at 11 p.m. on March 29. Our departure is not conditional on any deal. The great, and savory irony being that Remainers, for all their resistance, are trundling toward the hardest possible Brexit.

They can and should but won’t blame themselves. Rather than compromise with the majority, Remainers both in parliament, and on pavement, still insist the people got it wrong.

So did Theresa May, in her own little way. Her deal to leave the EU tacitly admits we should remain in all but name. And few are buying it. Next week’s vote on that is expected to end in defeat. The clock, meanwhile, ticks and tocks and tocks and ticks.

I suspect that handful of yellow vests would soon swarm into millions, if Brexit were thwarted.

Who could really blame them?

Photo Credit: Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images

EU • Europe • Political Parties • Post

Theresa May’s Merry Christmas

I’m old enough to remember when the most substantial event in British politics involved a leader of the Labour Party struggling to feign humanity while eating a bacon sandwich.

Ed Miliband, a hapless Labour leader before hapless Labour leaders became a thing, tried to burgeon his working-class credentials by performing this simplest of tasks.

Again, all he had to do was look normal eating a sandwich. He failed. Many commentators will claim that Weird Ed lost the winnable 2015 election because of his Marxist leanings. Don’t listen to them. It was his disfiguring of that sandwich that killed him.

“I just can’t vote for him,” said many a pub regular. “Odd bloke,” was the consensus.

In fairness to Miliband, uncool brother of David, 2015 was the last year when things were identifiably ordinary. That sandwich headlined for the better part of a week. Now, it wouldn’t extend past Monday lunchtime. Too much goes on. And on . . . and on.

I may have mentioned a few times that Prime Minister Theresa May was on the brink of political death. That her deal to leave the European Union was dead on arrival. That, surely, this time, she was brown bread.

Well, it looks like Santa has delivered a Christmas miracle. Hell, she even convinced a member of the public to take a selfie with her. You’d think it was the other way around, but I doubt it.

Anyway, May’s team are now said to be confident of forcing her much-detested withdrawal agreement through Parliament when lawmakers return in January. They think they can win.

Like I said here, the hated backstop which would tie Britain to EU rules and regulations indefinitely is the sticking point, and the reason May’s deal had little to no chance of passing through Parliament.

After surviving an attempt on her political life, May and her team ramped up preparations to leave the EU without any deal. They call this “managed no-deal.” Those in opposition call it “insane.” My pub friends call it “Brexit.”

A major issue was that strident Euroskeptic Jacob Rees-Mogg was not on board, and neither were his 80-plus lawmakers in the European Research Group. Add those to May’s Democratic Unionist Party allies, whom she depends upon for her majority. It looked dead.

But a miracle is perhaps underway. (And, dear reader, I promise to never write anything regarding the longevity of Theresa May ever again. I hope you didn’t place any significant wagers.)

May’s supporters in her cabinet are now buzzing at what they believe is a substantial shift in parliamentary psyche. Her chief negotiator, Ollie Robbins, has been prodding EU bosses in secret talks this week.

Despite denying all knowledge, EU bosses are warming to a meaningful concession on the Irish Backstop, according to The Times.

May has also invited all Conservative lawmakers, and their partners, to a New Year’s gathering at Number 10 Downing Street. This is after surviving a no-confidence vote in which 117 lawmakers called for her head. The other 200 backed her, but only after she promised to stand down.

Government sources told The Sun that May and her cabinet are “confident” of getting her deal through an early January vote. They might lose the first, but the thinking goes that May’s deal would pass a second vote after no viable alternative appears.

This is quite remarkable, given more than 100 lawmakers were determined to kill the deal just before the Christmas recess. But sources have told The Sun that many are softening—including Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Perhaps reality is dawning. Despite all of its flaws, May’s deal is a stepping stone to leaving the EU without a messy economic shock handing succor to those Remainers determined to overturn the vote.

But this all hinges on the backstop. A recent acceleration of no-deal preparations has spooked the EU. If May can get some concessions from Brussels, that should be enough to convince Brexiteer lawmakers that May’s deal is a work in progress, and not Remain in all but name.

For that to happen, she’ll need the support of her Democratic Unionist Party allies to back her deal. Right now, they’re not playing ball through fear that the “temporary” Irish Backstop would end up a permanent shackle.

The sideliners want a legal codicil from the EU stating that the backstop would be a temporary and undesirable last resort. That should be enough for most to fall in line. And for Great Britain to leave the European Union on March 29.

So Remainer fantasies of overturning the vote have all but dissolved. For now.

And this was all but confirmed when Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said last week that Brexit would still go ahead, even if Remainers got their general election and he became prime minister. Predictably, the compassionistas want his head.

He might be hapless. And the vegetarian Corbyn would never attempt a bacon sandwich. But at least he’s a Brexiteer, even though he won’t admit it.

Photo Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images

America • Defense of the West • EU • Europe • Foreign Policy • NATO • Post

How America Can Liberate the West Again

America’s domestic debates over immigration, and Democrats’ hysteria over Trump’s tweets, obfuscates the larger crisis unfolding in the West.  Trump’s traditional nationalism is pitted against the technocratic elites of the New York-D.C. corridor, but this is only one theater of a political and philosophical struggle taking place across the West. Americans should be aware of the growing turmoil Europe, not only because of our previous interventions there but also because it serves as a warning of what can happen to America if Trump fails at implementing his reforms.

Fortunately once again for Europe, the United States has a chance to liberate it from supranational authoritarianism.

Incrementally weakening the European Union in favor of national determination can and should be a hallmark of American foreign policy in the region. Through strategic diplomacy and economic statecraft, the United States can offer European states opportunities to exit the European Union safely.

The EU’s anti-American intentions came into focus in 2018, and include the creation of a pan-European military. French President Emmanuel Macron in November declared the need for an EU army to defend against perceived threats such as China, Russia . . . and the United States. German Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed Macron’s call, with the two heads of state effectively declaring the need for a supranational military power under Franco-German guidance. These sentiments from French and German Eurocrats came into even sharper relief with calls from Germany for Paris to relinquish its seat at the U.N. Security Council so that it could be replaced by a “European” one. The Europe of today may not yet be expansionist as were the great powers that dominated it in the past, but like its predecessors, it does not respect national self-determination or sovereignty. In fact, the Europe of today does everything in its power to subordinate the wills of its member-states to a geopolitical agenda that is both anti-democratic and anti-sovereignty.

Why Sovereignty?
The sovereign state emerged as a solution to the religious conflict of the Thirty Years War. The Protestant Reformation that began in the early 16th century unleashed over a century of European wars around disputes over religious interpretation and dynastic succession. The problem of religious assertion is its universality. The global assertions of religious claims that ripped Europe apart in the early 17th century finally ended with the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia and the agreement to recognize national sovereignty and territorial states.

In his idealistic and Kantian naiveté, Emmanuel Macron decried nationalism as a “betrayal of patriotism.” Macron, Merkel, and other proponents of the EU are part of a distinct intellectual tradition that holds traditional Western notions of popular national sovereignty in utter contempt and is animated by the guiding principles of EU supranationalism. The spirit of the EU is perhaps best summarized in a quote displayed in front of the European Parliament by the late British diplomat Philip Kerr. Kerr, who pressured Churchill to appease Hitler, declared, “National sovereignty is the root cause of the most crying evils of our times . . . The only final remedy for this evil is the federal union of the peoples.”

From the global perspective of EU boosters, the sovereignty of its member states, and other states with strong national assertion such as the United States, Israel, Russia, or the post-Brexit United Kingdom, is an anathema. According to EU thinking, citizens of member states who are disenchanted with unrestricted migration, high taxes with no perceived benefit, and a lack of monetary and economic autonomy, are simply evil nationalists. The universal religious aims of Europe long ago were replaced with philosophical proxies such as socialism, neoliberalism, and globalism. Each idea is hostile towards national territorial sovereignty.

America can, and should set a foreign policy that undermines this European supranationalism.

Redefining NATO’s Role
In military affairs the idea of an angry Europe determined to challenge the United States may be anachronistic, but now constitutes a potential threat to American security in the distant future. An EU military parallel to NATO would force European states to prefer one over the other.

Similarly, if the United States simply withdrew from NATO, its European members essentially would become a de-facto EU military. Instead, U.S. foreign policy should focus on redefining NATO by approaching those European states now skeptical of the EU and committed to national sovereignty. A post-NATO replacement could even look beyond Europe to include powers such as India, Israel, Australia, Japan, and even Brazil in a new coalition of democratic states who are committed to national self-determination.

To counter China in the long term, combat terrorism, and re-subordinate global entities such as the EU and other organizations, the United States need to move away from its role as “global policeman” to one of a classic great power. Contrary to neoconservative thinking and the socialism that dominates most of America’s foreign policy intelligentsia, nationalism is not the same as isolationism. Instead, nationalism is skeptical of pursuing the political mirage of utopia and is committed to the wellbeing of its citizens.

Keeping King Dollar
In the inter-national economy, the United States cannot cede ground as the issuer of the premier currency of international business. At the moment of this writing, the U.S. national debt is more than $21 trillion, with each taxpayer on the hook for just over $178,000 of it. The fact that dollars are in such high demand around the globe, and can, in fact, be used in locales ranging from Wall Street to Timbuktu is the single largest macroeconomic factor protecting the currency from inflation. If businesses and countries sold their dollars for Chinese renminbi or euros, the value of U.S. tax revenue and retirement savings would inflate away. Even if U.S. troops withdrew from every overseas base and station, the United States must remain the top monetary power if it wants to prevent financial Armageddon from befalling its citizens. Dismantling European supranational monetary order would help.

The Eurozone, or those countries sharing the euro, replaced the monetary autonomy and sovereignty of all of its members. Separate from the EU, the Eurozone’s members have no ability to control the inflation rates of their countries. Having slightly inflated currencies allowed for countries such as Greece, Spain, Italy, and others to manufacture products for export. Unfortunately for Eurozone members aside from Germany, the euro is based on the legacy of the highly valuable German Deutschemark. Germany’s allergy to inflation of any amount comes from its experience with it during the Weimar era. Normally detrimental to a country’s exports, Germany could afford an expensive currency by selling incredibly expensive exports. Unlike Germany, Greece, Portugal, and other Eurozone countries, unfortunately, do not export BMWs. Now part of the Eurozone, no one can afford to manufacture exports in these countries.

Using monetary diplomacy, the United States can approach countries skeptical of the Eurozone, and offer them the chance to resurrect their old national currencies through dollarization. In this hypothetical scenario, Greece, Italy, or other Eurozone states can reintroduce their national currencies and inspire confidence in the new currency by pegging it to the dollar. Once investors gained confidence in the new national currency, the reemerging state could decouple from the dollar and have its monetary independence once again. American businesses and tourists would have to exchange currencies more often as a result, but this hassle is a small price to pay in re-establishing national self-determination. Additionally, once monetary independence is recovered from a distant and burdensome European bureaucracy, European states could compete for business on their own terms.

Debunking the Globalist Myth
Globalization has been a factor of politics since Mesopotamian city-states established trade routes with ancient Egypt and India; however, globalization in its 21st-century form does not work. Open borders harm national populations through lowering wages, allowing unrestricted flows of illicit substances and crime, and rendering national identities meaningless. This kind of globalization is not only unnatural, but it is divorced from historical experience. At present, European states are some of globalization’s biggest victims. Nebulous values such as “diversity” mean nothing when they bring suicide bombings and poverty along with them. In the balance of competing values, national sovereignty is simply too valuable to turn in for an alternative.

America’s foreign policy can serve its national interest without succumbing to the globalist myth of a borderless utopia, and it can do so without an equally mindless isolationism. The United States, however, must pursue an anti-globalist agenda that values national self-determination on the part of other states. The West created a phantasmagoria of “global” and “universal” institutions during the Cold War to counter the universal alternative offered by the Soviet Union.

Now, these institutions have become the West’s Frankenstein monster. It’s a monster threatens us politically, economically, and culturally. To begin taming the beast and save the West, America must seek to free European states from the monster the EU has become.

EU • Europe • Post

Revolt of the Elites

Upsetting people named Jolyon or Gaia was the main reason I voted to leave the European Union.

People like me—you know, ordinary types who don’t feel out of place in a pub, who drop our Gs, who couldn’t care less for politically correct mannas and other luxuries of confected middle-class oppression—got an unhealthy bang out of that.

Seeing the soi-disant smart set squirm at our vote to leave still tastes sweet. For months after June 23, 2016, that gorgeous high did not leaven. The elite calls for a second referendum only deepened the narcotic warmth.

Those guys who sent our good jobs abroad, and told us to get on our bikes. Those who somehow found the time to dream up a laundry list of things that made us “racist.” They, who banned smoking in our bars they dared not frequent. They who called us “gammon” for harboring views the vast majority hold, too. To beat them, just once, felt good. One-nil, posh boys.

Well, those posh boys with names like Jolyon, inspired by a popular household oven cleaner, didn’t approve of the audience chiming in on their kabuki theatre.

They are fighting back. Remarkably, one Jolyon wants us plebs to shed the blood.

Writing in The Guardian this week, Jolyon Maugham QC, a noted legal brain and relentless Remainer, implored those he sees as cleaners, housekeepers, and not much else, to general-strike in the name of keeping his mustard corduroys in the EU.

But Jolyon is no intellectual slough. He skilfully peppers the column with populist language like “the people,” “we,” and “our,” despite being galaxies away from those he implores to do his dirty work.

One would be excused in thinking Maugham is a skillful populist tribune concerned solely with the plight of the hardscrabbled, but he is a fashionable pretender.

His original efforts to sabotage Brexit were a little less salt-of-the-earth. Indeed, the hotshot lawyer spent his early resistance in the courts, tying up Brexit via legal chicanery. That was before casting himself as man of the people whom he now holds in Steinbeckian reverence.

Jolyon’s desperation echoes that of his well-connected milieu. Except now, they’ve dropped the pretense quicker than their plummy tone when encountering a member of the lower orders with a different opinion.

Brexit must be stopped. Forget the plebs. This is our club, is the gist.

Such grotesqueries are encouraged, remarkably, by some members of our own government. Theresa May’s deal, unacceptable to all but her, has severed her own cabinet.

One Cabinet lawmaker, Amber Rudd, this week suggested a second referendum was the only way out of our impasse. How is anyone’s guess. The sands haven’t shifted in two-and-a-half years. And won’t. Yet, this line of thinking grows in decibel.

The “People’s Vote,” an offensive joke just months ago, is now a strong possibility, as May’s doomed deal, whether by accident or design, sits dead on arrival. The demand for a re-sit thickens.

For some, this was the plan all along. Tony Blair, whom you’ve perhaps deduced isn’t on my Christmas card list, Svengalizes a movement determined to overturn the people. The elites, as Christopher Lasch contended—both in adjective and verb—are revolting.

Their success hinges on Parliament rejecting May’s deal. Right now, it won’t pass. But recent, and wholly late developments could change that.

After surviving a leadership challenge, May listened, for once, to those around her. Though divided, half of her Cabinet now busies itself with preparing the minimum needed to leave the EU with no deal.

Remainers call this a “car crash.” The Cabinet Brexiteers call it “managed no-deal.” Indeed, it is being seriously ramped up, with some $2.5 billion being funneled to government departments to keep goods flowing in and out, ports open, and things running as smoothly as possible.

This gung-ho notion has spooked the EU. “There’s no such thing as a managed no-deal!” cried the EU’s Guy Verhofstadt. Well, mate, there is.

Andrea Leadsom, a lawmaker, and leader of the House of Commons, told the BBC on Thursday that a managed no-deal would “avoid a cliff edge.”

“What I am looking at is trying to find an alternative so that in the event that we cannot agree to this deal that there could be a further deal that looks at a more minimalist approach but enables us to leave with some kind of implementation period,” she said.

“That avoids a cliff edge, that avoids uncertainty for businesses and travellers and so on,” Leadsom added.

With fewer than 100 days until we officially leave, the threat of no-deal is resonating with the EU. They need us, too.

Of course, actually leaving without a deal isn’t the end game of May or her cabinet. Demonstrating a willingness to do so, ostensibly at least, is meant to quicken minds across the water.

As mentioned recently, May’s deal is bedraggled by the hated “backstop” which would tie us to the EU, if triggered. Get rid of that, and her deal will likely chop through parliamentary thickets.

So, the specter of no-deal might just force the EU to welch the backstop. They might hold the razor noseward, but they’ll never commit the steel to skin. And they want their $50 billion payday.

Failing that, we could always rerun the referendum. Leave would win again. And the Jolyons and the Gaias would cry foul. Two-nil, posh boys—a delightful prospect.

Photo Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Administrative State • America • Center for American Greatness • Deep State • Defense of the West • Donald Trump • EU • Free Speech • Government Reform • Post • Progressivism • The Left

The Globalist Mindset: They Hate You

Against what or whom is the contemporary Western public pushing back?

The French non-Parisians against new green taxes on already unaffordable gasoline? Broke southern European Union nations against the financial demands of German bankers? The Eastern Europeans against French and German open-border mandates?

The British masses against both the EU and their own government that either cannot or will not follow the will of the people and implement Brexit? The American populists against outsourcing, offshoring, and illegal immigration?

The common target of all these populist pushbacks is an administrative and cultural elite that shares a set of transnational and globalist values and harbors mostly contempt for the majority of their own Neanderthal citizens who are deemed hopelessly unwoken to environmental, racial, gender, and cultural inevitabilities.

In a word, the Ivy League, Oxbridge, and the Sorbonne masters of the universe assume that the world is on a predetermined trajectory. We are to follow an arc of history bending toward state-managed social justice if you will—to end up as a sort of global Menlo Park, Malibu, Upper West Side, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Schwabing, or Kensington. No wonder, it is their ethical duty of transnationals to goad the fated, but sometimes stalled, process along.

Like Aristocrats of Old
Voters in consensual societies are often assumed too ignorant of the world beyond their borders, too encumbered with traditional racial, ethnic, gender, religious, and nationalist prejudices, and too ill-informed to know what is good for them. No wonder that sometimes hoi polloi must either vote repeatedly until they get it right, or follow executive and judicial fiats issued from their betters on high. In the globalist mindset, Brexit passed not because it was felt to be good by a majority or even advantageous for the United Kingdom, but because racists, xenophobes, nativists, protectionists, and chauvinists deluded the clueless public into thinking a pre-EU, and more racist and sexist Britain was somehow superior.

A postelection depressed Hillary Clinton had to travel all the way to Mumbai, India to find a more enlightened audience that would appreciate her insight that the ogre Trump had beat her because:

If you look at the map of the United States, there is all that red in the middle, places where Trump won. What that map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that own two-thirds of America’s Gross Domestic Product. I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, Make America Great Again, was looking backwards. You don’t like black people getting rights, you don’t like women getting jobs, you don’t want to see that Indian American succeeding more than you are, whatever that problem is, I am going to solve it.

The globalist elite is certainly transnational and is sickened by localism, traditionalism, and autonomy. Monsieur Macron shares much more in common with Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Justin Trudeau than he does with rural Frenchmen. It is almost as if in 2019 our elites are emulating the interlocking aristocratic families of late 19th-century Europe, but instead of being common descendants of Queen Victoria they are the godchildren of Menlo Park, Brussels, Strasburg, Davos, and Wall Street.

Donald Trump’s efforts to deregulate the U.S. economy, demand reciprocal trade with China, Mexico, or Germany, rout ISIS, open up federal lands for natural gas and oil exploration, build pipelines, lower taxes, and grow the economy at best are seen as misguided parochial boosterism and at worse the sort of selfish nationalism that ignores expert global and world-is-flat consensus. In either case, the common denominator is that the world community can ill afford another U.S. president who has not been stamped, vetted, or audited by an Ivy League law or business school, a prior Washington D.C. federal office, or Wall Street firm.

Angela Merkel—who recently pronounced that nations must be “prepared to give up their sovereignty”—and her ilk are representations of the same sort of values as those of Hillary Clinton’s circle. Elites do not see their fellow citizens in exceptional terms of the affinities of a common language, shared history, or sovereign geography. Instead, they envision themselves as Socratic citizens of the world. They are an international siblinghood with common blue-chip educations, wealth, and long service in the administrative state. The anointed alone “see” and “grasp” what is really going on with the world, and therefore what really needs to be done right now, at all costs, regardless of the opposition from what Hillary wrote off as “all that red in the middle.”

International Crusading
Globalism is both an ideology and a culture of behavior. The creed is that the Western world, given its colonial and imperialist past, has a duty both to make amends to the former third world through magnanimously lending the global community elite Western expertise—whether through Kyoto- or Paris-like climate accords, foreign interventions guided by Western humanitarian principles, asymmetrical trade agreements, open borders, or U.N. mandates.

The globalist alone knows how global warming threatens us and how the ignorant masses must sacrifice to cool things down, how nationalism supposedly causes world wars, how sexism, racism, and homophobia have warped Western, but non-necessarily non-Western, society, and how human nature can be modified to avoid these pathologies through greater coercion, more relevant social education, improved material conditions, and greater secular ecumenicalism—a far better religion than calcified Christendom. The Western consumer—fat, “lazy,” played out—surely does not need any more affluence or income. His nation, therefore, can afford to subsidize, through his superfluous lifestyle, far nobler international crusades for mankind.

The nation-state then is passé. Transnational organizations, the larger and more powerful the better, tame mindless Western chauvinism, while enhancing and making invaluable alternative post-Western paradigms. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, the chief executive officer of the World Bank, the Secretary-General of NATO, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the President of the Council of Foreign Relations, the president of CNN Worldwide, all these are certainly to be listened to in a way an elected senator from Kansas, the nuts who stirred up the gilets jaunes, the unhinged Poles and Bulgarians who wanted to build fences on their borders, or renegade British MPs pushing for Brexit should not be.

Globalist penance for past sins is accomplished in a variety of ways. Non-Westerns are not to be held to symmetrical value systems. Islamic countries can destroy churches, Western nations consider mosques sacrosanct. Illegal immigration force feeds diversity onto a tired and exhausted Western public in dire need of having its horizons expanded by the other. Dumping, patent and copyright theft, and technological appropriation are sins only for wayward Westerners.

The elite must never be subject to the sometimes unfortunate ramifications of their own ideologies—any more than a laboratory scientist need be singed when he recklessly puts the wrong volatile ingredients into his beaker mix. Open-borders architects in the U.S. need not put their children in schools overwhelmed by illegal immigrants. Walls are useless on borders but effective around Malibu and Napa estates. The elite need not live in neighborhoods where European languages are rarely spoken; others less liberal need such exposure and enlightenment. French citizens must pay high gas taxes for their huge carbon footprints, French elites fly private jets to conduct profitable business in the carbon-rich Gulf, India, and China.

“Noble” Ends, Unethical Means
Globalists generally assume that their own privileged material conditions are pitiful wages for the greater good they do and so justify their material hypocrisies, as if they were wounded wild fawns forced to rely on rich artificial shrubbery of suburban gardens. They often share the greatest disdain for the rural and muscular classes of their own countries who lack the sophistication of the elite and the romanticism of the distant poor. If worse comes to worst, such impediments can simply die off and be replaced by more fertile, more energetic immigrants from the former Third World happy to have a shot at Western material conditions and the general welfare state, and who are at least thankful and appreciative of their benefactors and so more than willing to be receptive to globalist, transnational, and redistributive bromides.

Globalism ultimately is an offspring of elite progressive universities, think tanks, foundations, government institutions, and borderless corporatism. All the old progressive boilerplate—anti-trust legislation, prohibitions on monopolies, product liability—ceases when vast multibillion-dollar tech fortunes put their money into progressive causes, and thereby remind us that sometimes noble ends justify unethical means of obtaining them.

Facebook, Google, and Twitter have a perfect right to monopolize, to warp political expression, and to censor free speech if they devote their billions to enacting global climate, political, or social justice change, in the manner that here at home the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and NSA—at times in conjunction with their foreign counterparts—justifiably had to monitor, use informants, and spread libelous smears on reckless Cro-Magnons like Donald J. Trump, who would harken us back to an embarrassing nationalist and sovereign past. Illegality has its uses.

Whom do the globalists despise?

The carbon spewing Winnebago owners, the snowmobilers, the jet skiers, the Glock packers, the Elks Clubbers, the lathe workers, the 101st Airborners with molôn labé tattooed on their arms, the 7-11 owners, the nutty Brit who speaks reverentially of Churchill, the dumb grubby French guy on a tractor who has no clue that his diesel engine must soon be replaced by three-hour batteries, the wacko Greek who cannot appreciate a boatload of noble Libyans landing on the beach below his ancestral olive grove in Crete, the limited Czech who clings to the hokey belief that residents in the Czech Republic should still speak Czech—in other words, all the autonomous cranks, and odd ballers who did not get the message, are not yet on board, and should have been by now long past woke.

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Photo credit: Reddit

Conservatives • Economy • Elections • EU • Europe • Foreign Policy • Post • Trade

May Lives On

If there is one saving grace to pluck from the laughable wreckage that is British politics, it’s that Theresa May, still prime minister, has promised to stand down.

After surviving an attempt on her premiership this week, May clings on—her Brexit deal clutched firmly to her chest in spite of the fact that the risk of anyone wanting to relieve her of it is infinitesimally remote. Like a Doberman clamping a prized branch between its jaws, May keeps gnawing.

The drama ends with May safe in her job for 12 months; which is one year too long. But 117 of her own lawmakers voting no-confidence in her leadership wasn’t enough to make it otherwise. In any case, it was a number denuded by her promises to not fight the next election. The other 200 backed May.

And the reality hasn’t changed. May’s deal, in current form at least, has zero chance of passing through the House of Commons. Brexiteers detest it. Remainers don’t like it. After all, the threat of triple-digit defeat forced May to delay Tuesday’s vote.

May now heads back to Brussels, in the pointless hope that EU bosses will hand her a lifeline by exorcising their deal of the hated Irish backstop, which, if triggered, ties Britain to EU laws and regulations. Critics rightly fear this is Brexit in name only.

There’s little chance of the EU budging on that. May will probably return with less than she had when she arrived.

But there is a positive from all this. May has promised to not fight the next general election set for 2022. A promise in which anyone still unrecovered from her last disaster can take succor. She made the prankish socialist and Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, seem viable to almost 40 percent of the country.

Still, she hangs on. And she won’t be here in 12 months. She has accepted that Brexit is her hill to die on. Finally.

Hell, if she manages to finagle legal guarantees from the EU assuring of the hated backstop’s temporary and last-resort nature, she might just get her deal through Parliament.

Speaking to the BBC after the vote, arch-Euroskeptic Jacob Rees-Mogg, said he would be open to back the deal if such assurances were made. If Mogg can find compromise, then his 80-plus European Research Group lawmakers would likely join him.

That is significant. Rees-Mogg is the kind of Euroskeptic one would grow in a petri-dish.

The reality of a divided nation, and government, is congealing. The mood, according to a friend of mine and aide of a middle-ranking Brexiteer lawmaker, suggests the anti-EU faction wants to take a slice of the loaf now, and come back for more.

Both my friend and the lawmaker he works for are staunch Brexiteers, but they’re not stupid. After reassurances from the prime minister, that lawmaker voted in confidence of May. He’s no wilting flower.

Fewer than 60 lawmakers truly want a no-deal Brexit, the aide tells me. The expected shock, though already priced into markets, would give the likes of Tony Blair and the ultra-Remainers the despair they need for their real desire.

That’s a second referendum, which they quite laughably call a “People’s Vote.” We’ve already had one, of course, and I can attest that people—the most in our history, actually—were quite heavily involved. Perhaps we are the wrong kind, if Blair and his ilk could glance truthfully for a second.

So, as May will no doubt repeat incessantly as the March 29 deadline approaches: it’s her deal, or no Brexit at all.

Or Prime Minister Corbyn. Another notion once so laughable it prompted many Conservatives to pay £3 and ensure hapless Corbyn won the Labour leadership.

Though an avuncular and fluffy character, the real Jeremy Corbyn seeps through during interviews in which his host has the temerity to ask him a question. Prodded off his perch of piety, “Jeremy” dissolves into intemperate spite.

He campaigned as a common-sense social democrat, but anyone familiar with Corbyn’s history knows he rubs shoulders with some dreadful people. A barely concealed teenage angst is encased in his near-70 years.

That’s enough to scare Conservatives straight. But, like a great many Republicans in America, our Tories haven’t grasped the new reality in which we find ourselves.

A Brexit Britain would need a Brexit prime minister. And one capable of melding together a people rent down the middle.

Though the left-leaning media cannot admit it, Boris Johnson fits the bill and would be immensely popular. He’s already well-regarded as a two-time mayor of progressive London. Everyone knows Boris.

After we voted to leave the EU, Boris was a shoo-in for prime minister. But his characteristic (and usually endearing) loucheness led to key allies popping his bid before it got off the ground. It’s one thing to file your $300,000-a-year column with seconds to deadline, another to fudge the little details of leading a country of 62 million people.

Saying that, Boris, who visited my hometown a while back, is the only politician I’ve seen to command a long orderly queue of people lining up for a selfie. I don’t think Theresa May, bless her, knows what a selfie is.

But she does know how to muddle on through and grind out the little details. Which is why she is still prime minister, and perhaps why Boris is not.

Photo credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Image

Center for American Greatness • EU • Europe • Featured Article • Progressivism

Les Macronables?

The late Chinese Premier Chou en-Lai is reputed to have said in 1971 that it was “too soon” to assess the impact of the French Revolution. Whatever the truth of that epigram, it is certainly too soon to know how important the events unfolding daily in France will become. My recent trip to Paris, however, left me with a sense of historical déjà vu. While French President Emmanuel Macron is not a king, the slow motion popular resistance to his rule reminded me more than a little of the slow leaking of royal authority that predated the storming of the Bastille.

France as a whole has long been in economic decline. French unemployment has not dropped below 7 percent in more than two decades, and has been over 9 percent each year since 2008. French growth has also stagnated, averaging less than two percent per year since the Great Recession in 2008. The French welfare state, funded by the highest tax burden in Europe, keeps people from penury, but few can rise above their station.

Unless, that is, you live in or near Paris. Growth in the nation’s capital region has been brisk throughout this century, with GDP per capita in the core Ile de France region rising nearly 20 percent since 2000 while rising by much less than 5 percent in the rest of the country. GDP per capita in Paris and its rich western suburbs exceeded $110,000 in 2015 while it was below $40,000 per person nearly everywhere else. There are simply two Frances: the rich west side of Paris and the rest of the nation.

It should be no surprise, therefore, that the French rejected both traditional political parties in the 2017 election. People suffering from decades of economic stagnation tend to want to throw the bums out. What is surprising is to whom they turned. Macron is a creature of the very Parisian French elite who have been France’s winners. He is a graduate of the Ecole nationale d’administration, an elite institution that has produced three presidents (in addition to Macron) and seven prime ministers since its founding in 1945. A former minister in his predecessor’s government, Macron does not seem to be the sort of person an angry populace would support.

But Macron’s base of support was never the angry populace. France has a two round election system, where candidates from all parties run in a first round and the first two finishers compete in a run-off two weeks later. In the all-important first round, exit polls showed that Macron’s support came from the wealthiest and the most-educated in France. He was least popular in the countryside and most popular in the Paris metro area. Macron ran as a reformer, but a reformer whom the elites knew would protect their status and privileges.

Macron in power has not surprised. His signature reforms have been straight out of the elite Parisian playbook. He has deregulated the labor market, making it easier for employers to fire workers and increasing their ability to hire people to short-term contracts that offer less stability to employees. He has imposed a number of other business or market-friendly reforms that will tend to make daily life more unstable for the majority of the French in the short term, including cuts in the number of public service jobs and the amount spent on pensions and welfare. To top it off, he dramatically cut the French tax on net wealth to encourage private sector capital formation. These reforms might pay off in the long run, but it should be no surprise that his favorability rating had dropped to below 25 percent before the latest protests erupted.

The straw that broke the French camel’s back, however, was a rise in fuel taxes to combat global warming at a time when gasoline and diesel prices were already climbing dramatically. Only a well-to-do Parisian, who could easily take the Metro or train to work, could think that this was the right time to place even more burdens on the average Frenchman.

Queen Marie Antoinette supposedly said “let them eat cake” when told that peasants could not afford bread. No one claims Mrs. Macron uttered “let them drive less” in response to the protests, but the message was clear nonetheless.

A Sense of Foreboding
I arrived in Paris for a three-day speaking trip sponsored by the U.S. embassy and some elite Parisian institutions a couple of days after the protests had turned violent. My hosts were unfailingly polite and the events went off without a hitch. But in our conversations, I sensed foreboding but little fear. The economy had underperformed, I was told, and prior attempts to introduce market reforms to the French economy had also been met with street protests. Their foreboding was about the prospect of further violence, not that the Macron reform project might give way to a change of regime whereby the provinces would force Paris to share its wealth. That would be too incroyable to contemplate.

Yet that is clearly what is behind the gilets jaunes protests. The protestors and the majority of French who have sympathized with them do not believe that increasing the burdens on them while reducing them on the Parisian wealthy will redound to their benefit.

It is telling that Macron has refused to accede to the protesters’ demand that he repeal his wealth tax cut even as his speech Monday night showered billions of euros in reduced taxes and increased benefits on the protesting classes. He would raise costs for small employers by raising the minimum wage in January, but he will not take back a penny of the benefits his wealth tax cut gives to his Parisian friends.

Macron’s worldview is clear: the problem with France is the greed of the French, not the avarice of the Parisians.

The events that led to the French Revolution were a long time in coming just as have been the events that are now unfolding in France. Decades of wars and schemes foisted upon France by the Paris-based monarchy had finally bankrupted the country, but when Louis XVI finally turned to the French for help—more taxes—they insisted upon sharing power rather than sacrificing again without complaint. This the King would not do, and in a series of concessions and retractions he set in motion a two-year process which finally culminated in the Revolution of 1789. Unless Macron acts decisively and remakes his reforms so they have less to do with the will of Paris and more to do with the hopes of the provinces, he may be on the path to defeat at the hands of a genuine populist in the 2022 election.

He might be aware of that. Macron’s Monday speech included a phrase that attracted much attention: “the question of immigration” must be dealt with. It might finally have dawned on him that making jobs more unstable and reducing benefits for which the French are eligible is much scarier for a public who must then compete with legal and illegal immigrants for whom the conditions in France are still infinitely better than from where they came. Sacrifice from the French, for the French, might be a more saleable proposition than his current program of elite-driven market-based reforms that can build a new Europe and save the planet.

A Bigger Backlash Brewing?
A wise Macron might note that his impressive second round victory concealed more than it revealed. Modern politics is increasingly a battle between the “Ins” and the “Outs,” between those who have benefited from the 21st century’s economic and cultural changes and those who have not. Macron won the second round by consolidating support from “Ins” who backed other establishment candidates in the first round and from the abstention of many left-leaning “Outs” who could not support Marine Le Pen, the daughter of someone they considered to be a fascist.

In the 2017 election’s first round, Macron and the candidates of the two traditional parties won only 50.4 percent of the vote; Le Pen and two other anti-establishment “Out” candidates received 45.6 percent. If the gilets jaunes have united the Outs behind a common cause, the movement could also produce a charismatic leader who can ride that united support to victory.

On the advice of my hosts, I left my hotel when it was pitch black out to avoid the protestors. As my taxi took me to my train, I saw the reason for the sawing and hammering that had kept me awake during much of the night—boarded up shops in the rich, tourist mecca of the 1st Arrondissement. I would be safe in a couple of hours, but they had to remain behind and hope that the flood of provincials that would soon walk their streets would be dissuaded by their precautions. Their property, and perhaps their liberties, would be better protected if their leaders would take political precautions now to unite the entire French people behind a scheme of national renewal.

If not, le deluge may await.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

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Energy • Environment • EU • Europe • Post

Je Suis, Gilet Jaune

Good intentions are expensive. But seldom is the bill footed by the well-intentioned.

I forked out $1,100 this week to an auto-mechanic to fix a “problem” non-existent just six months ago.

My Volkswagen, you see, is no longer fashionable. It’s a dirty diesel. That trusty lump of German steel failed its annual roadworthiness test. To the delight of the auto-mechanic.

“New laws, mate,” he said with a muted glee, my floppy hairdo somehow thickening his joy.

“Pumps out black smoke—polluter,” went the decree.

My oil-sodden tormentor teasingly revealed that new emissions laws passed earlier this year had condemned the steed to leper status. That it was literally killing the planet. That polar bears, given the chance, would quite happily and justifiably crunch through my ribcage.

The cost for being such a disgusting threat to the planet was $1,100 for a device I couldn’t pronounce, but would, he assured me, keep another polar bear on solid ice.

“Less black smoke, then, you see? Problem solved.” Right.

What did I do about such an injustice? Bar an aborted, though eruditely composed and deftly balanced Facebook status—nothing. I’m British.

And sadly, not French. Our cousins across the Channel wouldn’t fathom such trifles. As we can see.

Paris, and large swathes of France, currently are roiling in a fantastic bonfire of every vanity President Emmanuel Macron has slicked upon his citizens since taking office last year.

What started as a humble protest against a fuel tax, has warped into the worst French riots since the 1960s. French citizens, garbed in symbolic hi-visibility vests, are swarming the streets, burning and smashing and screaming and, well, doing what the French tend to do whenever the urge visits them.

What do the gilets jaunes want? Well, they’ve got what commentators assumed was their aim. Macron has cancelled the new tax. For now. But the French, over 80 percent of whom support the gilets jaunes, continue their de facto national sport.

Never mind the insistence of the market fundies at the Wall Street Journal; the French are not rebelling merely against the highest tax bill in Europe. Neither are they protesting a climate change “hoax.” The birth pangs of a new small-state anti-tax republic? Non!

The French are out to destroy the pretender in the palace.

Indeed. The man Time christened the next leader of Europe isn’t too popular in France. To determine why is not too taxing.

After all, his election bucked an irresistible European trend towards populist governments. He only won because the other option was the historically toxic Marine Le Pen. A record number—9 percent, the highest since the Fifth Republic’s founding in 1958—of French voters cast a ballot-blanc.

The man fancying himself a Jupiter perhaps didn’t realize his appointment came ribboned with reluctance.

Heralded among global villagers as the antidote to populist venom, Macron has ruled in every way that description suggests.

He quickly set out to wean the French from fossil fuels. The pesky 65 million living outside of the glossiest Parisian arrondissements would have to deal with it—rendering diesel the enemy of the effete. That was after imploring citizens to buy the then-apparently cleaner diesel cars. Which they did, with misguided faith.

And it is little more than a misguided faith that animates Macron. As la République blazed, little Jupiter busily lectured President Trump, in the company of his tony pals. Perhaps he should consider that more French citizens approve of Donald Trump than of their own AWOL president.

Le Figaro found 65 percent of the French disapproved of Trump. Macron’s disapproval rating recently climbed to 73 percent.

But that matters little. Macron is out to save the world from climate catastrophe. Those fuel taxes are the omelette, those paying them are the eggs.

Saving us lesser souls means jetting around the globe and dishing out sermons to folks similarly and completely severed from the people over whom they rule, and the medicine they prescribe.

It’s free-bet politics. Macron and his ilk lay down a wager—the plebes pay the bill—Macron and his cronies win heady congratulations among themselves.

Because such policies are footed by the poorest. That’s the beauty of neoliberalism and its insatiable pursuit of utopia. The elite engorges itself, while lecturing the proles to tighten their fraying belts.

Those charges, as we can see, don’t fancy their roles in this latest bit of elitist kabuki theater. Macron is serving mung bean stew to those stretching their paltry budgets to the occasional climate-killing Ribeye.

What do the gilets jaunes want? Well, brief on-street interviews have found a range of political opinions. Some are on the Left, many on the Right. All are thoroughly pissed off. Like Brexit, and Trump, they feel left behind in a world which has little to offer them except and apparent and inevitable decline, and a job driving for Uber.

Unlike Brexiteers, however, the gilets jaunes seem determined actually to do something to right their wrong.

And that hellbroth is about to thicken for little Jupiter. French farmers are said to be joining the tumult next week. That’s after a promised escalation of riots penned in for this weekend which will see 89,000 security personnel take to the streets. Some are calling it a coup.

Eric Drouet, a leader within the gilets jaunes, told French media: “Saturday will be the final outcome. Saturday is the Elysee. We all would like to go to the Elysee.”

If I still had that $1,100, I’d don a yellow vest, and join them.

Photo Credit: Estelle Ruiz/NurPhoto via Getty Images

EU • Europe • Post

The Bells Toll for Theresa May . . . or Brexit?

If I had one British pound for each time I was convinced of Prime Minister Theresa May’s end, I could purchase premium tickets to an Evening with Bill and Hillary Clinton. That abject cultural wreck dutifully has been cancelled. Though, the evening with Bill and Hillary stutters on.

Theresa May will go down as the most consequential prime minister in recent British history. For all the wrong reasons.

Yet, at the time of writing, May remains in office, not in power, as the once-ruthless Conservative party sharpens its pencils to the pitter-patter drip-feed of no-confidence letters. The slow death of Theresa May drips and drips and drips.

She is the Tinder date that just won’t leave. It was nice. Thanks for the Rioja. But I have work now. Please hail an Uber. I’ll pay.

But Theresa is in it for the wedding bells. After her Brexit secretary Dominic Raab resigned on Thursday morning, he was followed soon by another cabinet member, Esther McVey.

May didn’t take the brutal hint. Instead, just hours later, she told the nation she would resist any vote of confidence: “Am I going to see this through? Yes.”

This is despite arch-Euroskeptic Jacob Rees-Mogg, head of the influential European Research Group, handing in his own letter of no-confidence, and imploring his 80-plus lawmakers to do the same. So far, 20 Conservatives have publicly demanded she go.

Math doesn’t lie. May already relies on the minor Democratic Unionist Party to prop up her minority government. Without the ERG, her Brexit deal won’t get through parliament. May will be fortunate to get through the weekend.

Mogg’s letter to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee—a political murder squad—could force a leadership challenge, if the required 15 percent of the Parliamentary party—48 letters from lawmakers—hits the mat. A political death panel could convene next week.

Not only is she now opposed by most of her own party, but twice as many British people oppose her deal than support it. The Uber is beeping outside. Theresa just wants to chat. Theresa isn’t leaving.

And neither are we. May’s draft agreement with the European Union reattaches the fetters, but this time they’re encased in skin-saving sheepskin.

On the face of it, the deal is not bad. We’d spend two years in a transition period working out how to fashion a proper trade deal without installing a hard border between departing Northern Ireland and remaining Ireland. After that, we’d leave.

Perhaps we should have seen this coming. After all, the Chequers deal I blasted as “BRINO” just a few months ago, was noisome. If the appetizer stinks, the main course will evacuate your bowels.

It is not what the largest number of voters—many first-timers—in our history, voted for. The winning Vote Leave campaign implored us to “Take Back Control” of our borders, our laws, and our money. May’s draft keeps us tied to EU regulations, but without a say. Oh, and we will pay £39 billion (around $50 billion) for the privilege.

But a quick glance at the draft agreement glares the reality of this 29-month hey rube. After all, May lost the most winnable of general elections—and her low-carb majority—after asking the country to bolster her numbers ahead of withdrawal talks with the EU.

She should have been chopped that June morning, in 2017, when it became clear her 20-point lead had fizzled into a dead-heat with the prankish freshman Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and rendered her majority null.

Sadly, she learned nothing from that farce. May’s tendency to keep all but a chosen few in the dark unstitched her disastrous general election campaign. And her Brexit talks. Indeed, her former Brexit secretary didn’t see the most consequential document of our nation’s history until it was warmed from the printers.

Of course, such national trauma faintly humanizes the blood of the likes of Tony Blair. The shameless bawd and manqué war criminal busies his egregious self by offering us lucky souls a “solution” stewed in his unbending narcissism.

The man-stroke-messiah, arsonist of the Middle East, architect of the financial crash, is here to save the day. His day, of course.

And Blair could get his way. Psychopaths often do. Support for his obsession—a second referendum—is apparently rising as British people consider May’s farcical deal, and conclude staying in would be preferable. Heavens, given the options, it just might be.

Blair has a lurid history on his flank, too. After all, the Irish dared vote against the EU’s constitutional power grab—the Lisbon Treaty—back in 2008. They were made to vote again—correctly this time. And they did.

That little hiccup echoed the French, and the Dutch, both of which in 2005 rejected similar advances. It didn’t matter. The EU swatted away both muted squalls.

And they’ll bat away our own. Unless those 48 letters (with another 12 in the mix), now said to have hit the 1922 Committee’s doormat, force a vote and May’s resignation. The Brexiteers are taking back control.

What happens now? Boris Johnson is unusually quiet. Sometimes, one can say more with silence than with words.

Photo Credit: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

America • Center for American Greatness • EU • Europe • Foreign Policy • military • Post • Russia

A European Army Will Not Be a Threat

The French and the Germans say they are intent on building a European Army independent of the United States. Don’t laugh.

“We need a Europe which defends itself better alone, without just depending on the United States, in a more sovereign way,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters earlier this week. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday seconded Macron’s opinion. “The days where we can unconditionally rely on others are gone,” she said.

Yet reaction from Washington has been a mix  of consternation and laughter. President Trump, who ran in part on a platform to force Europe to bear more of the cost of its defense, on Tuesday criticized Macron’s idea for a “true European army.”

In Moscow meantime, would-be czar Vladimir Putin is licking his lips as hopes of cleaving continental Europe from the orbit of the United States and the United Kingdom play out before him.

Yet, for all of their bluster, Europe will never fall under the spell of either Germany or France (at least, not any more than they already have). Though there is a history of alliances between France and Russia as well as Germany and Russia, those alliances have tended to be short-lived and usually ended in disaster.

The French and Russians had their Dual Friendship treaty, which is credited with precipitating World War I (and we all know how that ended for Europe). Then the Germans and the Soviets inked the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which fell apart when  the Germans decided it was in their national interest to invade and conquer Russia. Why would anyone think things would play out differently today between these three powers?

Even as the Germans and French have grown closer to Russia, this “alliance” has been based on the most reptilian needs imaginable. There is no reason to think a  new round of Franco-German-Russian cooperation would herald some imagined European Empire. Besides, should these three powers become close allies, they’d still be bickering over who was really in charge.

Stumbling Blocks for the New Franco-German-Russian Alliance
Today’s Europe is somewhat more complex than it was during the last round of great power competition. Eastern Europe has grown stronger and more independent. Poland and Hungary, for example, have proven themselves largely immune to the totalitarianism of Brussels and the authoritarianism of Moscow.

Sure, Hungary has made some energy deals with Moscow recently—but so, too, have France and Germany. We’re somehow supposed to think Germany and France’s economic pacts with Russia will not weaken their ties to NATO or undermine their resolve to stave off Russian aggression. Yet Hungary’s decision to buy Russian nuclear power makes it a de facto member of the Russian Federation. Strange how that works. (I suspect the reason France and Germany are let off the hook in their support of trade deals with Russia is that Berlin and Paris are major backers of the European Union, while Hungary, like Poland, is “Euroskeptical.”)

Sweden and Spain have also become increasingly skeptical of Russian power. Should a European Army dominated by Paris and Berlin come to pass, you can rest assured the Hungarians and Poles won’t simply shrug. Nor would the rest of Europe.  Many European countries would instead look to the United States to balance against such a force—especially if this French and German-dominated European Army cozies up to Moscow.

Who Would Support Such a Boondoggle?
Fact is, any proposed European force would find itself hemmed in. Washington may be an ocean away, but it exercises a greater geopolitical pull than Moscow does—which means it remains a better bet for Warsaw, Budapest, Stockholm, Rome, and the rest.

Far from becoming a Russian highway to the West, a more sovereign Europe would be a major stumbling block for whatever grand ambitions Moscow may have in mind.

For instance, any proposed European Army undoubtedly would be mostly French, as France currently has the most powerful indigenous military on the continent. Germany may be the unofficial economic capital of Europe, but its’ military is a disaster, which is why Germany openly supports France’s calls for a European Army.

Aside from money, however, Germany could contribute little to enhance such a force. Yet it is unlikely that Berlin would simply kowtow to Paris in military affairs—especially if the Germans ended up bankrolling the force. At the same time, though, France would not readily acquiesce to its historic German rivals just because Berlin is footing the bill.

These are cleavages that Washington could exploit.

History and Geopolitics Are Back in Europe
Clearly, history has returned to Europe. And with the return of history has also come the return of geopolitics and the need for traditional military force. If France and Germany want to build their combined military force to balance against the Americans, let them. If Berlin and Paris want to try to make nice with Moscow, let them try that, too.

If history is any guide, it will end up badly for the Europeans—and America could stand to gain from the aftermath.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

EU • Europe • Political Parties • Post

Theresa’s Dismay

The demise of British Prime Minister Theresa May has been put off. At least until next week.

Last weekend, the Sunday Times assured readers that the Maybot had finally rusted into obsolescence, heading for a Chinese junkyard presumably, to be pecked at by enterprising children and sold for parts.

But she clings on. Meeting with Conservative Party’s bloodbathers, the 1922 Committee, usually portends a brutal political death. May escaped Wednesday’s meeting unblemished. The “22” even banged the tables—the British answer to the American whoop-and-holler.

The Conservative Party owes its immutable success to its shapeshifting ability to suck up changing electoral winds, and ruthlessly dispatch failing leaders. Indeed, they severed Margaret Thatcher, revered with oedipal obsession among many Tories, without a flutter.

May was once regarded as Thatcher’s second coming. Then she called a general election and frittered away a 20-point lead to hapless Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn with a disastrous campaign promise to implement a “dementia tax.” It wasn’t too popular. Her party’s slim majority dissolved into a minority government pervious to all enemies—including her own lawmakers.

But what enmeshes May, also emboldens her. She survives weekly prognostications of doom because 17.4 million people in this country voted in 2016 to leave the European Union. There’s less than six months until we officially leave. Now is not the time to reenact the ending of “Reservoir Dogs.”

In typical British fashion, the Brexit first-domino-in-the-populist-revolt has simmered into arcane talk of what to do with the Irish border, what color our new passports should be, and whether we will still mess around with daylight saving time.

Things here could not contrast deeper than those across the Atlantic. America has taken something British and made it bigger, louder, and (maddeningly) better. As usual.

Brexit was supposed to be our revolution. We were meant to break away from the European Union and once again find that which made us Great. Instead, we have May’s Chequers deal—Brexit in Name Only. And even that is diluting by the minute.

It all began so well. Theresa May and Donald Trump ripped to power on the fumes of those whom social commentators call the “left behind.” Both spoke to millions long apathetic about the stale consensus of Davos-approved spreadsheet sermonizing. Both were ripe to revive furred old party veins with blue-collar blood.

But that is where the similarities between the two end.

Despite well-mannered rumblings from the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg, May has enjoyed relative party support, save for a handful of Tory Remainers who oppose leaving the European Union in any form.

The media also offers a sympathetic ear. Notwithstanding May’s numerous own goals, media criticism remains constructive and patrician—at worst.

We can’t say either thing with regards to President Trump. Around 90 percent of his media coverage is negative, despite the president’s swelling list of achievements. Trump presides over full employment, American paychecks are finally fattening, black unemployment rests at its lowest-ever rate, and he’s rejigged trade agreements into better deals for American workers. Let’s not forget the appointments of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Even better news is the proof that Americans are leaving jobs confident that they can find something better—a notion unknown under President Obama, who, of course, claims all this good work is actually thanks to him.

Yes, Trump is often boorish, petulant, and possessed of Serrano-thin skin, but most Americans continue to pinch their noses in support of an undeniably strong record. Indeed, Trump’s approval rating recently hit its highest since March 2017.

That is why progressives detest the president with a fervor purer than the usual broth reserved for a Republican commander-in-chief. Unlike May, and much like Thatcher, Trump refuses to play ball with the stifling deployments of political correctness. He is winning. And, most terrifying of all for the Left, the bellicose bruiser loves to brawl.

Some progressives danced in the streets when Thatcher died. Sadly, many will do the same for Trump.

But such theatrics will, for now, be limited to the usual inflamed impotence—the door-banging, the wailings, the competitive signaling of virtue. As the midterms approach, the soothing Democratic blue wave looks to have ebbed into a trickle as the blue inkblot smudges the pages of reality.

Not to enumerate fowl, but early numbers suggest a much closer battle than we have been foie gras-ed. Democratic operatives have all but conceded the Senate shuttered.

Why? The Kavanaugh hearing sparked a blowback within the red half of America aghast at the gleeful (and thankfully temporary suspension) of due process. And the political gift of thousands of Central Americans caravaning toward the southern U.S. border has served President Trump’s law and order campaign the most optically lavishing of gifts. If anything gets Republicans to the voting booths, it is immigration—75 percent recently said illegal immigration is a “very big problem.” Not to mention the booming economy.

Worse yet, Democrats have no obvious candidate to break out in the event of an emergency in which they do not control any branch of government after November 6.

So, perhaps the spuriously “artful” and often violent fantasies of removing President Trump will remain just those until at least 2020. Theresa May, however, will be gone long before then.

Photo Credit: Henry Nicholls – WPA Pool/Getty Images

America • Defense of the West • Donald Trump • EU • Europe • Foreign Policy • Post

Trump Explains Sovereignty and Ronald Radosh Loses It

My old friend Ronald Radosh, writing in the Daily Beast about President Trump’s recent United Nations speech, notes, “there was a critical word tucked into Donald Trump’s U.N. speech . . . that word is sovereignty and we should all understand what the president means when he invokes it.”

I agree, let us understand what he means.

What is sovereignty? I wrote a 450-page book on the subject (Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or be Ruled by Others?) but in the end it all comes down to two words: who decides? Who decides a nation’s tax policy, foreign policy, trade policy, immigration policy? Will it be the people in the nation themselves or supranational global institutions?

A year ago, President Trump told the U.N. General Assembly, “In America the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign.” Abraham Lincoln defined sovereignty as “a political authority without a political superior.” American leaders who have valued our own sovereignty have also valued the sovereignty of our friends and allies. Thus, Ronald Reagan in his inaugural address declared:

To those neighbors and allies who share our freedom. . . . We will match loyalty with loyalty. We will strive for mutually beneficial relations. We will not use our friendship to impose on their sovereignty, for our own sovereignty is not for sale.

Like Lincoln and Reagan, Trump defends sovereignty—that is, independent self-government—as a positive principle. Radosh tells us that Trump’s version of sovereignty might sound “very nice,” but it “has darker consequences.” It is the “promotion of isolationism and nationalism.” Let us take these two points one at a time.

Old-School Internationalism
Far from any hint of isolationism, Trump’s 2018 U.N. speech literally bristled with a robust internationalism. In paragraph after paragraph, the president cited current examples of, and future proposals for, international cooperation. He praised President Ban Ki-moon and heralded “the successful completion” of a “brand new” trade deal with South Korea. He gave a “special thanks” to Japanese President Shinzo Abe of Japan, as well as South Korea’s Ban for facilitating the difficult negotiations with North Korea. While also thanking China’s President Xi Jinping for assisting in this process, Trump did not hesitate to condemn dishonest Chinese trade practices. The president lauded Jordan and Egypt and declared that the United States would work with the Gulf Cooperation Council to “advance prosperity, stability, and security” in the Middle East.

He congratulated India, a “free society of over a billion people, successfully lifting countless millions out of poverty;” the Polish people for supporting the construction of a Baltic pipeline and “standing up for their independence, their security, and their sovereignty;” and Israel “celebrating its 70th anniversary as a thriving democracy in the Holy Land.”

As American statesmen from Alexander Hamilton through Henry Clay, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Reagan have done, he has called for fair and reciprocal trade policies with other nations (emphasis on the reciprocal). While, at the same time, like his patriotic predecessors, he is willing to use tariffs when it is in the interests of American workers, the American middle class, and our manufacturing base, to do so.

What we are seeing in Trump’s policy is not “isolationism,” but classical internationalism. The prefix “inter” in the compound term inter-nationalism signifies relations “between” nations. As anyone familiar with U.N. documents or the writings of international relations professors, or the analysts at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) would be well aware—and as Radosh should know—the concept of “globalism” differs from internationalism. Globalism implies not traditional internationalism, but a transnational or supranational dimension beyond or above the nation-state.

This is certainly the case with the International Criminal Court (ICC) which in its enabling Rome Statute asserts authority over nation-states (including democratic ones) that have not consented to the authority of this global court.

Radosh writes, “For this reason (loss of American sovereignty) he [Trump] and John Bolton favor pulling the United States out the International Criminal Court, which Trump says, ‘claims near universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country.’” Radosh would be more credible if he bothered to get his facts right, by say, typing in a simple Google search of “International Criminal Court” and looking at its membership list. It takes about a minute. Ron, the United States cannot “pull out” of the ICC because we have never been in it. The Senate never ratified the Rome Statute.

What John Bolton announced last month was that the Trump administration was no longer going to assist the ICC (by providing intelligence, documents, etc.) as the Bush and Obama administrations have done in the past. The reason for this change in foreign policy is that the ICC Prosecutor for the first time is proposing to investigate American soldiers and officials for alleged “war crimes” in Afghanistan. Interestingly, when she was secretary of state, Radosh’s preferred 2016 presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, told an audience in Nairobi that it was a “great regret” that the United States was not a member of the International Criminal Court.

Noble Nationalism
Let us now take up the issue of “nationalism.” Here, it depends upon what one means by nationalism. During the 20th century, statesmen as disparate as Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, David Ben Gurion, Charles de Gaulle, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher were called nationalists and they clearly were democratic nationalists, which is often used interchangeably with the concept of patriotism. Hence, in contemporary world politics, Benjamin Netanyahu is considered a democratic nationalist and a quintessential Israeli patriot.

It appears that what has triggered Radosh is Trump’s praise for the conservative government in Poland, which is taking seriously its election campaign promises to reform a corrupt judiciary. Radosh repeats the false progressive-liberal narrative that Poland is becoming “authoritarian” and “moving away from democracy.” He notes “the EU sued Poland for steps it has taken to undermine an independent judiciary.”

So, what is going on in Poland? The conservative Law and Justice government has inherited a corrupt judicial system that was established in 1989 in ”roundtable talks” between the “reformed” Communists and the anti-Communist Solidarity movement. Ultimately, the former Communists proved to be better negotiators.

Writing in National Review Online, Michael Brendan Dougherty described the unfortunate results of the roundtable negotiations. For decades, “the Polish judiciary was run like a medieval guild, with judges nominating their own successors. On occasion, the sons of existing judges would get preferential treatment over qualified law professors. Judges protected one another from lawsuits and pay freezes.” Further, the judiciary influenced by post-Communist elites repeatedly blocked transparency initiatives that would have revealed more perpetrators and collaborators of the crimes of the Communist-era dictatorship.

The Law and Justice government, whose leadership was formed by the most uncompromising anti-Communist elements in the Solidarity movement, is attempting to democratize the judiciary. In the final analysis, their judicial reforms will mean that democratically elected officials (rather than the sitting judges themselves) will play a role in the appointment of new judges. After all, in most Western democracies—including the United States and Germany—democratically elected officials participate in the process of choosing judges, otherwise one would have an unaccountable and undemocratic judicial oligarchy.

Radosh writes that Trump in his U.N. address “did not mention Hungary, but it’s likely [Stephen] Miller had Victor Orban and his Fidesz Party in mind” when the president declared that each sovereign nation should concentrate on “upholding national borders, destroying criminal gangs,” and “set[ting] its own immigration policy in accordance with its national interests.” Radosh then tells us that “[w]hat Trump means” is “all nations should echo his immigration policy.”

What is Radosh’s point? That it is somehow problematic for sovereign nations to uphold their borders, destroy transnational criminal gangs, and establish immigration policy on the basis of national interests because this is what Trump recommends? The implication is clear, if Trump is for it, it must be prima facie bad, no matter what the merits of the policy.

Democratic Sovereignty Rightly Understood
In point of fact, the president’s remarks on sovereignty, borders, and immigration are on an even higher plain than simple public policy. They are directly related to the core principle of American constitutional democracy—government by consent of the governed—the right of a free people to rule themselves.

Alexander Hamilton expressed this principle of democratic sovereignty succinctly in Federalist 1, when he declared the purpose of the American experiment in self-government was “to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend . . . on accident and force.”

Illegal mass migration in the United States and Europe brings into clear focus the crucial choice that Hamilton presented at America’s birth. Are policies decided by “reflection and choice” or by “accident and force”? Clearly, in the case of illegal immigration, “We the people” are not making policy based upon “reflection and choice,” but, as Hamilton feared might happen, immigration policy is being made for us by “accident” and in some cases (with MS-13) by “force.”

Most importantly, in direct contradiction to the core principle of our democratic republic “government by consent of the governed,” de-facto migration policy is being made without (and essentially against) the consent of the citizens of this country.

What President Trump did in his second U.N. speech was to take the Founders concept of independent self-government and articulate a universal principle of democratic sovereignty. Further, he correctly emphasized that “Sovereign and independent nations are the only vehicle where freedom has ever survived, [and] democracy has ever endured.” Put otherwise, constitutional democracy and individual freedom do not exist (and are not militarily protected) within transnational and global institutions but only in sovereign nation-states and in alliances of sovereign states (NATO rather than the EU).

Returning to Self-Rule
Let us return to the two most important words in world politics: who decides?  Who decides a nation’s immigration policy? The people in the host nation? A transnational organization like the U.N. or EU? Or the migrants voting with their feet against the wishes of the people in the host nation? As I write these words, yet another “caravan” of thousands of foreign migrants is heading for the U.S. border, highlighting the centrality of Hamilton’s existential question, once again.

I believe the president is declaring that just as Americans have the right of self-government, the Hungarians today are a free people and they have the right (and they have expressed this right by voting overwhelmingly for Fidesz and border control in a free democratic election) to decide for themselves their own immigration policy, rather than having that policy decided for them by the supranational European Union (with the prodding of the two overbearing nations in that Union: Germany and France) or by the migrants themselves who arrive in Hungary and other sovereign European nations without the consent of the governed.

Our president is simply saying that democratic sovereign peoples have the moral right to rule themselves. Once an excellent historian, but now severely afflicted with, and apparently traumatized by, Trump Derangement Syndrome, Ronald Radosh finds this core principle of American constitutional morality objectionable.

Photo Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

2016 Election • America • Center for American Greatness • Cultural Marxism • Defense of the West • Democrats • Donald Trump • EU • Europe • Identity Politics • Immigration • Post • Religion and Society • The Culture • The Left

The Emerging Transnational Moral Majority

Forget Brett Kavanaugh, Michael Avenatti, and Dianne Feinstein and the rest of the Erinyes females shrieking hysterically about their literal impotence in the face of old/white/male/Republican privilege. It’s a clown show, willingly orchestrated and televised by the ringmasters of the Democrat-Media Complex, whose own emasculation is now so graphically exposed with every new fantastic accusation.

Having gone from promoting a culture of complete sexual license to wimpled membership in an anchorite nunnery, the Left is now being consumed, to put it in terms they can understand, by the internal contradictions of their own satanic principles. So the hell with them.

Concentrate instead on what’s really important: the burgeoning moral and political alliance between the president of the United States and the leaders of four formerly captive nations in central Europe; Hungary, Poland, and the two halves of what used to be Czechoslovakia, aka the Visegrad Group. In a curious accident—or perhaps not so curious—the arc of history has not just bent but pretzled, uniting the late Soviet Union’s foremost antagonist with a quartet of the USSR’s most notable victims against a decadent, suicidal, and morally flaccid European Union (France and Germany, mainly) that is hell-bent on the destruction of Old Europe. It’s the Cold War all over again, but with the sides reversed.

Or maybe not. Germany’s Lumpenkanzlerin, Angela Merkel, is entirely a product of the German Democratic Republic, a bred if not born Communist with little or no love for the country she purports to lead. I’ve been watching German chancellors since Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt and, whether Left or Right, at least they pretended to love their country. As I recall, Helmut Kohl used often to end his speeches with the German equivalent of “God bless Germany,” but if Merkel has ever said that and meant it, I’m not aware of it. And as for the French, surrender has been their prophylactic substitute for even the l’esprit d’escalier of a nation that hasn’t won a war since Napoleon.

Opposing Merkel and the millions of cultural aliens she had imported into her country are the states of Eastern Europe, which remember both Soviet and Islamic occupation and don’t want to see the return of either. Having had their freedom forcibly stripped from them over the centuries, they refuse any “immigration,” and wish to preserve their countries—even if that means (gasp!) staying “white.” And they don’t care who knows it.

Comes now The Donald, speaking at the United Nations and rebuking every one of the lily-livered progressive democracies who cower in the face of an unrelenting Islamic invasion of historic Christendom. Not for him are the childish but malicious pieties of the secular European and American Left, to wit that “diversity is our strength” and that everyone has a “human right” to live in any country he so chooses.

The entire history of civilization, in fact, argues otherwise: the Roman Empire fell when foreigners outnumbered Roman citizens (who had extended to them, whether out of charity or laziness, Roman citizenship) and then rode through the gates and took the place over. The “diversity” that followed lasted several centuries, known to us today as the Dark Ages, until the nascent European nation-states finally formed on the bones of Roman civilization, and emerged as the Holy Roman Empire, then the principalities and kingdoms of Europe, and finally the modern nations as we know them.

Now, as Europe rushes back into the vampire’s arms of the collectivist EU—itself fashioned in the image and likeness of its philosophical forebear, the Soviet Union—some are standing athwart history yelling stop.

“We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable global bureaucracy,” President Trump told United Nations officials Tuesday . . . the president also justified withdrawing the U.S. from the U.N. Human Rights Council on the grounds that it had become a sham, an enabler of human rights abuses in desperate need of reform.

“America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination,” Trump said, offering American friendship as an alternative to the hegemony that Russia and China are trying to impose worldwide. “I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs, and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.”

Trump’s not alone in his rejection of globalism and his defense of the nation-state. Indeed, former Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus put the critical question of national sovereignty in even stronger terms earlier this week:

Mr. Klaus, a longtime critic of the European Union who preached the virtues of national identity and secure borders long before the age of Brexit, told editors and reporters at The Washington Times on Tuesday that Europe needs a “fundamental, systemic” change along the lines of his own country’s Velvet Revolution nearly three decades ago.

In the wide-ranging interview, he assailed German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and other leaders who he believes are trying to erase the very concept of nation-states in favor of a borderless entity with politically enforced ethnic diversity.

Mr. Klaus, a free-market economist . . .  [said] Ms. Merkel’s real goal — and the true intention of the EU—is to normalize migration from around the world to the point that individual countries become unrecognizable. He says EU leaders simply aren’t listening to the concerns of citizens in Sweden, Italy, Hungary and other nations deeply worried about that trend.

“This is a dictatorship of the old political elites of Europe, starting with Madame Merkel, Mr. Juncker, Mr. Macron,” he said. “This is a demand of the multiculturalists, politically correct European elites who really want to somehow mix the nations and to bring diversity” into each county by mandate.

Funny sort of integration, that—unless by “integration” the childless leaders of Western Europe mean “replacement,” which is precisely what more and more people have come to suspect they actually do mean. (My own Ireland is a case in point.) Like “progressives” everywhere, they sacramentalize abortion, then complain the birth rate is not keeping up with the need for skilled workers, then bring in millions of people from backward, anti-intellectual, illiterate, and hostile parts of the world and expect them to become productive citizens overnight.

Or do they? Trump and Klaus are on to them, as you should be, too. English democracy is not their model, but rather the Spanish caudillo system, which has proven so disastrous for Latin America: a handful of aristocrats at the top, supported by the groaning peasantry below, with little or no social mobility but plenty of bodies to bend to the lash.

If this is the world you want, then please, go ahead and amuse yourselves with the Kavanaugh spectacle. Getting a fifth vote on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade—because that’s what this is all about—is critical to the survival of the United States. But it needs to be seen in the larger context. Because if the Left gets its way, it won’t just be the United States that’s fundamentally transformed, it will be whole world. And then there will be nowhere left to run.

We know what the Left is, and what it wants for us now. Maybe we should start paying attention to what it wants for us after we’ve gone.

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Defense of the West • EU • Europe • Immigration • Post

Immigration Moves Europeans Right

Angela Merkel’s dastardly decision to throw open Germany’s borders to more than 1 million mainly Syrian migrants in 2015 didn’t quite go as planned.

The German Chancellor’s grandiloquent gesture meant to exorcise German history once and for all instead cleaved through the middle of a once-reliably measured and “open” nation.

Even in Germany, where most people one meets will insist with conviction that any stance outside of the squishy center is “extreme,” the migration question has exposed the chasm between rulers and the ruled.

Last week saw violent protests engulf the eastern city of Chemnitz, where a 35-year-old carpenter was stabbed to death. Two suspects are in custody. One suspect is Syrian, and the other Iraqi.

Famed German tolerance, the kind Merkel drew upon when declaring, “Wir schaffen das”—We can do this—has boiled dry, in Chemnitz at least.

As always, social media disfigured the protests, echo-chambering and manicuring events to suit both extremes. As always, the simplistic tapestry of black and white is more a shade of gray. What started as a demonstration of grief, was soon hijacked by the mirroring of extreme Left and Right.

Ghastly images of troglodytic Nazi bootboys joined in violent communion with, of course, their black-clad Antifa cousins, peppered paper and pixel. Both groups are execrable to anyone with an IQ above that of processed cheese.

Yet one politician of establishment cloth gets the point millions of people have scrawled across ballots recently: immigration is the issue.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer defended the protests, even claiming, quite unbelievably for staid German sensibilities that he would have joined in.

“If I were not a minister, I would have taken to the streets as a citizen—of course, not together with radicals,” Seehofer told German media.

Seehofer’s comment represents a clean break with the pervading liberal consensus which would have ruled Germany for another 50 years, if not for Merkel’s whimsy that let 1.5 million people cross into the country, no questions asked.

That decision ultimately led to a public spat between the two. The decades-long alliance between Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Seehofer’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) almost dissolved earlier this year after Seehofer, mindful of next month’s Bavarian state elections, demanded the power to send back migrants already registered in other European Union countries. Merkel buckled.

Alas, it’s probably too little, too late. Polls suggest Seehofer will lose out to the Alternative for Germany’s (AfD) hardline stance on the hot button of immigration.

Few establishment politicians would risk passing comment on febrile events like those at Chemnitz. But Seehofer went further, declaring immigration to be “the mother of all problems.”

Yet populism is supposed to be the preserve of the downtrodden and left behind. Germany is a rich, industrious, largely successful, and equal country. Though, Chemnitz nestles in the impoverished East, populist support across Germany is at levels unthinkable since 1945.

Why? Author and journalist Douglas Murray underscores a point radiant to anyone except establishment politicians: the stifling of debate has driven boiling swathes of ordinary voters into populist parties.

In Germany, for reasons which do not need belaboring, immigration is a taboo subject where the only “acceptable” opinion is to demand entirely open borders.

A refusal even to countenance a fair airing of the pros and cons of admitting 1.5 million people, many of whom now languish at the bottom of a highly-educated society, led to the hard-right AfD becoming the official opposition after riding a wave of anger into the Bundestag.

Scenes such as those in Cologne and Hamburg on New Year’s Eve 2015, where hundreds of women were sexually assaulted by groups of men predominated by new arrivals, inflamed a debate Germans were verboten to have.

The public mood has since hardened, with two-thirds of Germans agreeing with Seehofer that asylum-seekers already registered in another European country should be returned from the already glutinous border.

Across Europe, the immigration issue trumps all others. Italy, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, and Hungary have witnessed hegemonic center-left parties dissolve into irrelevance as their blue-collar voters saunter toward the populist right. Sweden is next.

Immigration, no matter what fretful British commentators may claim, also won Brexit. Soon after, the historically noisome Front National scooped a third of the French vote.

Alongside the threat of terrorism, immigration lofts the top two concerns of citizens in every country in the European Union.

It is now the battleground upon which the future of Europe will be decided. Matteo Salvini, Italian deputy prime minister, is the de facto leader of what political scientist David Goodhart calls the “Somewheres.” Salvini squares off against the “Anywheres” champion in French President Emmanuel Macron.

Once heralded both as a populist antidote (quite unbelievably given his Rothschild years), and even a populist himself, Macron—darling of the Davosie—now enjoys a lower approval rating (31 percent) than President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, Salvini’s Lega party has doubled its support since the March election and is now the most popular in Italy.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed within the contours of the European Parliament. Manfred Weber, leader of that power-center’s largest group of center-right lawmakers, earlier this week said he would “reach out” to Salvini and Hungary prime minister Victor Orbán ahead of parliamentary elections next May.

Weber, chairman of the European People’s Party (EPP)—a clot of center-right parties—senses the mood, imploring conservatives and populists to “listen to each other” and “find compromises.”

Weber hopes to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president after next May’s crucial elections in which populists hope to elect one-third of lawmakers on populist platforms.

“We might desire something else, sure. But this is the reality,” Weber told Italian newspaper La Stampa. Someone, it seems, is listening.

Photo Credit: John MacDougall/AFP

Defense of the West • EU • Europe • Foreign Policy • NATO • Post

Our European Allies Have Abandoned Themselves

Cries on the Left and among liberals and neoconservatives in the Republican Party bemoan President Trump and his administration for challenging our traditional “allies” on trade and in military alliances. Media talking heads cry foul at Trump’s abandonment or attack on our NATO allies for daring to ask them to pay more for defense, when the United States pays the overwhelming majority of the cost for the bloc’s security.

Since the end of World War II, however, the nations of Western Europe—spent as they were from centuries of conflict and infighting—had arrived at the point of civilizational exhaustion. As a result, Western Europe gave into the comforts of the American security umbrella and has since become complacent and, to be entirely honest, entitled. President Donald Trump’s recent strong-arming of the NATO alliance is not an abandonment of our Western allies, but a wake-up call to our European brethren that their half-a-century break from the necessity of proudly standing up for their nations and their cultural identities is now over.

Following the defeat of Nazi Germany, the United States (courtesy of the American taxpayer) implemented the Marshall Plan investing $12 billion ($100 billion in today’s dollars) to rebuild Western Europe after the destruction brought about by the war. In the time since that rebuilding, the nations of Western Europe have enjoyed the protection of the U.S. security umbrella while spending very little of on their own treasure on defense. Meanwhile, they have had the luxury to reallocate their tax revenue towards generous social welfare programs to benefit their own citizens and, now, those they have welcomed into their countries because of their supposed superior generosity. Of the 29 members of NATO, only 5 members spend at least 2 percent of their GDP for defense (US 3.5 percent, Greece 2.27 percent, Estonia 2.24 percent, United Kingdom 2.1 percent and Latvia at 2 percent).

It is unacceptable that historically great military nations such as Britain, Germany, France and Italy should spend so little on their defenses. This is not intended to be an insult to these beautiful nations or their rich histories and traditions, but the current feckless leadership of their politicians does deserve insulting. With the exception of Matteo Salvini’s coalition government in Italy, the leaders and ruling parties of Europe are mainly post-national globalists who care little about the preservation of their nations’ cultures, traditions, identities, or heritage.

Consider, for example, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s utterly fallacious claim that there are “no half or whole Germans, no biological or ‘new’ Germans” and that Germany is a “nation of immigrants.” And the European elite wonders why national populist movements have done so well in the past few years.

The recent elections either sweeping national populists to power (La Lega in Italy and the OVP and FPO in Austria) or bringing them to mainstream prominence (the AfD in Germany, the PVV in The Netherlands, the National Rally in France or theSweden Democrats in Sweden) have been a sign that the people of the nations of Europe are fed up with the self-loathing and abandonment of traditions and culture by their leaders. These parties are lambasted by the mainstream media as “far-right” or “fascistic” in an attempt to de-legitimize them.

In their desire to re-affirm political normalcy and reverse the self-destructive policies that have been in place for the last two decades, however, they are the moderates. In comparison, we can see that nations of Eastern Europe, like Hungary, which have recently suffered from blind adherence to ideological universalist extremism in the form of communism, have not been eager to abandon their national identity and, as a result of the European migrant crisis, have increased security measures to protect their citizenry. Perhaps they have something to teach the West.

The old bipolar world order is over. Two decades into the 21st century, we are living through the death throes of the postwar order and the birth of a new order  Nations across the world are realizing that, in many cases, decades-old alliances existed only because of the United States and the Soviet Union’s scramble for global influence and power during the Cold War. Well, that era has passed. Nations that were formerly allies are developing conflicts of interest due to cultural and civilizational differences (i.e., the United States and Turkey), and nations that were once political adversaries are growing closer because of cultural and civilizational similarities (the United States and former Eastern Bloc nations).

It is time for the governments of Europe to realize that their military alliance with America must be reformed as one to protect Western Civilization from emerging threats, as opposed to threats that no longer exist. So no, liberals and neocons, it is not Trump who has abandoned Europe, it is Europe that has abandoned itself. The question now is how much longer Europeans will allow this to continue?

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