Patrick J. Buchanan
April 30 2002
Patrick J. Buchanan
When fascism comes to America, said Huey Long, it will
come in the guise of anti-fascism. And since Vietnam, it has been so.
Brownshirt tactics ? shouting down speakers, disrupting opposition
rallies, demonstrations that degenerate into riots ? have all been used
repeatedly by self-described fighters against racism and fascism. And
invariably, these crimes against decency and democracy have been ignored
or condoned by those who share the left's revulsion of the right.
In the wake of Jean-Marie Le Pen's capture of 17 percent of the vote in
the first round of France's presidential election, the French
Establishment, too, has shown great tolerance for fascist tactics in
resisting any rebirth of the European Right.
No sooner had the returns come in, eliminating socialist Premier Lionel
Jospin from the run-off, than mobs were in the streets. French President
Jacques Chirac, who had won fewer than one in five votes, swiftly
embraced Trotskyite and Communist support in the second round, but
refused to debate Le Pen. In the European Parliament, Le Pen was shouted
down. Protesters threatened to disrupt his press conference, forcing its
Though Le Pen has made radical and foolish statements, there is no
evidence he is a Nazi. His hero is not Hitler but Joan of Arc, and he
and his National Front have accepted defeat in every election they have
lost. No, Le Pen is hated and feared not just for who he is, but for the
issues he has raised. And what are those issues?
He wants France to opt out of the euro bloc, as the British have done,
and to restore the franc as France's national currency. He is calling
for a national referendum on whether France should reclaim sovereign
powers it has surrendered to the European Union. Cannot Americans, who
would never give up our dollar and who reject the new International
Criminal Court, understand?
Le Pen opposed America's war in Kosovo. But so, too, did a majority of
House Republicans. He denounces what the Israelis are doing on the West
Bank, but even President Bush wants Sharon out. He does not want a war
on Iraq, but neither do any of our other allies. He wants a France
forever independent of the United States. Cannot Americans, to whom
independence is sacred, not understand how other nations might not wish
to be part of an American Imperium?
Le Pen supports capital punishment and believes the French should be
allowed to vote on its restoration, and not have the death penalty
outlawed by the EU. We Americans, too, would be rebellious toward any
supranational political body that dared to dictate an end to capital
punishment in the United States.
Crime is the issue driving voters into Le Pen's corner. He associates
rising crime with rising Arab and Islamic immigration, and wants illegal
aliens expelled. But Americans, too, want illegal immigration halted and
gate-crashers sent back. And a rising share of our own prison population
consists of illegal aliens, and our own president's proposed amnesty for
illegal immigrants ignited a storm of protest across America, forcing
the Republican Party to back off.
As European elites deny Le Pen courtesies they routinely extend to
Communists and Trotskyites, the message is clear: In the New Europe,
some issues are closed forever. They have been decided, and no second
thoughts will be entertained. While Trotskyites and Communists are
welcome, the Populist Right and its ideas are pariahs. There is no room
for them, or the people who advance them, in the New Europe.
On the Index of Forbidden Issues are any restrictions on Third World
immigration, the deportation of illegal aliens, statements critical of
minorities and any return of sovereign power once ceded to the EU.
Though the death penalty may be favored by majorities in European
nations, capital punishment is to be outlawed forever. It is outside the
restricted range of issues that the people may henceforth decide.
As it is often the criminal himself who is first to cry, "Thief!" so it
is usually those who scream, "Fascist!" loudest who are the quickest to
resort to anti-democratic tactics.
Today, the greatest threat to the freedom and independence of the
nations of Europe comes not from Le Pen and that 17 percent of French
men and women who voted for him. It comes from an intolerant European
Establishment that will accept no rollback of its powers or privileges,
nor any reversal of policies it deems "progressive."
As the New Europe taking shape is the prototype of the World Government
to come, Americans should take note. Let us hope that Sunday, French
voters will deliver that New Europe a good right cross to the head.
Click here for printable version.
Click here for Pat's Column Archives.