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
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.