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The anti-establishment movement is bigger than Wilders, Le Pen, or Trump

Firebrand anti Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders answers question from the media during an election campaign stop outside De Telegraaf newspaper buildings in Amsterdam Netherlands, Sunday, March 5, 2017. Wilders said he would ban Turkey's entire Cabinet from visiting the Netherlands in coming weeks to prevent ministers campaigning here for a referendum on changing Turkey's constitution. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Because the mainstream media have both an unrelenting neo-liberal/globalist/post-cultural agenda as well as a tendency to speak simplistically about deeply manifold subjects, there will be plenty of gloating form the likes of CNN and state owned British broadcaster BBC, over the fact that The Dutch Freedom Party led by Geert Wilders came second and secured far fewer seats than many had predicted.

As Alexander Mercouris explains, much of this is due to the way seats in the Dutch Parliament are allocated. However, in the international context there is a wider issue at play. Just because one is opposed to the establishment, it does not signify ideological or even strategic unity.

During the Russian Revolution and subsequent Civil War, Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, Socialist Revolutionaries, Anarchists and various nationalist groups, all opposed the old Tsarist status quo, but they also opposed each other.

Today, some reports out of Syria confirm that various jihadist groups, each of who wish to topple the legally legitimate government of Syria, are fighting and killing each other.

Therefore, it should not surprise anyone that anti-establishment candidates and parties in Europe are also as diverse as the aforementioned groups.

Take for example two prominent western European anti-establishment figures: Marine Le Pen of France and Geert Wilders of The Netherlands.

Le Pen is a French civic nationalist and a statist who believes in the supremacy of the French state and the Laïcité implied there in,  above any and all sectarian groups, including peaceful and otherwise integrated groups.

By contrast, Wilders seems not to mind any group unless they are Muslims. He even oddly said that he has no problem with Muslim people, only the Muslim faith which he disparages as an ideology rather than a religion.

In foreign policy, Le Pen is both a French patriot and a believer in multi-polarity. She has demonstrated an unequivocal respect Russia’s role as a re-emergent superpower far more than almost any other major western European politician and has condemned European officials for their provocative and illogical stance on both Crimea and Donbass.

Likewise she has stated her support for secular Arab regimes like the one of President Assad in Syria.

By contrast, Wilders is the darling of US and UK neo-cons. He seems to have a detestation for all majority Muslim nations, secular or theoretical and is a staunch supporter of Israel.

It is true that both have opposed Angela Merkel’s open border policy, but so has Nigel Farage who has distanced himself from both leaders, but especially from Marine Le Pen.

Both western European politicians are different from Donald Trump.

Trump does not seem to share Le Pen’s concrete views on foreign policy, preferring a broader and rather undefined America First policy that still hasn’t seen the light of day.

Likewise, Trump and Le Pen’s protectionist manta on employment and imports doesn’t match Wilders and his Thatcherite views on free trade and a deregulated market.

When Brexit won and then Trump won, many in the mainstream media tried to paint such events as unrelated and isolated incidents, contingent only upon the immediate concerns of the constituents involved in the respective votes.

Now they’re already talking about the fact that Wilders coming second is the end of the anti-establishment movement in the west.

Both sides are wrong. It is true that Brexit voters didn’t go to the polls wanting to ‘make America great again’ nor did Trump voters go to the polls thinking ‘here’s one for our anti-EU cousins in England’. Brexit voters were sick of an ultra-pro-EU elite in London and Trump voters were tired of the identity politics, anti-traditional cultural policies and free trade dogmas of Trump’s opponents.

At the same time, many on both sides felt that the abject failure of the monolithic liberal elite throughout Europe and North America, had given all outsider candidates, including the left-wing Bernie Sanders, a chance that in previous years they never would have had.

This last theory is true. The old establishment seemed so entrenched that for a long time it felt as if no outsider whether left or right and the many varieties of each, could ever break through.

But now people know that it is possible to break through. The liberal agenda is still going strong in many places, including in much of Washington, but the liberals are now beatable and they will no longer be able to take their vested position for granted, much though their allies in the mainstream media appear to still treat anti-establishment figures with contempt and disdain.

They will have to debate and face their anti-establishment opponents with seriousness. Calling them insane, deplorable or inconsequential will only make them stronger.

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