Friday, May 30, 2014

Bullies in Brussels - The far-right, left and populists in a parliament near you!

Before I will dedicate the next dozen blogs to the past three weeks of my life and how the election ruined it (temporarily) I am now going to comment on its results. Not enough time has passed since the election for me to be able to talk about it. I love politics, democracy and the job but the last few weeks were murder and although it was fantastic experience I am half a person right now. Therefore, I cannot physically allow myself to think about it just yet and all the disasters that have been happening. One of the most significant disasters of the election, however, is my personal dismay with the outcome (as usual, although the trend is pointing in a right direction). Especially the far-right vote is something I won’t and will never want to be silent about. 

An American friend of mine commented on facebook yesterday that he couldn’t believe that far-right parties got the results they did on a continent where the 1930s and 40s have not been forgotten yet. Apparently they have. Populists and Far-right parties would be the third biggest faction if they were to come together. They base their program on hate: they either hate certain people living within the European Union or the Union itself. I’m appalled that it’s been spread everywhere that their presences are worrying, yet so many people not only neglect the danger associated with these parties but vote for them. You make that mistake once, Europe, and it was in the 1930s. Not now! How can we forget what happened when most of our grandparents’ lives were destroyed as the consequence of such neglect?

I’m not even calling anyone Hitler. Just because we have such parties arising I’m not seeing another Holocaust happening (at least not around here because God knows they still happen!). However, we all saw where hate got us (and continues to get people every day). Not just on this continent but on pretty much all of them, over centuries. Extremism is our favorite thing to complain about, whether it comes from the right or the left or a religious belief. In a community centralization is the key. Part of compromising is accepting each other and if we want to sit on the same table a certain amount of love is just simply necessary. Or at least not hate. I find it hard to understand that people see the key to resolving Europe's problems in electing such parties forfor them to send out people who are willing to fight, not compromise. That is not what they made the EU for. Wake up, Europe!

Frans Timmermanns, the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands, spoke at Martin Schulz’ campaign on Saturday. I’m usually in front row when Martin Schulz comes anywhere close to where I’m staying. Timmermanns said that it is always dangerous when people start blaming other people for their misfortunes. And that is exactly what racism, xenophobia and all these are. The roma don’t physically make someone unemployed but I suppose people find it easier to blame them for economic disadvantages than actual causes for them. I don’t have a job and many immigrants do. The reason I don’t have one is not that they have my job. I still expect my country to work for both me and the immigrants to have a job. In the end, I could have studied civil engineering and I would most likely be employed right now even if this country was owned by immigrants. Insanity!

The bottom line is that I believe in freedom of expression, even if this expression is against a different group of society. I might not agree but everyone gets to say freely how they feel. Obviously many people thought these parties solve Europe’s problems best and therefore elected them. That’s what you’re supposed to do. How voters think that hate and confrontation is going to solve a single problem, whether in real life or in a plenary, is beyond me though. Either people are really bad at fighting and don't get how interaction works or they don't get how problems are supposed to be solved in Brussels. Voting for delegates that are trying to crush the institution and its processes doesn’t make a voter of these parties appear very smart or compassionate; I don’t know which is worse. It’s not a very good idea, and I hope by 2019 people have increasingly realized that!

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