The Ugly Europeans

Owen Byrne
Sat, 27 Apr 2002 10:12:03 -0300

Paul Krugman points out the difference in the US:

"Now for the important difference. Mr. Le Pen is a political outsider; his
showing in Sunday's election puts him into the second-round runoff, but he
won't actually become France's president. So his hard-right ideas won't be
put into practice anytime soon.

In the United States, by contrast, the hard right has essentially been
co-opted by the Republican Party — or maybe it's the other way around. In
this country people with views that are, in their way, as extreme as Mr. Le
Pen's are in a position to put those views into practice.

Consider, for example, the case of Representative Tom DeLay. Last week Mr.
DeLay told a group that he was on a mission from God to promote a "biblical
worldview," and that he had pursued the impeachment of Bill Clinton in part
because Mr. Clinton held "the wrong worldview." Well, there are strange
politicians everywhere. But Mr. DeLay is the House majority whip — and, in
the view of most observers, the real power behind Speaker Dennis Hastert."

I think clearly the neo-Nazis in Europe take their lead and inspiration from
the rise of the Christian right in the US.