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Political Establishment on the Ropes in Europe?

Fundamental conundrum will also vex Joe Biden.

Interesting things are afoot in Europe, and the newly emboldened Uniparty that installed Joe Biden into the presidency in America would do well to take notice of them.

All these events are currently unfolding at the same time across the Atlantic:

  • Italy’s ruling coalition government faces collapse after a key member, Ex-Premier Matteo Renzi’s Alive Party, announced it was withdrawing from the partnership.
  • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s four-party coalition government has resigned over a child benefits scandal that falsely accused thousands of parents of committing fraud.
  • Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas and his entire cabinet are stepping down because of a corruption scandal that has entangled a top member of Ratas’ Center Party.
  • Germany is taking a giant step closer to its post-Angela Merkel future. Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union is selecting a new leader. Merkel, 66, has announced she will not run for another term in September elections.

In short, it’s hardly the best of times for politics as usual on the Old Continent.

Tottering Euro Swampies?

There are plenty of curious subtexts going on here. For one, there are the telltale signs of corruption usually found among careerist politicians. And Merkel’s departure, long overdue, hints at weariness with entrenched icons of a fossilized status quo. But all four nations also share one crucial common theme: a stated commitment by the outgoing political leaders to fight “the rise of populism.”

In 2018, Estonian PM Ratas gave a speech before the European Parliament extolling the wonders of the European Union. “By sharing our sovereignty and pooling our strength, we have been able to make a difference in the world,” Ratas declared. “Europeans expect us to tackle transformational challenges that are too big for one member state.”

A press statement by the Euro Parliament noted that Ratas “stressed the need to fight populism and said the upcoming European elections are the perfect opportunity to speak about benefits brought by the single market, single currency, Erasmus and free movement of people.”

Then came 2019, and the populist right Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE) tripled its share of seats in the nation’s legislature. Following this surge, Ratas was obliged to include the EKRE in his coalition government. Naturally, it was always an uneasy relationship.

The center-right Reform Party now hopes to form a government that does not include the EKRE. But the party failed to construct a successful coalition after the 2019 elections that fueled EKRE’s rise.

In Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is struggling to remain in power following the collapse of his coalition. If he cannot do so, populist champion Matteo Salvini, who served as deputy prime minister in 2018-19, is waiting in the wings to call for new elections. A summer vote “would be the preferred option of the three parties that make up a right-wing alliance led by Matteo Salvini, as polls suggest they would come out on top if elections were held now, polling at a combined 46 percent,” Politico Europe reports.

In the Netherlands, Rutte’s dedication to harsh coronavirus lockdowns is reminiscent of the actions of authoritarian Democratic governors in America, such as Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Kate Brown in Oregon. He even resorts to the irritating “it’s unfortunate, I really hate to do this” jargon favored by these governors when unveiling their latest social curb fiats.

“Almost everybody will understand that there was no other choice because numbers are not falling fast enough and we now also have to face the threat of the British corona variant,” Rutte said on Jan. 12 of his decision to extend the strict lockdown of his nation another three weeks.

When Rutte defeated Geert Wilders in 2017 elections, establishment media organs hailed the result as a victory for “good” populism over evil. Sound familiar, Scranton Joe?

Here’s how the Associated Press reported it:

“Following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president, ‘the Netherlands said, “Whoa!” to the wrong kind of populism,’ said Rutte, who is now poised for a third term as prime minister.

“’We want to stick to the course we have — safe and stable and prosperous,’ Rutte added.”

In Germany, the departing Merkel has frequently denounced populism as a “poison” that threatened her globalist vision.

An Unchanged Dynamic

There’s more complexity in each of these developments, to be sure. But these multiple examples of the failing political health of careerist rulers in Europe all playing out at the same time cannot be shrugged off as mere coincidence.

All over the world, establishment figures are urgently seeking to crush populism while having no popular support of their own. And there is the rub. Coalition gymnastics in Europe and reports of 5 a.m. ballot dumps in the United States may temporarily provide “wins” for these ossified elites. But ultimately they haven’t changed the doomed scenario: How do you suppress popular movements when you have no authentic backing of the people yourself?

~

Read more from Joe Schaeffer.

Read More From Joe Schaeffer

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