Opinion February 9, 2020
Enemies of democracy can get a place at the government table.
The most important domestic political event of the past week passed by quite silently. Mark Rutte said that he did not want to exclude collaboration with FvD despite the racist twittering of Dr. Thierry Baudet. The CDA allowed fellow party members in Noord-Brabant to seek cooperation at the provincial level.
Rob Jetten was highly indignant, but drew a weak conclusion from this: D66 will not cooperate with the FvD as long as Baudet is still the political leader of it.
This shows that openly professed racism and an aversion to the trias politica are no longer obstacles for important middle parties. A movement that expresses such ideas no longer places itself in isolation. You can apparently do business with that. This way enemies of democracy can get a place at the government table.
Rob Jetten is more naive than principleless. He apparently thinks Baudet is the evil genius in a party of goodwill. Once he’s gone from the scene, you’ll be fine.
In fact, members of the Forum for Democracy should be fatally offended by this comment from Jetten: he does not take them seriously. He puts them on a par with the children from Hamelin who hopped after the pied piper’s flute until they were swallowed up by a rock.
This is not the case. After careful consideration and calm consultation, they have opted for membership of this party and no others. They have studied the website. They visited the toasted days where the cultivated hate speech of Baudet and Hiddema entered them as God’s word in an elder. They may have even read the books of their savior after they had waited patiently for their turn at the table in the foyer with their debit card in hand.
In short: they became members because they not only understood Baudet’s extremist, anti-democratic and reactionary ideas but also embraced them wholeheartedly and with conviction. They believe in it. They want to control the judiciary. They think racist. They hope to be able to put parliament aside with plebiscites where the choice between “no” or “yes” obscures the real complexity of a major social problem.
Your child will only come home with such an FvD employee. However, this should not blind us to the following: of course, FvD members have every right to express their opinion, to make propaganda, to recruit members and to take part in elections.
But whoever works with them destroys all old national traditions with regard to freedom, equal rights and tolerance. That is why it is not their block of democratic parties but their own ideology that is the cause of their isolation.
As long as politicians like Hoekstra, Wilders or Jetten don’t get sagging knees of course. They can take an example from their kindred spirits in Berlin. There seems to be more political maturity there than here.