BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
In late May, the BBC reported that "Eurosceptic and far-right parties have seized ground in elections to the European parliament, in what France's PM called a 'political earthquake'." Aftershocks from the far-right's European "political earthquake" are being felt in the United States, as America's White supremacists are celebrating like it's 1999.
It takes an experienced researcher and writer with an international perspective to dissect the recent European parliament elections and try and understand what it means to, and for, the far right in the United States. And, Devin Burghart is the perfect person for the job. In a recent post at the website of the Institute For Research & Education On Human Rights (IREHR), Burghart pointed out that for the most part, America's far right is rejoicing over the results of the elections.
"Many on the American far right, from the Tea Party to hardened white nationalists, paid close attention to the European results," Burghart, vice president of IREHR, wrote in a story titled, American Far Right Jubilant Over European Election Results. "Looking at these votes for nationalist, anti-immigrant, racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-European Union political parties — the American hard right saw hope for the future here at home."
Burghart pointed to several emergent themes including: "1) nationalist, anti-globalist arguments in the age of austerity and financial turmoil, 2) anti-immigrant politics as a winning message, and 3) the necessity of a white electoral strategy here at home."
Relationships between America's far-right organizations and their European counterparts have "ebbed and flowed" over the years, generally reflecting electoral realities in the US and in Europe. According to Burghart, "For years, far right activists in the United States, particularly those interested in mainstreaming their particular brand of bigotry in the political arena, have looked to Europe as a source of hope and inspiration. They have also developed long-standing multilateral relationships with their European counterparts."
America's right responds with jubilation
The "European right-wing comes of age," declared the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), one of the largest white nationalist groups in the United States. "Folks, I'm here to tell you that this week's election results in Europe have given me a lot of hope," proclaimed Tennessee white nationalist talk show host, James Edwards. The Virginia white nationalist think-tank, American Renaissance, called the elections "a promising shift to the Right" and hoped that "we are perhaps seeing the first rays of a new dawn after a long night."
David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and former Republican Louisiana State Representative, went straight to the anti-Semitic card. Duke wrote that, "the results of European Parliament elections held last week have at last shown that in many parts of Europe, resistance to the ideologies enforced by Jewish Supremacists — mass immigration and globalization — are being decisively rejected."
Duke added: "All freedom-loving people around the globe can draw solace from the fact that the latest European Parliament elections have now at last shown a definite step away from this Jewish Supremacist globalist agenda. There is still much work to do, but every journey begins with that first step!"
In a piece for the Occidental Observer website, anti-Semitic professor Kevin MacDonald wrote "It's no secret that Jewish organizations have been strongly in favor of the EU and its policies promoting immigration and multiculturalism. So it's no surprise that they are quite negative about the results of the elections for the European Parliament." MacDonald added: "What is missing in this opposition is any glimmering that native Europeans have a legitimate interest in preserving their culture and their demographic dominance in areas they have inhabited for thousands of years. The policies advocated by Jewish organizations will result in the death of European civilization."
Burghart pointed out that "In a May 23 column, [Pat] Buchanan contended that the electoral success by the far right meant that Europeans were voting to preserve their 'separate and unique ethnic and cultural identity.'" Buchanan, a longtime supporter of the European far right, saw a return to "traditionalism and cultural conservatism, reverence for the religious and cultural history and heritage of the nation and its indigenous people."
As Burghart noted, "The Euro-Election results give a boost to efforts by white nationalists to push their 'white America' strategy on the movement -- also known as the 'Majority Strategy' -- .... the [controversial] argument holds that Republicans should abandon efforts to reach-out to communities of color, and instead adopt an explicitly racist politics to appeal to white voters."
"For some American white nationalists, far right success in the European elections has rekindled an interest in electoral campaigning and re-engaging in the debate around immigration reform," Burghart wrote. "At the same time, a segment of the movement has shunned electioneering and seeks instead to construct a different type of international network of racists and anti-Semites."
It is clear that many American white supremacists are hopeful that the results of the European parliamentary elections can some day be replicated in the homeland. To achieve this, they intend to mainstream their anti-Black, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant ideas. How they will do that remains to be seen.