Ronald Reagan used to say that “the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Last November, Pew Research revealed that only 19% of Americans still trust the government. And 55% are convinced that “ordinary Americans” would do a better job of solving national problems than the elected politicians.
Elsewhere in the West, the situation isn’t much different. Research by the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau (SCP) in the Netherlands indicates similar distrust towards the government, with people complaining that politicians do not listen to ordinary citizens. 55% state that they want to have a bigger say.
The SCP-study also reveals, however, that, while trust in politicians is dwindling, trust in democracy is rising. People want more direct democracy. It is only normal that citizens want to become more involved when they are convinced that they would do a better job at tackling the nation’s problems than the present leadership.
The West’s angry voters may be sick of politics, but they are not sick of democracy. Their anger is a sign of hope. It gets them moving. It inspires them. All over the West – from America to Europe to Australia – we are currently witnessing a big democratic awakening. Spring is in the air. The West awakes! The angry voters are not extremists, they are the new mainstream.
The anger of the people is caused by the failure of the present ruling classes to address the problems of the people. Our governments are failing in their most basic obligation to keep country and people safe.
Take Germany for example. Official crime statistics, published earlier this month by the German Interior Ministery, show that immigrants were responsible for 26% of all crimes committed in Germany in 2015 – up from 8.4% in 2014. One wonders what the heck has happened in Germany in 2015 to cause such an explosion of crime? Would it perhaps have something to do with the reason why Time elected German Chancellor Angela Merkel Person of the Year 2015? “I’m from the government, I’ve destroyed my country with my silly open door policy, but Time says I’m great!”
Take Britain for example. Last month, a poll revealed that 2 out of 3 British Muslims will not report it to the police if someone close to them is getting involved with people supporting terrorism. Former chairman of the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, described this revelation as “astonishing” and “troubling.” But who can honestly say that he is truly surprised when Islam, a totalitarian system founded by Muhammad, a psychopathic mass murderer, a terrorist and a pedophile, turns out to be an anti-Western ideology of hatred and violence, subverting our society from the inside?
All over the West, we have been governed by fools, saying: “We are from the government and we bring you a tsunami of non-Western asylum seekers, an explosion of crime, and the Trojan horse of Islam.”
No wonder people are angry!
Our governments have also failed to deliver economic progress to middle-class and working-class Europeans and Americans. The ruling elites say that we live in a Global Village, in which we have to share the “the burdens of global citizenship”. Ordinary citizens, however, are feeling the pinch of these “burdens” in their wallets. Domestic jobs are being outsourced to foreigners, fiscal transfer payments are being made to foreign shores. Meanwhile, our people are suffering rising taxes and austerity measures, their retirement is being postponed, their pension provisions cut, their healthcare dismantled. Combined with the rising levels of crime and Islamization, it does not take people long to discover that the Global Village is in reality the dark incarnation of Gotham City without Batman.
People have every reason to be furious. But here is the amazing thing: Rather than venting their anger in violent sprees of destruction – as we so often see non-Westerners do, especially in Islamic societies – ever growing numbers of citizens of our Western nations find in their righteous fury the inspiration to join the new mainstream: a non-violent rebellion to reclaim democracy and reassert freedom.
If there is anyone out there, who is still wondering why our Western civilization is far superior to any other, this is your answer.
Geert Wilders is a member of the Dutch Parliament and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands