Monday, May 06, 2002

Assassination in Holland

In the wake of the Pim Fortuyn assassination, it will be important to remember just who he was. As Rod Dreher reminds us in National Review Online, Fortuyn was no a "hard-right" politician, despite reports to that effect. He was, by American standards, barely a conservative.

According to Dreher:
Pim Fortuyn is dead, and the Netherlands are in shock. I've been on the phone with Dutch friends and colleagues, and they are absolutely stricken by this violent act. It's not that they were Fortuyn supporters (though some were); it's that they cannot believe that famously tolerant and liberal Holland has become a place where a man can be shot dead for voicing his opinion. They warn not to believe the inevitable press accounts that Fortuyn is "hard-right"; he is, but only by Dutch standards ("I don't think he would have been considered on the right at all in America," said one Dutch colleague, who knows American politics). Fortuyn was not remotely a Le Pen figure, and was in fact an Andrew Sullivan-style gay libertarian. And he did much good for the moribund Dutch political system, if only by blasting away the taboo from the discussion of Holland's immigration problem.

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