Former president Bill Clinton’s outrageous statement that Poland and Hungary have decided that democracy “is too much trouble” and want to embrace “authoritarian” and “Putin-style leadership” to keep the “foreigners out”, is totally inaccurate and reflects a European Union-centric view of the Continent that is, itself, inimical to democracy.
The truth is that both of these nations are vibrant multi-party democracies that value, above all, their freedom and their right to vote. The peoples of both countries have suffered mightily losing vast proportions of their population in wars to become free. Excluding Jews sent to the camps, Poland lost 2.7 million of its citizens in World War II. Hungary suffered 3,000 deaths in its 1956 revolution and 200,000 of its people fled the country, a considerable sacrifice for freedom that Bill Clinton should not have minimized.
To say that they find democracy “too much trouble” belies their regular schedule of free, contested, high turnout elections that often result in peaceful and orderly changes in government.
What Poland and Hungary do want — and Hillary and Bill are about to find out that Americans do to — is to control Muslim in-migration so that the problems of terrorism, crime, and the infiltration of Sharia Law do not come to haunt their two nations as they now do the rest of Western Europe.
As the former political consultant, not just to Clinton, but also to Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, and former Polish president Lech Aleksander Kaczyński, I know how wrong the former U.S. president is.
But, beyond wrong, his view shows the same myopia that the leaders of the European Union tend to share. Any expression of nationalism or of a desire to keep Christian, Western values at their core is seen as xenophobic by the globalists who run Europe.
How wrong their world view is will become even clearer if the voters of the United Kingdom decide to leave the EU in their Brexit vote at the end of June.
Since when is controlling who comes into one’s country — at the demand of one’s own voters — authoritarian?
What is authoritarian is the EU. Dominated by the continued rule of unelected civil servants, responsible to no voters, and following only the pressure of their peers. The resulting authoritarianism of the EU, dogmatically enforcing its views on its member states, is what is truly Putin-like.
The larger question for the Hillary campaign is: Can they afford a loose cannon roaming around the country stirring up trouble when and where she least needs it? Bill Clinton’s support comes with a price.