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About Robert McReynolds
Robert McReynolds is an analyst and correspondent for He works as a government contractor at Ft. Belvoir, VA as an intelligence analyst. I spent five years in the Navy and was stationed at NSA and on board the USS Bulkeley (DDG-84). I am currently completing a Masters degree in International Relations at the Catholic University of America.
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Extremism or Pluralism?
Robert McReynolds
December 9, 2013
The German magazine Der Spiegel had an interview today with Alain Finkielkraut, a French essayist and the son of a Jewish Pole. The interview was about the French denial or loss of itself as a civilization and Mr. Finkielkraut's lamentation about the self-inflicted circumstances which France finds itself. Among the specifics given for France's loss of self are weakness in the political class to state to the public that there is something worth applauding about French culture, no incentive for immigrants to assimilate into French culture, and the rise of right-wing political groups in France, namely the National Front.

Mr. Finkielkraut described the National Front in his interview by saying that it would not be in the favorable position it is currently in "if it had not discarded the old issues of the extreme right." Apparently, judging from his following sentence, the National Front used to advocate a religiously dominated monarchy. "Nowadays the National Front focuses on secularism and the republic." But that was not the most insulting thing he said about the National Front's "right-wing extremism." "This party appeals to people's base instincts and hatred. And these are easy to kindle among its supporters." You see, the National Front is only seeking power for power's sake and they are accomplishing this through rousing the hatreds of their less cerebral constituents.

In Europe, movements that are considered the "extreme right" have been making gains in elections because of people's fears over economic longevity, an immigrant population that appears to not want to assimilate, and a consolidation of political power in Brussels among a political elite. The three issues tend to be very intertwined. As the stagnating European economy gets worse, more and more immigrants come into European Union member states and inevitably find their way onto the public dole. Meanwhile many economic policies that greatly affect France are made not in Paris nor by French politicians, but by the European Union and the Members of the European Parliament.

Pointing these deficiencies out to the European Unionists garners a very condescending reaction. Thomas Guenole of the French university of Political Science told CNBC's Alice Tidey in October that the National Front's economic policies demonstrate "complete ignorance" and would lead to "economic and financial catastrophe." Despite the blatant insults to those who share the same fears as the common man, the solutions implemented by the Unionists seems to only compound problems, or, at the very least, continue the stagnation.

The TEA Party faction in the United States faces the same type of ridicule from the American Left. It would be a great feat for one to find a mainstream publication or political pundit on the cable networks who was not conservative (and even that might be a stretch) to discuss the concerns of TEA Party affiliated politicians with merit. Instead, the very President of the United States runs around denigrating their political stance by using a sexual innuendo to slight them, "TEA Baggers."

The concerns here in the United States are very similar to the ones that have birthed a very populist movement on the Right in Europe. There is immense debt, an immigrant population that is at the very least more inclined to vote 75 percent of the time for the party of the welfare state, and an economy that shows no signs of producing any real careers that are not in some way tied to the government sector. But if you are some one who is concerned about this, then you are just "ignorant" and worthy of the moniker "TEA Bagger."

To exacerbate problems, the events that seem to be driving the harmful outcomes are given credit when things look good, but the policies that actually are causing the little good that can be detected are said to be causing the problems. This past week it was announced with much fanfare that the job numbers for November were very promising. But what was not mentioned, unless you are a listener to Rush Limbaugh or a reader of CNSNews you would not have known that 41 percent of those jobs were in the government sector, and that is not even getting into the remaining 59 percent to see how much of that was made up of seasonal employees due to the Holiday shopping season. A month ago when the October numbers came out and looked very drab, the two and a half week partial government shutdown was to blame. It could not have been the effects felt by employers of the actual implementation of Obamacare.

At some point these types of policies are going to do great damage to the United States and to Europe across the pond. If these problems are not honestly addressed, then the idea of a strong West to compete with a rising Rest will be a laughing matter, unless you are rooting for the West. Mr. Finkielkraut ended his interview with Der Spiegel by saying that he has become "sad and feel a growing sense of anxiety...I wish the politicians were able to speak the truth and look reality in the face." But every time the do it seems some one of Mr. Finkielkraut's caliber rushes to call them "ignorant" "TEA Baggers."

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