I am sorry to say that with only 200 people showing up, this congress must be considered a failure. The reasons are manifold but I will cite the two most important ones:
1° The cowardness, lazyness and ostracism of contemporary West Europeans. People may see and realize what is happening to their society, but they are unwilling to stick out their neck for it. I have encountered this attitude many, many times in my own Flanders. When confronted with news of the soft ethnic cleansing by muslims taking place in Brussels, the umpteenth case of harassment of young girls by Moroccans, the appearance of veiled women in the streets or news of a foiled terror plot by followers of the prophet, the reaction of most is, curiously, a shrug accompanied by the laconic statement (or variant thereof) "in twenty years it's they [muslims - MFBB] who will rule here". I have witnessed this scenario many times, and indeed, the ruling philosophy seems to be "après nous le déluge" (after us the flood). Europeans have become sheep who care only for their reality TV shows, leisure time and their pension.
2° The overwhelmingly leftist media go to great lenghts to paint Pro Koeln as neonazis and fascists. Again, I have personal experience regarding this phenomenon, as I happened to be in Germany last September, during the weekend the first PK congress took place, and watched German television report on the event. Sadly, these lies are repeated abroad and even across the Atlantic, as we can observe, e.g., from the LGF reporting. Surely it is a sad thing to see this smear campaign unfold AGAIN, when I have seen with my own eyes, here in Belgium, how these tactics were efficiently employed against my party, the Vlaams Belang.
That said, I think it's appropriate to shed at least some light on this Congress. Our friends over at Gates of Vienna posted one video, which happens to feature a speech by the VB's Filip Dewinter. It's not that I expressly want to give the impression that the VB is the only valuable rightwing party on the continent, for that it is too small, but like I said, I did not find other material and Dewinter is ubiquitous. Actually, his strenuous activity baffles me. The video is in German, with subtitling provided by Vlad Tepes.
As I took notice of the disappointingly low show-up, I was reminded of a Mark Steyn article linked to by longtime reader and commenter Mark, "Conservatives always face uphill climb." Some exerpts from OCRegister:
"... In fact, the GOP's tent has many poles: It has social conservatives, libertarians, fiscal conservatives, national-security hawks. These groups do not always agree: The so-cons resent the libertarians' insouciance on gay marriage and abortion. The libertarians don't get the warhawks' obsession with thankless nation-building in Islamist hellholes. A lot of the hawks can't see why the fiscal cons are so hung up on footling matters like bloated government spending at a time of war. It requires a lot of effort to align these various poles sufficiently to hold up the big tent. And by the 2006 electoral cycle, between the money-no-object Congress at home and a war that seemed to have dwindled down to an endless half-hearted semicolonial policing operation, the GOP poles were tilting badly. The Republican coalition is like a permanent loveless marriage: There are bad times and worse times. And, while social conservatism and libertarianism can be principled to a fault, the vagaries of electoral politics mean they often wind up being represented in office by either unprincipled opportunists like Arlen Specter or unprincipled squishes like Lincoln Chafee.
Meanwhile, over in the other tent, they celebrate diversity with ruthless singlemindedness: in the Democrat parade, whatever your bugbear government is the answer. Government is the means, government is the end, government is the whole magilla. That gives them a unity of purpose the GOP can never match.
And yet and yet… Last November, even with the GOP's fiscal profligacy, even with the financial sector's "October surprise," even with a cranky old coot of a nominee unable to articulate any rationale for his candidacy or even string together a coherent thought on the economy, even with a running mate subjected to brutal character assassination in nothing flat, even running against a charming, charismatic media darling of historic significance, even facing the natural cycle of a two-party system the washed-up loser no-hoper side managed to get 46 percent of the vote.
OK, it's not 51 percent. But still: Obama's 53 percent isn't a big transformative landslide just because he behaves as if it is.
To put it in Powellite terms, the general thinks the Republican Party is in the desert, when, in fact, it's climbing a mountain. All things considered, the resilience of American conservatism is one of the most remarkable features of contemporary Western politics. It's up against significant members of its own party. It's up against a media for whom the Democrat positions are the default positions on almost anything that matters. Consider this cooing profile of Secretary Powell from Todd Purdum in The New York Times back in 2002:
"Mr. Powell's approach to almost all issues – foreign or domestic – is pragmatic and nonideological. He is internationalist, multilateralist and moderate. He has supported abortion rights and affirmative action."
So supporting "internationalism," "multilateralism," abortion and racial quotas means you're "moderate" and "nonideological"? And anyone who feels differently is an extreme ideologue? Absolutely. The aim of a large swath of the Left is not to win the debate but to get it canceled before it starts. You can do that in any number of ways – busting up campus appearances by conservatives, "hate speech" prohibitions, activist judges' more imaginative court decisions, or merely, as the Times does, by declaring your side of every issue to be the "moderate" and "nonideological" position – even when, in many cases, the "extreme" position is supported by a majority of voters. Likewise, to Colin Powell, it's Ann Coulter who's "vicious," not Michael Moore, who compares the jihadists who blow up Western troops in Iraq to America's Minutemen and gets rewarded with a seat next to Jimmy Carter in the presidential box at the Democratic Convention.
It's a mountain, and it's getting steeper. Promises of "free" government health care will make more voters susceptible to the blandishments of the nanny state. The Democrats have plans for talk radio and the Internet that will diminish conservative voices. Another retirement on the Supreme Court, and the First and Second Amendments will start getting nibbled away. Obama's buddies at ACORN, already under investigation in multiple states over fraudulent voter registration, will have a prominent say in the 2010 Census.
But, when the going gets tough, you don't, as Gen. Powell advises, "move toward the center." You move the center toward you, as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher did. It's harder to do it that way, but if it's a choice between more government and more taxes, or more liberty and more opportunity, I'll stick with the latter, and so should the Republican Party – however difficult it is. Unlike Colin Powell, conservatism does do mountains."
- Mark Steyn
And that's why we should never give up. We know we are better.