🇺🇸 Dutch Donald

Plus, the rare "everything" lobster.

The Flag

Good morning, and happy Tuesday. Two strangers who went viral in 2016 after an accidental text led to a Thanksgiving dinner invite gathered yet again to share turkey and togetherness…and they extended the invitation to someone new.

Plus, There are blue lobsters, orange lobsters, and even calico lobsters. But Bowie, named after pop icon David Bowie, is half-red, half-blue; half-male, half-female; and all kinds of rare.

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Right: NewsGuard Sells Government-Funded Censorship Tool Margot Cleveland, The Federalist

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Truce Extended, Teacher Strike Ended, Yemeni Missiles

World: Israel and Hamas agree to extend truce for two more days, and to free more hostages and prisoners (AP)

US: Oregon teachers reach tentative deal to end strike after three weeks of no school (The Guardian)

US: Suspect in shooting of 3 Palestinian college students in Vermont pleads not guilty (CNN)

World: Elon Musk visits Israel amid discussions on Starlink service in Gaza (CBS News) + Elon Musk visits destroyed kibbutz and meets Netanyahu in wake of antisemitic post (CNN)

World: Missiles fired from Yemen toward US warship that responded to attack on commercial tanker (CNN)

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THE NETHERLANDS

Dutch Donald

Credit: David Sedlecký CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED

Last week, Geert Wilders won a massive victory in a Dutch parliamentary election and is in pole position to form the next governing coalition and possibly become the Netherlands’ next prime minister.

Reporting from the Right: Hard-right firebrand Geert Wilders wins election in Netherlands: 'Dutch Donald Trump' (FOX News)

Reporting from the Left: Dutch election winner Geert Wilders is an anti-Islam firebrand known as the Dutch Donald Trump (AP)

From The Flag: Wilders has been called the Dutch Donald Trump. He’s been threatened with death countless times by Islamic extremists, convicted of insulting Moroccans, and Britain once banned him from entering the country. The shock victory in The Netherlands’ parliamentary election has sparked media dialogue on political trends in the West. Here’s what they’re saying.

RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

The EU Underestimated the Hard Right

  • Voters in Europe appear to be less concerned with politicians being labeled “fascists,” and instead, they are looking to see if politicians can address their concerns.

  • The Netherlands and EU have only themselves to blame as they have ignored the issues its citizens are facing, especially mass immigration.

  • If Wilders expects to move forward, he will have to soften his positions and be willing to cooperate and compromise with other parties.

The Wilders Message From the Netherlands The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal: “The lesson is that if voters conclude they have only one alternative, they’ll grasp it for good or ill. In Mr. Wilders’s case there is some ill. … Centrist politicians also fret about Mr. Wilders’s desire to hold a referendum on Dutch membership in the European Union. But if they have ways to use EU institutions to solve the problems that bother voters, they have yet to tell anyone. Instead, Europe is set to descend into another round of name-calling, and expect to hear the word “fascist” a lot. The fear is that formerly fringe parties such as the euroskeptic, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany or the National Rally in France are gaining popularity. In places like Italy or, now, the Netherlands they’re winning elections outright. But voters clearly are growing less anxious about the “fascism” label the more they see it used against politicians they think speak to their concerns. Now that centrist politicians are discovering they can’t beat the political fringe, the only option is to join Mr. Wilders in competing to offer solutions to the problems that matter to voters.

The EU has only itself to blame for Geert Wilders Gavin Mortimer, The Spectator: “They may have spoken ‘harsh truths’ but that was as far as it went. Nothing was done to check uncontrolled immigration to either Holland or Europe. On the contrary, from 2011 onwards the number of migrants accelerated, from 4,450 illegal border crossings on the Central Mediterranean route in 2010 to 181,459 six years later. Instead of addressing this phenomenon, the political and cultural left embraced mass immigration and became increasingly intolerant of those who raised objections, branding them ‘far-right’, ‘fascist’, and ‘Islamophobic’. In Thursday’s profile of Wilders, the Guardian said that while he had recently toned down some of his opinions about Islam he had still campaigned on ‘extreme’ issues, among which were ‘restoring Dutch border control, detaining and deporting illegal immigrants’. Is border control ‘extreme’?“

One more opinion piece from the Right: Geert Wilders Breaks Through, but How Far? Andrew Stuttaford, National Review

LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Far-Right Rising Across Europe

  • “Far-right parties have been making steady inroads into parliaments across Europe.”

  • “Far-right extremist Geert Wilders’ stunning victory in the Netherlands is a beam of hope for the worst of Europe’s right-wing, and a jolt of fear for minorities and immigrants.”

  • “Media complacency and outgoing PM Mark Rutte’s decision to campaign on immigration have created a political earthquake”

Europe’s far right goes mainstream Ishaan Tharoor, The Washington Post: “Some [far-right] factions descended from explicitly neofascist movements. Others embraced a set of extremist views once considered beyond the pale on a continent still largely defined by a 20th-century liberal-democratic consensus, born out of the traumas of World War II. Even as the far right’s vote shares and ranks of elected lawmakers grew, more mainstream parties vowed to never form alliances with them or enable their entry into government. But in the 21st century, Europe’s far right is firmly ensconced in the mainstream and reflects political attitudes no longer harbored simply by a fringe minority. The Dutch parliamentary election last week offered the clearest evidence yet of the new status quo. … The broader signal of the vote is clearer. To Wilders’s far-right and ultranationalist allies elsewhere, the PVV’s success is a confirmation of their centrality. ‘A new Europe is possible,’ declared Matteo Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister and, like Wilders, a vocal opponent of immigration.”

Dutch Far-Right Takeover Is a Terrifying Shock for Europe David Rothkopf, Daily Beast: “Wilders, a fixture in Dutch politics for a quarter-century, whose bigoted views were too extreme even for the country’s major right-wing party at the turn of this century, the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, founded the Party for Freedom in 2006. Wilders has since espoused consistently vile views on Islam. He has said ‘I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam.’ He has called for a ban on the Koran. He has condemned the influx of Muslims from North Africa, the Arab world, and Turkey into Holland. (It is noted here for the record that Saint Nicholas was from what is today, Turkey.) Wilders, for the above reasons, as well as his support of right wing leaders like Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orban, and Marine LePen… Wilders’ victory is certain to push Dutch policies rightward. More importantly, it sends an encouraging message to Europe’s right-wing in the wake of recent victories in Hungary, Italy, and Sweden; surging right-wing groups in Germany, Austria, and France; and important elections to the EU parliament next June.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: The Netherlands underestimated the far right – and Geert Wilders’ victory is the result Cas Mudde, The Guardian

FLAG THIS

What’s Actually Happening

The Dutch far-right Freedom Party, led by Geert Wilders, has secured 37 seats in the 150-seat legislature. While this marks a substantial increase in their influence that makes them the largest party in The Netherlands’ parliament, they are not the majority and Wilders is not the Prime Minister…yet.

Accordingly, the path to forming a government will be complex, as the country's political landscape is fragmented with various parties. It remains uncertain whether Wilders will be able to form a coalition that would grant him the power to govern as Prime Minister (The Washington Post).

The rise in right-wing populism across the globe is...

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WATERCOOLER

Magellan, Ukeireru, Pre-Human Construction

On This Day in 1520: After sailing through the dangerous straits below South America that now bear his name, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan enters the Pacific Ocean with three ships, becoming the first European explorer to reach the Pacific from the Atlantic.

Today I learned the oldest found wooden construction—from about half a million years ago—predates Homo Sapiens.

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