Liberals say they believe in democracy, meaning government that represents and listens to the people whose instrument it is supposed to be.  Yet democratic governments today clearly do not listen to the people, if “listening” means trying to understand what they have to say.

The most obvious current example of Western politicians’ willful deafness to, and deliberate misunderstanding of, the popular will is their response to what they dismiss as “far right” and “extremist” political movements in Europe.  Spokesmen for these movements have articulated their concerns very precisely to power.  Among these are the lack of adequate political representation, at home and in Brussels; increasing economic inequality; austerity; unemployment; the mass immigration from Third World countries that aggravates the employment problem while subverting and diluting ancestral cultures; and now the terrorism that immigration and the Schengen Agreement facilitate, and the refusal of national governments to employ the means necessary to protect citizens against attack, or even promise to try.  Yet the politicians have refused to heed the “populists,” and will continue to ignore them and their demands so long as it is possible for them to do so.  This is partly because they think themselves finally immune to popular sentiment, partly because they believe their constituents’ complaints are unfounded, and partly because addressing them would go crosswise to their own political objectives.  By far the chief reason for this dismissive attitude, however, is their assumption that the “populist” protest is no more than a dishonest cover for the One Big Thing—the “racism” they believe nourishes Western societies at the grass roots.

The media betray this grounded assumption by the Western establishments more readily than the politicians do.  There is scarcely a newspaper, magazine, or news service in the West that fails to reflect the elites’ insistence on viewing popular opposition to immigration and migration as simply a pretext for racial discrimination and the persecution, degradation, and dehumanization of colored people—quite as if foreign invasion, economic displacement, murder, and mayhem were invalid matters of public concern.  Every Western reporter follows the same pattern in presenting his story.  He leads by listing the complaints of the “far right” group he’s reporting on, describes its public program of redress, and then subtly suggests that the concerns of said party are actually not the stated ones, but the arrival of the despised Other in their midst.  How could it be otherwise?  These spoiled children of the corrupt West have it all—Western liberals know this, because it is they who have given it to them.  They have nothing to complain of materially, hence their grievance must be racially derived.

To test this hypothesis, one need only imagine how the Western welfare states would present the present discontents were the racial factor subtracted from them.  Then the “victim” and object of solicitude would be “the people,” the villains the exploitive and “unresponsive” capitalist system.  Should the “populists” succeed in forcing their Western governments to keep the immigrants out, they would likely succeed in proving that hypothesis as well.