Nationalist Baudet's election victory speech "worrying and threatening", Tilburg professor says
The victory speech FvD leader Thierry Baudet gave after his party won 12 Senate seats in the Provincial States election on Wednesday was full of fascist statements that made his supporters yearn for the Netherlands of the 19th century, according to Jan Jaap de Ruiter, professor of Cultural Studies at Tilburg University. "His statements about a purified and boreal Netherlands are worrying and threatening", De Ruiter said to De Gelderlander.
In his 20 minutes long victory speech, Baudet said that the voter has punished the Netherlands' current leaders for their "arrogance and stupidity". "Economic and political capitulation is coming to an end", Baudet said. "We have been called to the front because our country needs us." He spoke of sustainability idolatry and climate witchcraft, and strongly criticized various aspects of Prime Minister Mark Rutte's policy, which he called economic nonsense. The FVD leader said that he would dispel "the idol called transition", referring to the transition to an economy that is less harmful to the climate.
According to De Ruiter, Baudet prepared his speech very carefully. "He didn't just put it down on paper just after that huge seat win. This was thought through word for word, letter for letter. He does this in the way we know him: with beautiful quotes, expensive words and a lot of symbolism that a linguist can break his head on. But above all, his statements were very disturbing", De Ruiter said to the newspaper.
Throughout his speech, Baudet constantly referred to national history and Western civilization, which he believes are being undermined by universities, journalists and politicians. "We are being destroyed by the people who should protect us", he said. "We are undermined by universities and journalists, by people who design our buildings." He spoke of a "boreal world", an idea that stands for the desire to keep Europe white, and which is often associated with fascist idea, according to De Ruiter.
The Tilburg professor is concerned about Baudet's specific choice of words. "I do not believe that Baudet is a fascist and strives for a world as it was in the 1920s and 1930s, but at the same time I wonder: why is he saying this? Why does he have such scary racial theories? He wants to say something with it. Baudet is really not stupid, he certainly knows that what he's quoting has been said by controversial politicians like Le Pen."