Conservatism: Alive and Well in Western Europe

Johnnie Byrd | “Johnnie Byrd’s Weekend,” WGUL-Tampa Bay | Thursday, May 8, 2008

Conservatism: Alive and Well in Western Europe

May 8, 2008

American liberals have to be frustrated by the rebirth of European conservatism. America’s liberal press hopes to perpetuate the myth of a solidly social democratic Europe by ignoring this transformation of European voter preference—at least until after the U.S. presidential election. So then, who will share this good news with the American electorate that despite liberal denial, conservatism is alive and well in Europe? It’s up to the new media, and time is of the essence.

Newsweek recently chose to address this inconvenient and unfathomable truth by publishing an anti-conservative tirade by the Honourable Denis MacShane, British Labour Party MP, and admitted Europe worshipper. The title to MacShane’s article says it all: “The Right-Wing Resurrection: Conservatives rule almost all of Europe. What they will do with all their power is an open question.” MacShane opines, “Today’s conservatives running Europe have plenty of ministerial limousines, but they have no leaders, thinkers or philosophies.” What they do have, MP MacShane, are the voters.

Could it be that European voters are just as “bitter” as Americans about energy and food prices, open borders, radical Islam, the threat of terrorism and other issues that Barack Obama dismisses as “wedge” issues? Could it be that “bitter” Europeans are clinging to “wedge” issues because governments run by social democrats or democratic socialists have failed the European voters? This is a conclusion that the old media will never even consider.

The Europeans, although steeped in big government, are today not buying the liberal solution. Yet, if asked, most American voters would probably think that Europe is populated by, and governed by, liberals – and that America is headed in that direction. While the stories of conservative landslides across the continent are truly astonishing, they are simply trees falling in the forest for now. The new media has its work to do, but there is no lack of cannon fodder.

The New York Times characterized the May 1, 2008 election of Conservative Boris Johnson as Mayor of London as, “… a sure sign of a deep national weariness with the Labor government. London has been resolutely Labor in recent years, and its loss is a bitter blow to the national party.” Perhaps not surprisingly, The Times completely omits any discussion of why London voters are weary with Labour.

One glaring reason for the ouster of Mayor Livingstone was his unwillingness (or inability) to push back against anti-democratic demands of the Islamic separatists, such as demands for Sharia law jurisdiction. Call this a “wedge” issue if you like, but Londoners had endured enough of Livingstone’s pandering. Conservative MP Paul Goodman gets it right in his congratulatory post entitled “Boris Johnson defeated Islamic extremists as well as Ken Livingstone.” MP Goodman gives us an inside look at how Livingston tried to paint Johnson as an Islamophobe, and how it backfired.

Nor are British voters keen on Labour Party Prime Minister Gordon Brown who is in a political free fall with daily calls for his resignation (from members of his own party). National elections are scheduled before 2010, maybe even this year or early 2009. The Conservatives are salivating.

These are not random and isolated conservative gains. 71-year-old Conservative Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has recently unveiled his new conservative government appointing what is regarded as the “most right-wing cabinets since World War Two.” The Italian voters must not think he is too old or too conservative to lead.

So, whether it is conservative Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, re-elected in Greece, or German conservative Angela Merkel, replacing a former liberal leader, Schroder, the conservative movement is spreading like a wild-fire in Europe. And, contrary to what the Democrats and liberal media would have American voters believe about President Bush’s lack of popularity in Europe, Germany’s Angela Merkel has embraced the Bush missile defense shield at the risk of being accused of the “Americanization” of German foreign policy.

Europeans are sending Americans a message that the big government, social policies do not work, and that wedge issues are real issues. Those Americans who are paying attention to the conservative gains in Europe are encouraged, if not elated. If American voters hear the truth about Europe, they will be, too.

Freedom lovers of the world—unite!

Johnnie Byrd is a lawyer and host of “Johnnie Byrd’s Weekend” heard on WGUL-AM 860 in Tampa Bay, FL. Contact Johnnie at