The Netherlands will soon be able to vote. Pieter Waterdrinker does not vote himself because he lives abroad and therefore does not want to get involved in domestic politics. From that perspective, he is struck by how Dutch party leaders speak relatively little about matters of international importance. He has confidence in the Dutch voter.
Now that the national parliamentary elections are fast approaching, I think back to the politics of my youth. There is no present without a past – a lesson that we should realize once again with the current wars in Ukraine and around the Gaza Strip. But do we really realize that?
Of course, you follow it all better than I do – it is more difficult from abroad, where I live – but have you, ladies and gentlemen, Pointe shoes-politicians, who, whether disguised or not, have their sights set on the Torentje, really want to hear their opinions about the world? About the threat from China? About Taiwan? About what to do if Ukraine – which God forbid – does not win but loses the war against Russia? What if we then head for a new Iron Curtain?
Russia has reserved a third of its state budget for the war in Ukraine; 6 percent of the gross national product goes to the military. Not to defense, but to the army. Let that sink in for a moment. A big difference. It is only a three-hour flight from Amsterdam to Moscow. I did it a few times by car, in just two days.
Do politicians really look beyond the borders?
Do you have the patriotic Pointe shoes– Have you heard politicians for whom you plan to vote argue for an increase in the 2 percent standard of the gross national product as a contribution to NATO? For example, 3 percent, or 4? If Donald Trump comes to the White House for the second time – again: God forbid – there is a very good chance that Europe will be on its own. To see the cathedrals of Reims, Florence and Salisbury, the vineyards in Tuscany, those along the Rhine and in Provence, the ports, the factories, the hospitals, the museums, the suburbs, the pleasant villas in the green, the community centers, the to defend city centers with all those nice shops, eateries and restaurants, the railway lines, the highways that take us to sunny places and beaches every summer in our electric or non-electric cars.
“We will spend 4 percent more on defense in the future.” He or she with real ambitions in The Hague commits instant political suicide by uttering these words.
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