Meet Denmark’s Sarah Palin

Meet Pia Kjærsgaard. Pia is a woman who is going places. Specifically, she is going to the salon to have her hair bleached an even starker blond – but after that, she’s going to pose for a photo shoot wrapped in the Danish flag, and then she is going to make a heroic stand against the foreign hordes who threaten to overrun her fairy tale vision of a Denmark where everyone is a Lutheran, monarchist, pork-eating blonde.

Pia is trying very hard to be the Danish Sarah Palin. Having risen to the top of her political party, Dansk Folkeparti – literally The Danish Peoples’ Party – she has gone on to claim copyright on the Danish flag and the Danish national anthem. She has gathered around her a loyal army of flag-waving minions; xenophobic old Lutheran priests who pine for the good old days when you could sterilize people who couldn’t memorize their psalms. And immaculately polished young patriots with a short, carefully rehearsed range of facial expressions that would remind you more of the baring of teeth than smiling. But Pia has done even better than that. Pia has enlisted the very spirit of the Danes, the mythological hero Holger Danske. Holger is temporarily unable to comment, as he is presently a statue. But one day, legend has it, when Denmark is threatened by foreign invasion, Holger will arise from his stony slumber to crush the foe. The fact that Holger failed to arise when Denmark was invaded by the Third Reich in 1940 does not bother Pia. You may draw whatever conclusions you want from that. Dansk Folkeparti has been highly influential in shaping the current draconian Danish legislation on immigration. The party is right-wing and hyper-nationalistic. It has been part of a coalition government in Denmark since 2001.

“We already have a religion in Denmark, in the thousand-year old Kingdom that Denmark is. Therefore it is essential that Islam does not spread in Denmark,” Pia asserts. She adds:

“I agree with [Dansk Folkeparti member and Lutheran priest] Søren Krarup, it is the exact same symbol, the Muslim veil and the swastika.” How droll. The irony is striking.

Just like her spiritual cousin Palin, Pia Kjærsgaard knows what’s what. Any criticism of her policies becomes either a Muslim plot or a nefarious conspiracy engineered by the unpatriotic liberal media elite. Indeed, she often casts herself as the selfless martyr. Outrageously offensive statements demonizing immigrants become unmissable opportunities for self-promotion. And of course, immigrants does not mean Swedes or Americans or a few wayward Scots. No, indeed. You know who we mean. They have darker skin than us. Their language doesn’t sound anything like ours. The women wear scarves over their hair, and they read from a strange book called the Koran. They don’t even celebrate Christmas! How are you supposed to deal with people who don’t even celebrate Christmas?! But fear not, Pia is on a mission to rescue Denmark from this scourge of barbarism.

“It has been said that 9/11 caused a struggle between civilizations. I can’t agree with that. A struggle of civilizations implies that we are talking about two civilizations and that is not the case. There is only one civilization. Ours,” said Pia in a parliamentary speech.

And to Pia, the dangers are obvious. “Our social welfare legislation is passé, because it fit the Danish family tradition and work ethic, not Muslims who think it’s honorable to sponge off others while the wife is at home producing offspring. Child support is abused, because immigrants can achieve a record-high income by procreating. Immigrants breed like rabbits.”

A loyal party member, Ib Krog Hansen, chimed in with a variation on Pia’s theme: “To say that all Muslims should be thrown out of Denmark? That’s harsh, because there are some actual human beings among them, too. But how are we supposed to sort them?” Oh I don’t know, Ib. Maybe we could start measuring their skulls or something?

Recently, Pia and her party members ran into difficulty yet again. After an article in the party magazine claimed that the reason Danish hospitals and waiting rooms no longer offer free cake and juice to patients was that huge Muslim immigrant families were selfishly eating it all, the party office received in the mail a small mountain of sponge cakes from sympathetic Danes who felt that poor Pia clearly needs more cake. They say sarcasm is the root of all evil, but sometimes it can be so utterly satisfying.

More serious criticism haunts Pia’s every step, as well. In an interview with a Danish newspaper, former Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen accused Dansk Folkeparti of inciting racism among the Danish electorate. Nyrup is now the European chairman of the Social Democrats.

“The party is democratically elected and legitimate, that’s not what I mean. But the attitudes they have towards people from other countries will never become socially acceptable in my view,” he said.

Nyrup made a similar statement in 1999, causing a political row. The actual word he used to describe Dansk Folkeparti was stuerene, which literally translates as ‘housebroken.’ As in, my pet is housebroken, so I can let him out when there are visitors in the house without fear of him embarrassingly crapping on the floor. More loosely, the term translates as ‘socially acceptable’.

Nyrup added that he did not feel worried about the storm of protest his statement would raise from the right wing. “Sometimes you have to stand up and take the beating you’ll get when you say: that’s enough, you have crossed the line and it’s time to stop.”

In a feat of mental acrobatics that would put Palin to shame, Pia Kjærsgaard offered the following analysis of Nyrup’s statement:

“Nyrup has shot himself in the foot in a big way. His statement helps Dansk Folkeparti and harms the Social Democrats. He is clearly mocking the many people who vote for Dansk Folkeparti. But that is so typical of the Social Democrats. It’s just that few of them dare to say it out loud.”

In a world where Palin’s and Pia’s  strategy of saying something astoundingly offensive and seeking attention by belittling and demonizing others, and then whining like a martyred saint when you run into criticism, it is to be hoped that more sane people will do what Nyrup has done and call a spade a spade. Enough is enough. The statements coming from the likes of Pia, Palin, the Danish Peoples’ Party and the Tea Partiers must not be accepted as legitimate, acceptable social commentary but as the gratuitous hatemongery it is. Alternatively, let’s keep attempting to bury them under mountains of sponge cake.

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16 Replies to “Meet Denmark’s Sarah Palin”

  1. Nationalism and xenophobia are on the march….This is very unsettling. Great article, Nina but very disturbing. I love how these folks always claim to know what all Democrats are thinking but won’t say out loud. My goodness that’s an amazing tactic of irresponsible slander that can’t be countered.

  2. I get a chuckle out of your description of Pia taking a copyright out on the flag and national anthem. That most certainly does compare in theory to Sarah Palin. Sarah thinks she has a copyright on conservatism and Americanism. I have found that people who set themselves up as heroes for the people, are very seldom anything close to resembling that. Palin is certainly no hero for America, having grabbed this mantle that she wears as soon as the tea party rolled along.
    Pia also compares favorably to Newt Gingrich in trying to demonize Muslims. Hard-line conservatism does not fare well with people who have intelligence.
    It will be interesting to see how successful Pia is on her mission to rise to power by standing on other people. It will be interesting to see if the people of Denmark actually put up with it. Of course one thing can change the People’s opinions of immigration and that is criminal activity. I don’t know about Denmark but I have friends in London that I speak to daily who in the last three years have changed their favorability feelings towards Muslims and immigration very much for the worse. They want them gone. But they do not campaign to change the government to be anti-immigration

  3. Thank you Sarah – I completely agree. Pia Kjærsgaard has risen to the top of her game by shamelessly and irresponsibly appealing to the very worst elements of human nature. Of course the irony is that she would have nothing to rant about if there were no Muslim immigrants and no liberals in Denmark. One wonders whether she realizes the damage her and her party are causing to civil society – she probably does, which makes it even more sickening.

  4. True, Shiva, people who try to persuade others that they’re national heroes seldom have the purest of motives! Pia has been polluting the airwaves with her hate speech for years and years, and her party is in coalition with the current government.
    There will be bad apples in any community, but I think it would be interesting to see a study describing the connection between her hate speech and crime rates. Also, I’d be worried that repeating racist messages over and over will make violence against minority communities more appealing to certain parts of the population.

  5. I know what you are saying about repeating racist messages over and over making violence more appealing, but I think that only happens with a very small minority of the people. I think most people sooner later tune out the racist messages and just let it go by the wayside. I have no idea what the crime rates in Denmark are per capita but I’m sure that it is smaller than say the UK

  6. Egads, they’re crawling out of the sewers everywhere, nasty little nationalists. You’d think it was still the 13th century! That’s a great expose, Nina, really exposing them for what they are. Only one civilization, eh? That’s news to the rest of the world. It’s just truly said that people have such an appetite for mindless and reckless hate.

  7. Too bad our own B.S. mouthed Sarah Palin isn’t as homely as this woman.

    The Danes I met in traveling are very proud of their own country and its society.

  8. I agree Shiva, only a small minority of people will go from violent rhetoric to physichal violence. In fact there was a poll in Denmark recently, asking what Danes thought about Nyrup’s statement. A considerable majority agreed with him, and he stated that he was happy to see that a majority of Danes ‘do not think that it is extreme to think that Dansk Folkeparti is extreme!’ That was comforting!

    Thanks, Hrafnkell! One civilization… and only Protestant blondes need apply. That’s why I had to leave, hehe. Seriously though, I thought we had had enough of this foul nonsense.

    True, Lily. I’m an expatriate Dane myself, and I think Danes generally take pride in values such as open-mindedness and basic civility. That’s why many of us find the hateful rhetoric coming from Dansk Folkeparti so offensive.

  9. I agree with (by far) most of what you write, but not with your semi-canonization of Poul Nyrup. Poul Nyrup has said one thing and acted completely opposite, and while he has repeated his criticism of Pia Kjærsgaard, he hasn’t taken responsibility for his part in the de-facto status as “housebroken” or “socially acceptable” that The Danish people’s Party (DF) has nowadays.
    During the period, where he used the expressions about DF quoted above, he deliberately chose hardliners as integration ministers twice in a row and the policies regarding asylum seekers and refugees implemented by his administration weren’t very humane at all.

  10. Crime rate is not much smaller, Denmark is a crime hotspot in Europe along with the UK. The perception of Denmark as a place with low crime rates is sadly incorrect.

    The majority have not tuned out the racist messages and now the mainstream parties are repeating what Pia says without being censured. The States Minister made a speech about the immigrants in the ghettos, conflating watching foreign tv with criminality and that was seen as acceptable.

    Even more worryingly, the mainstream parties rip her policies off and now Denmark is a very anti-foreigner place to be. Even the “prestige-immigrants” (as in white Christian stock), feel unwelcome.

    DF is not housebroken but then it doesn’t need to be because the mainstream parties are in on it now.

  11. That sounds like the tea party here. people jump on because they are afraid to NOT be seen as one of that radical element

  12. “The worst elements of human nature” Which elements would that be? Honouring your state by not alowing it to be invaded by a nation who seeks to force its ideoligy down on to you?

    Why is it that there are no, and I mean NO, countries where muslim is the majority religion and other religions are alowed to practice in peace? Why is it acceptable practice in these muslim communities, that a muslim who converts to another religion be excecuted by stoning?

    Why will you find that Christians in muslim countries get told by the United Nations that their safety is not garenteed and the should simply leave?

    You blame this woman for standing up for the society that has been built up by their people by somebody who would destroy every single statue of Norse tradition and historical significance in the country?

    Do you have children? Somehow I doubt it. Can you honestly answer me you will be happy in a state where your daughters are forced to live by sharia laws of morality. Because with muslim there is only two states. Muslim and the enemy. And let me promis you one thing in a muslim world your beautiful blond locks will be covered up, your face obscured and your open arms and legs will never ever see the natural sunlight again.

    This woman is fighting for the culture of all that is Danish, including the future of your children. And you insult her with this article?

  13. Eric, your central argument appears to be that all Muslims are out to destroy Western culture. I absolutely cannot agree with that. Of course there is a small minority of fundamentalist fanatics out there, but you are trying to make the case that all Muslims share their extremist frame of mind. That is unacceptable. To me, that kind of reasoning equates to saying that all caucasian Protestants support the KKK.

    Jacob, I wasn’t attempting to canonize Nyrup. I agree with your assessment of his choice of integration ministers, but I do welcome his comments on DF as being ‘not housebroken’. I hope we will hear more such statements from other politicians as well.

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