Is Spain finally done being socialist?

A political earthquake is shaking, rattling, and rolling Spain — and the aftermath may be good for freedom-loving people in Europe and elsewhere.

Spaniards are finally fed up with socialist policies, it seems.

In hyper-progressive Madrid, the latest polls show the right-of-center Popular and Vox parties ahead of the ruling Socialist Party just three months before the next local elections — meaning that conservatives would retake control in Spain's capital if elections were held today.  And this comes just weeks after Vox — whose leaders espouse views similar to those of American conservatives — captured 12 seats in Andalusia's elections, handing the reins of power in Spain's southern region to a new center-right coalition after 36 years of Socialist rule.

Now, on Sunday, some 20,000 demonstrators are expected to take to the streets of Madrid to protest Socialist President Pedro Sánchez's "high treason" against Spain for his appeasement of Barcelona's separatists.  Protesters will demand that Sánchez call for national elections — so they can replace him.

"Mr. President: Don't deny the popular outcry ... Stop damaging the nation and damaging yourself.  Try to redeem yourself.  Let the people vote," counseled an editorial in the right-of-center El Mundo daily on Thursday.

It's a popular sentiment these days, and not just with the right.  Emotions are especially high after Sánchez seemed cave to demands from radicals in Barcelona who have proclaimed  (unconstitutionally, of course) their independence from Spain.  Sánchez even agreed to use an "impartial" mediator in upcoming talks.

Combined with uncontrolled illegal immigration, controversial progressive social laws, and generally ineffective socialist policy, these events have led to a surge of Spanish patriotism and conservatism over the past year.

Across the country, many Spaniards now display the Spanish flag outside their homes or hanging from their balconies, showing their loyalty to their constitution, culture, and country.  Yet while all this has been happening, Barcelona's municipality, Catalonia, has decreed that all business signs must be in the ancient Catalan language and has even made learning in Spanish a near impossibility in the public schools.

Most of the media portray the backlash against these authoritarian policies as a "far-right, anti-immigrant" movement led by radical forces.  Politico, the New York Times, CNN, and the BBC have all used similar words — "far-right," "anti-immigrant," "extreme" — to describe the emerging Vox Party after it shocked the establishment in December.

But Vox is not an exclusionary movement, as these progressive critics assert.  Indeed, it's a classically liberal, low-tax, pro-family, less-government-regulation, and patriotic party that's exactly the opposite of fascist or extreme.  Its slogan: Make Spain Great Again.  It does resemble Trump's Republican Party more than any other party in Europe — doubtless the reason for the rising fear among those on the left and in the media.

Much like Trump's GOP, the party is not "anti-immigration," just anti-illegal immigration — it wants to stop the flood of illegal aliens pouring across the southern border, which in Spain's case means Andalusia's beaches.  

There's a good reason to do that.  Samuel Linares, who coordinates Red Cross activities near Málaga in Andalusia, told the New York Times that the situation there is at a "critical point that clearly exceeds our infrastructure capacity."  In other words, Spain is facing a genuine "humanitarian crisis" along its southern border, to quote a famous American politician.

But it's a problem that the Left apparently believes should be ignored — which is what the leftists want to do with the controversies surrounding new "progressive" laws, one of which is often labeled "feminazi" by its opponents for bestowing more rights to women than to men.

The result: Spaniards are fed up, and they're standing up for their freedoms, their constitution, and their country.

Even the establishmentarian, not always conservative Popular Party is sounding more and more like its new ally.  Its leader, Pablo Casado, called for this Sunday's protest in Madrid's Columbus Square to "stand for freedom and oppose a government that commits treason against Spaniards," as he put it on Thursday.

Even greater fireworks may be on display later in the week in the nation's Supreme Court.  That's when Vox's secretary general, Javier Ortega Smith, begins prosecuting the high-stakes trial of 12 Catalonian separatists who led the illegal effort to secede from Spain in the fall of 2017.  The "trial of the century," as it has been labeled by the Spanish media, will have repercussions not just in Catalonia, but also in the northeastern region of Spain, home of the Basque separatists.

Indeed, it's likely to be at the top of the headlines as Spain nears its May regional elections as well as the upcoming national election, whenever that's finally called by the current president.

But for conservatives, a victory has already been won: just the emergence of a new, market-friendly, pro-life, pro-family political party in a "social-democratic" European nation is an unforeseen and unexpected development that may yield substantial and positive economic changes in Spain.

And a more conservative Spain is likely to influence other nations in Europe and elsewhere — possibly substantially.  For example, it's sure to impact the European Union's policy toward Latin America, since that's an area in which the E.U. often follows Spain's lead.

All of this makes for a unique moment in the history of one of the world's most fascinating countries.  Sadly, it's a story the mainstream American media have largely ignored.

J.R. Vidueira is the former editor of NewsMax.com and HISPANIC Magazine, a general-interest glossy that covered the cultures and people of Spain and the Americas.

A political earthquake is shaking, rattling, and rolling Spain — and the aftermath may be good for freedom-loving people in Europe and elsewhere.

Spaniards are finally fed up with socialist policies, it seems.

In hyper-progressive Madrid, the latest polls show the right-of-center Popular and Vox parties ahead of the ruling Socialist Party just three months before the next local elections — meaning that conservatives would retake control in Spain's capital if elections were held today.  And this comes just weeks after Vox — whose leaders espouse views similar to those of American conservatives — captured 12 seats in Andalusia's elections, handing the reins of power in Spain's southern region to a new center-right coalition after 36 years of Socialist rule.

Now, on Sunday, some 20,000 demonstrators are expected to take to the streets of Madrid to protest Socialist President Pedro Sánchez's "high treason" against Spain for his appeasement of Barcelona's separatists.  Protesters will demand that Sánchez call for national elections — so they can replace him.

"Mr. President: Don't deny the popular outcry ... Stop damaging the nation and damaging yourself.  Try to redeem yourself.  Let the people vote," counseled an editorial in the right-of-center El Mundo daily on Thursday.

It's a popular sentiment these days, and not just with the right.  Emotions are especially high after Sánchez seemed cave to demands from radicals in Barcelona who have proclaimed  (unconstitutionally, of course) their independence from Spain.  Sánchez even agreed to use an "impartial" mediator in upcoming talks.

Combined with uncontrolled illegal immigration, controversial progressive social laws, and generally ineffective socialist policy, these events have led to a surge of Spanish patriotism and conservatism over the past year.

Across the country, many Spaniards now display the Spanish flag outside their homes or hanging from their balconies, showing their loyalty to their constitution, culture, and country.  Yet while all this has been happening, Barcelona's municipality, Catalonia, has decreed that all business signs must be in the ancient Catalan language and has even made learning in Spanish a near impossibility in the public schools.

Most of the media portray the backlash against these authoritarian policies as a "far-right, anti-immigrant" movement led by radical forces.  Politico, the New York Times, CNN, and the BBC have all used similar words — "far-right," "anti-immigrant," "extreme" — to describe the emerging Vox Party after it shocked the establishment in December.

But Vox is not an exclusionary movement, as these progressive critics assert.  Indeed, it's a classically liberal, low-tax, pro-family, less-government-regulation, and patriotic party that's exactly the opposite of fascist or extreme.  Its slogan: Make Spain Great Again.  It does resemble Trump's Republican Party more than any other party in Europe — doubtless the reason for the rising fear among those on the left and in the media.

Much like Trump's GOP, the party is not "anti-immigration," just anti-illegal immigration — it wants to stop the flood of illegal aliens pouring across the southern border, which in Spain's case means Andalusia's beaches.  

There's a good reason to do that.  Samuel Linares, who coordinates Red Cross activities near Málaga in Andalusia, told the New York Times that the situation there is at a "critical point that clearly exceeds our infrastructure capacity."  In other words, Spain is facing a genuine "humanitarian crisis" along its southern border, to quote a famous American politician.

But it's a problem that the Left apparently believes should be ignored — which is what the leftists want to do with the controversies surrounding new "progressive" laws, one of which is often labeled "feminazi" by its opponents for bestowing more rights to women than to men.

The result: Spaniards are fed up, and they're standing up for their freedoms, their constitution, and their country.

Even the establishmentarian, not always conservative Popular Party is sounding more and more like its new ally.  Its leader, Pablo Casado, called for this Sunday's protest in Madrid's Columbus Square to "stand for freedom and oppose a government that commits treason against Spaniards," as he put it on Thursday.

Even greater fireworks may be on display later in the week in the nation's Supreme Court.  That's when Vox's secretary general, Javier Ortega Smith, begins prosecuting the high-stakes trial of 12 Catalonian separatists who led the illegal effort to secede from Spain in the fall of 2017.  The "trial of the century," as it has been labeled by the Spanish media, will have repercussions not just in Catalonia, but also in the northeastern region of Spain, home of the Basque separatists.

Indeed, it's likely to be at the top of the headlines as Spain nears its May regional elections as well as the upcoming national election, whenever that's finally called by the current president.

But for conservatives, a victory has already been won: just the emergence of a new, market-friendly, pro-life, pro-family political party in a "social-democratic" European nation is an unforeseen and unexpected development that may yield substantial and positive economic changes in Spain.

And a more conservative Spain is likely to influence other nations in Europe and elsewhere — possibly substantially.  For example, it's sure to impact the European Union's policy toward Latin America, since that's an area in which the E.U. often follows Spain's lead.

All of this makes for a unique moment in the history of one of the world's most fascinating countries.  Sadly, it's a story the mainstream American media have largely ignored.

J.R. Vidueira is the former editor of NewsMax.com and HISPANIC Magazine, a general-interest glossy that covered the cultures and people of Spain and the Americas.