BRATISLAVA — Slovakia was haunted by ghosts of its past on Sunday after far-right militants who have donned uniforms modeled on a World War Two Nazi puppet state won seats in parliament for the first time.
The People's Party-Our Slovakia group led by Marian Kotleba, the governor of central Slovakia who has organized marches against the Roma minority, took eight percent of the vote, nearly three times more than polls had predicted.
As the European Union faces the worst refugee crisis since World War Two from war-torn Syria and beyond, support for far-right politicians in central Europe has been on the rise.
In Hungary, the Jobbik party, known for its Hungarian Guard uniforms and anti-Roma marches, is the second largest party in the parliament.
Analysts say the far right capitalized on the anti-immigration rhetoric from most mainstream parties including Prime Minister Robert Fico, who won the election but may find it very hard if not impossible to form a new government.
"Robert Fico has taken one of the toughest attitudes to the migration crisis among the EU politicians but the result was not extremists under control but extremists in the parliament," Dalibor Rohac from the American Enterprise Institute said.
Kotleba's success comes as a shock for the media and mainstream politicians.
"Kotleba ran openly fascist candidates on his slate," said Igor Matovic, chairman of the third-strongest party.
Members of Kotleba's former 'Slovak brotherhood' party, dressed in black uniforms reminiscent of the Nazi-era Hlinka guard, first appeared at rallies commemorating the 1939-45 Slovak State led by a Catholic priest Jozef Tiso, who allowed for tens of thousands of Slovak Jews to be deported to Nazi death camps. The party was disbanded for spreading hatred in 2006.
Kotleba, sporting a thin black mustache, has since founded a new party, changed his uniform for a blazer and replaced war rallies with anti-Roma, anti-immigration and anti-corruption rhetoric.
Today, his party rejects any links with Nazi ideology and focuses on criticism of the European Union and NATO.
"We are not fascists nor neo-Nazis although we might appear extremist compared to other lukewarm parties," one of its newly elected lawmakers, Milan Uhrik, said. "We will stay in opposition for now, but I believe that if there's a snap election we will win by a landslide," he added.
Opinion surveys show Kotleba's party was the most popular party among first-time voters, winning 23 percent support among them.
His criticism of same-sex partnerships courts social conservatives, while his frequent visits to poor regions far from the glitzy capital Bratislava wins local votes.
The former high school teacher has been charged several times with disseminating racist propaganda but has been acquitted or had the charges dismissed.
Kotleba won a surprising landslide victory two years ago and became regional governor of Banska Bystrica, central Slovakia.
With 14 lawmakers in a 150-seat parliament, the People's Party won't have much say in national politics -- other parties say they will not cooperate with them -- but they will gain much more visibility on the national stage.
"They will pose a much bigger threat in the next election," Rohac said.
We are winning in Europe! It IS possible. Our time has finally come again! But these repeated victories did not come without years of hard work and sacrifice.
One of the problems we face in the Unites States is people expect instant or near instant success.
Perhaps it's because we were raised in an "instant" culture. Push a button: Instant entertainment. Shove in a card, push a few buttons: Instant money. Turn a key, step on a pedal: Instant transportation. Push a button on a computer: Instant answers. Everything we need at a moment's notice.
It's no wonder Americans have no patience. We were never taught that. Perhaps that is part of ZOG's plan for us. Give us so much in an instant, and we'll never learn patience for things that really matter. We'll try for a little while, and when we don't get quick gratification we'll give up and move on to something that will.
The Slovakians did not grow up in a push button society like we did. They understand that if you want something you have to work for it and give it time. They did, and look at the results. National Socialism is coming back like gangbusters.
Until we learn the value of patience, hard work, and sacrifice, victory will continue to elude us.
How do we correct this? First and foremost we begin with our children. We teach them patience and the value of work. We don't gratify their every desire - even if we have the financial means. We make them work for what they get. All too many parents these days give their kids an allowance and don't require them to do any chores. Some of them feel their kids are entitled to an allowance. Some don't want to be bothered getting on their kid's backs when they don't do their chores.
That shows a lack of patience on the parent's part. The kids don't do their chores, and the parents don't want to be bothered nagging them. Okay, make it easy on yourselves.
Assign your kids chores in exchange for an allowance. Remind them once or twice of what they have to do. If they fail to do their chores, quietly withhold their allowance. Don't make a big deal out of it. Just don't pay them - just like what would happen to you if you failed to do your job while at work. Hit them where they'll feel it the most: In the wallet.
When kids don't do their chores and you argue with them and they still don't do them - in their minds they have won. Okay, let them win. Just don't pay them. They'll soon learn that nothing is free. You have to work for what you want. Mommy and daddy don't owe them an allowance, and the world doesn't owe them a paycheck.
If we teach our kids the proper values - including patience and a work ethic, then victory will no longer be so elusive. The pyramids weren't built in a day (the Great Pyramids took over a generation each), and neither will our movement.