Why Trumpism Is a Global Phenomenon

Reihan Salam of National Review has a useful essay up on Slate explaining why Trump should be understood in the context of the growing popularity of protest candidates in many European democracies (which means Trump or someone like him is likely to have staying power here):

Go to almost any European democracy and you will find that the parties of the center-right and center-left that have dominated the political scene since the Second World War are losing ground to new political movements. What these movements have in common is that they manage to blend populism and nationalism into a potent anti-establishment brew. One of the first political figures to perfect this brand of politics was the very Trumpian Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian media tycoon who rose to power as part of a coalition of right-of-center parties in the mid-1990s, and who has been in and out of power ever since, dodging corruption charges and worse all the while. More recently, the miserable state of Europe’s economies has fueled the rise of dozens of other parties. Britain’s Labour Party has been devastated by the rise not only of the leftist Scottish National Party, but also by UKIP, a movement of the right that has been growing at Labour’s expense by campaigning against mass immigration, and by largely abandoning what had been its more libertarian line on the welfare state. UKIP’s leader, Nigel Farage, has a penchant for bombast that endears him to his working-class base, which might sound familiar to you.

The Danish People’s Party went from the far-right fringe to become Denmark’s second-largest party by combining anti-immigration sentiment with a commitment to protecting social programs that serve native Danes. In neighboring Sweden, the Sweden Democrats are trying to pull off a similar feat, which is challenging in light of the party’s neofascist roots. France’s National Front has been a major player for decades, yet under its current leader, Marine Le Pen, is on the verge of a major electoral breakthrough, despite near-constant infighting. The most successful populist movements in southern Europe—Podemos in Spain, the Five Star Movement in Italy, and Syriza in Greece—are generally on the left rather than the right, yet they’re just as aggressively anti-establishment as their right-wing counterparts. . .

And don’t forget, Reihan is a loyal Power Liner reader:


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