New Yorker: A Europe of Donald Trumps

Little by little, the Left is beginning to put the pieces together, to ‘connect the dots’ if you will.

In “A Europe of Donald Trumps”, John Cassidy writes disapprovingly of the nexus of sentiments fueling Trump’s rise and how this parallels sentiments in nationalist parties across Eastern and Western Europe:

… Europe has plenty of its own problems to deal with. But with these problems has come the rise of a number of Trump-style right-wing populists. Indeed, one of the things you realize when you cross the Atlantic is that Trumpism isn’t as purely American a phenomenon as it appears from up close. Save perhaps Silvio Berlusconi, the disgraced former Prime Minister of Italy, there is no exact European equivalent to the brash New York billionaire, but the larger forces that have propelled Trump to the brink of the Republican Party’s Presidential nomination—nationalism, nativism, disillusionment with the economic results of globalization, fear of terrorism, cynicism about career politicians—are just as strong in Europe, perhaps stronger…

Cassidy provides a laundry list of successful, right wing insurgencies before intoning:

Trump’s brand of right-wing populism clearly shares some attributes with its European cousins. In an era in which traditional party loyalties are decaying, economic expectations have been disappointed, and outsiders are increasingly seen as potential job-stealers, or even terrorists, Trump, Le Pen, Hofer, and Farage (not to mention other right-wing European politicians, such as Denmark’s Kristian Thulesen Dahl and the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders) are all fishing in the same fouled waters, with the same lures: immigrant-bashing, jingoism, and the prospect of populist, or faux-populist, economic policies.

There’s still one dot, the biggest dot, that writers like Cassidy haven’t yet connected: wanting to preserve one’s ethnic identity is natural, healthy, and (among non-whites) rather universal. And it is not the same thing, or alternatively is much more than, ‘immigrant bashing’ and the like.

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