The Atlantic: “The Global Spread of Trumpism”

The Global Spread of Trumpism” screams the article in The Atlantic by Dominic Tierney.

Again, this one starts with the liberal reporter’s “It was a dark and stormy night…” literary pretensions:

I flew into Britain on June 23, the day of the Brexit referendum, or “Independence Day” as the country’s most popular tabloid, and champion of leaving the European Union, put it. The next morning, results showed that London, Scotland, and Northern Ireland had voted to stay in the EU. But they were outweighed by a decisive vote to leave from the rest of the United Kingdom. It was a revolt of Welsh villages, northern English cities, and southern country towns.

As I walked the cobblestone streets of Durham, a cathedral city in the northeast of England where I grew up, it didn’t feel like Britain had won its freedom. The mood was nothing like America’s Fourth of July. There were no hot dogs being eaten, or fireworks rippling through the sky. “Independence Day” felt more like the aliens had just landed…

Alrighty, then.

The Brexit vote and the emergence of the Finns Party are both examples of the rise of Trumpism, a brew of nationalist, populist, anti-establishment, anti-“expert,” anti-globalist, protectionist, “us versus them,” and most of all, anti-immigrant sentiment.



It depends on which ‘experts’ one is talking about.

But never mind.

Nativist and anti-immigrant parties have arisen across Europe, including the National Front in France, the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, the Jobbik party in Hungary, the Danish People’s Party, the Sweden Democrats, and the Progress Party in Norway.

Trumpism existed long before Donald Trump ever strode across the political stage… The American businessman rode a wave that has been building across America and the West for decades. Trump embraced and shaped the mood so profoundly that it’s possible to brand the movement with his name. Trumpists in the United States, Britain, Finland, and elsewhere, vary a great deal, reflecting different cultures and political situations. But they all draw on a common wellspring of grievances, and espouse parallel hopes, fears, and solutions.

The driving forces behind the rise of Trumpists are similar: the negative effects of globalization, economic anxiety, stagnant median wages, the fracturing of states in Syria, Libya, and elsewhere, and the resulting refugee flows. This is shaded by local circumstances. For example, Finland is a tolerant society, and in many respects the envy of the progressive world, with its highly rated health and education systems. But the Finnish economy has never recovered from the 2008 economic crisis. The decline of Nokia, once one of the country’s biggest companies, was a body blow. And Finland has suffered from the recession in neighboring Russia. Many Finns feel left behind or left out.

This paragraph cracked me up:

The glue that binds Trumpism together is anti-immigrant sentiment and fear of the “other.” In the United States, Trump’s supporters are defined by economic nationalism and skepticism toward immigrants. For example, one poll from last September found that 63 percent of Trumpists favored revoking birthright citizenship (compared to 51 percent in the overall GOP electorate).

So… the author here equates wanting to revoke ‘anchor baby’ birthright citizenship (something every other European country has individually done, for obvious reasons) with ‘fear of the “other”’.

It also cracks me up that only now, in late July 2016 and after the Brexit vote, are elites like Tierney realizing that the driving force for so-called Trumpism is immigration:

Concern about immigration was probably a decisive factor in the Brexit vote. A study from 2015 found that of British people who wanted to stay in the EU, only one in five saw immigration as bad for the economy. For British people who sought to leave, the figure was almost seven in ten. Nigel Farage, the head of the U.K. Independence Party, and a prominent advocate of Brexit, spoke the language of Trumpism.

Tierney still isn’t sure. He qualifies with “probably”.

Whereas Trump proposed a ban on Muslims entering the United States, the Finns Party sought to prioritize asylum for Christians over other religious groups.

Gasp! A Christian country prioritizing asylum for Christians over other religious groups?!

TrumpJokerTrump’s victory in the U.S. elections in November wouldn’t just represent a sea change in American politics; it would also encourage Trumpists everywhere. Nativists throughout the West would believe they have captured the zeitgeist, and that this is their moment. Trump’s triumph would provide a model to emulate. And if President Trump managed to sharply reduce U.S. immigration, it could trigger similar responses in other countries in a populist domino effect.

Oh no!

The rise of Trumpism is a defining challenge for progressives. The left is used to debating the right on the traditional conservative triad of a strong military, social conservatism, and tax cuts. But Trumpism represents new and politically dangerous terrain. It taps into nationalism, the most powerful motivating force in modern political history. It offers a potent emotional appeal to communities that feel ignored. Whereas the center-left can seem managerial and technocratic, Trumpists speak to the heart. And they shouldn’t be underestimated…

Many people say the upcoming U.S. presidential election is the most critical in a generation because of the stark consequences for the United States. But it’s actually more important than that. The United States is now the central front in a global struggle against Trumpism. The battle of Britain is over. The battle for America is about to begin.

I was shocked, however, to see that Tierney’s article did not contain one reference to Hilter nor the Holocaust.


Not one!

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