The Trump Curse For Far Right, Anti-Global Nationalists

Marine Le Pen, other far right movements rejected because of Trump

There is already so much coverage of the Trump Russia ties, the controversial House GOP health care bill, and Trump’s Tweets that today we at The Freedom Press turn our focus on a very under-reported but ever so important story of Trump’s [negative] impact on the global far right, populist, nationalist, anti-immigration movements that have been gaining momentum in Western democracies – in large measure due to the cyber manipulation and delight of Russia and Vladamir Putin.  As Trump remains mired in historically dismal approval ratings at home, internationally, his domestic numbers by comparison are a honeymoon.  In France, for example, a whopping 82% of polled voters have an unfavorable opinion of Trump.

I bring up France as our primary example, as the country just overwhelmingly voted to reject far right politics in voting for centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron over extreme far right candidate, Marine Le Pen for the Frances presidency.   This may be just one country,  but the Trump effect is evident in other Western democracies.  Whereas it was initially believed by many that far right wing politics would gain ground following the election of Trump in the United States, seeing the early results of his election as the POTUS at this time instead is having a polar opposite effect.

Let’s examine, for example, in the UK, Nigel Farage, the leader of the anti-EU party UKIP, Nigel Farage, who led the charge for the Brexit movement and has been an outspoken supporter of Trump.  Along with Marine Le Pen, Farage was seen all smiles at Trump Tower following Trump’s victory.  In local elections last week, the UKIP party was wiped out with many of its former members essentially stating publicly that the party is finished.

In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) started rising steadfastly in the polls after Trump’s improbable win. His motto, “Make the Netherlands ours again,” was a deliberate mimic of Trump’s “Make America great again.” The PVV held 15 seats going into the election but by January 20 it was polling to win 41 seats…but then Trump took office and the headlines in the Netherlands showed massive demonstrations at US airports in support of immigrants following his hastily and sloppily instated travel ban. The nightly news showed an American president calling his country’s free press “the enemy of the people” and constantly, blatantly lying. The PVV’s lead began to erode as the election became a referendum on Trump and by election day, the lead was gone. The PVV won 20 seats, a gain from the last election, but less than half what it had polled before Trump became the US President.
Returning to the election in France,  the election was strikingly similar to that of America’s (albeit with a different result), laced with xenophobia and, anti-refugee, anti-Muslim rhetoric.  The Election even had the same massive hacking and release of emails from the Macron campaign courtesy of Russia, and a Kremlin-linked bank helped finance Le Pen’s campaign.  Some parties labeled Le Pen “the French Trump.” Political pundits combined the two politicians’ likenesses, making Trump and Le Pen look one in the same and coining the phrase “Don’t Trump yourself.”

Still, there is no question that the far right, nationalist movement in the West has made some significant gains and the fight against them is far from over.  Centrists who believe in a strong Western Alliance are faced with the task of pushing that agenda while addressing the concerns of populaces that drew them to the extreme candidates in the first place, while contending with Putin’s inevitable cyber campaign to support candidates that would serve his goal to see the Western Alliance less cohesive and subsequently weakened.

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