The Trump victory after the Brexit decision in Britain has shown the way for the right-wing populist parties across Europe. They believe their time has come and they share Trump’s themes – a hard line on immigration, a distrust of trade deals, a defense of traditional values and a suspicion of international organizations and international elites. Voter dissatisfaction with mainstream established political parties is at a record high.
More than half a century after the Second World War, the West is sliding toward a resurgence of far-right political movements that could make the 1930s pale in comparison.
A new report funded by the German Federal Foreign Office reveals that public support for far-right political parties in Europe has risen exponentially since 1999, resulting in record wins in the European Parliament. An analysis of the report’s data suggests that far-right parties are poised to take a third of all seats in the next round of European elections in 2019.
Currently in the opposition in the Dutch Parliament, Mr. Wilders’ anti-immigrant Party for Freedom is set to make big gains in next year’s election that could earn it a seat in the Dutch government.
Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice Party roared back into the government by winning 39 percent of the national vote in the 2015 parliamentary elections. The party was founded in 2001 by Lech Kaczynski and his identical twin, Jaroslaw. Law and Justice first won power in 2005. Lech became president and Jaroslaw, eventually, his prime minister. In 2010, Lech Kaczynski and much of Poland’s top leadership died in a plane crash while landing at an airport near Smolensk, Russia. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who was not on the plane, is now leading Poland’s shift rightward as the party leader
In Hungary, Viktor Orban and his right-wing Fidesz party, running on a joint list with the K.D.N.P., a Christian Democratic party, have won the last two parliamentary elections, worrying many Western leaders about his increasingly authoritarian rule. The party also decisively won in voting for the European Parliament in May 2014. Jobbik, a far-right, anti-immigration, populist and economic protectionist party won 20 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections in 2014, making it Hungary’s third-largest party.
The far-right Sweden Democrats party, which has disavowed its roots in the white-supremacist movement, won about 13 percent of the vote in elections in September 2014, which gave it 49 of the 349 seats in Parliament. Because none of the mainstream parties would form a coalition with the Sweden Democrats, which is led by Jimmie Akesson, the country is governed by a shaky minority coalition of Social Democrats and the Green Party. The Sweden Democrats’ platform calls for heavily restricting immigration, opposes allowing Turkey to join the European Union and seeks a referendum on European Union membership.
Founded in 1980, the neofascist party Golden Dawn in Greece came to international attention in 2012 when it entered the Greek Parliament for the first time, winning 18 seats. The election results came amid the country’s debilitating debt crisis and resulting austerity measures. The party, which the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner described in 2013 as “neo-Nazi and violent,” holds extreme anti-immigrant views, favors a defense agreement with Russia and said the euro “turned out to be our destruction.”
In France, the National Front is a nationalist party that uses populist rhetoric to promote its anti-immigration and anti-European Union positions. The party favors protectionist economic policies and would clamp down on government benefits for immigrants, including health care, and drastically reduce the number of immigrants allowed into France. The party was established in 1972; its founders and sympathizers included former Nazi collaborators and members of the wartime collaborationist Vichy regime. The National Front is now led by Marine Le Pen, who took over from her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in 2011.
The far-right Alternative for Germany party started three years ago as a protest movement against the euro currency, won up to 25 percent of the vote in German state elections in March, challenging Germany’s consensus-driven politics. The party failed to win seats in the German Parliament in 2013 by narrowly missing the 5 percent threshold, but is now polling at 10 percent to 12 percent and is expected to be the first right-wing party to enter the Parliament since the end of World War II. Support for the party shot up after the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults in Cologne. The party “attracted voters who were anti-establishment, anti-liberalization, anti-European, anti-everything that has come to be regarded as the norm.
The stage is being set for the new leaders of the future. When resources are strained and the people demand answers, they elect leaders that promise results. Political correctness and globalization will give way to extremism. Individual rights will be sacrificed for the greater good.
The last time the world looked to the Right to solve their problems – the choices were Franco, Tito, Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin. We have learned nothing from history, so we will repeat it.