Sat Feb 24th, 2018 at 06:05:50 PM EST
Frank has posted a diary on the triumph of Trumpism across the Atlantic. But Trump and his tactics have inspired a number of politicians, or even entire parties, in Europe as well.
Since DJT's election, many European politicians have been nicknamed "the <insert country name> Trump". One such example is Laurent Wauquiez, aka "the French Trump", who has succeeded Nicolas Sarkozy at the helm of the LR (Les Républicains) mainstream right wing party in the wake of humiliating defeats for Sarkozy (in the primary) and Fillon (in the general election). Wauquiez's "strategy" is one that others have tried before him: emulating the Front National's themes, especially the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric, while keeping a plutocrat-friendly "pro-business" agenda, despite some vague (pre-election, obviously) protectionist noises.
A mainstream French politician deploys the rhetoric of the far right on two fronts - WaPo
Of late, Wauquiez -- who has also expressed his admiration for President Trump -- has toed a similar line, going so far as to call for "internment camps" for all people on terrorism-related watch lists, most of whom may not have been charged with a crime.
There are also similarities on economic issues. In language that evokes Le Pen's regular attacks on Macron, Wauquiez has called the investment banker turned head of state "the president of the golden boys of globalization." And in a major departure from his party's traditional pro-business line, he advocates a form of protectionism designed for "the voiceless and the middle classes."
The overlap has not gone unnoticed. Last week, Wauquiez was questioned on a popular French television program about whether his words and ideas actually situate him on the far right. He scoffed, insisting he would cede no territory to the National Front: "Do you expect that, just to please you, I will lead a political right that doesn't talk about immigration?"
Wauquiez's embrace of identity politics hardly sets him apart from other mainstream conservatives across Europe, who have also veered sharply to the right in their efforts to beat back surging populist challengers. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and British Prime Minister Theresa May have all made overtures to right-wing hard-liners as they seek to shore up their power.
Frankreichs neuer Trump - FAZ
Frankreich sei ,,eine totale Diktatur", die Abgeordneten der Präsidentenbewegung ,,La République en marche" (LREM) nur ,,Kasperlefiguren" des Präsidenten. So zumindest stellt es der Vorsitzende der konservativen Oppositionspartei ,,Les Républicains" (LR), Laurent Wauquiez, in neuen Tonmitschnitten aus einem Vortrag vor Studenten in Lyon dar. Die Fernsehsendung ,,Quotidien" strahlte am Montagabend das neue Audiodokument aus. Wauquiez beklagt darin, dass es in Frankreich keine Gewaltenteilung gebe. Die Abgeordneten der Präsidentenbewegung seien dem Präsidenten komplett hörig. ,,Wenn sie die kleinste Form von Dissonanz wagen, dann wird ihnen mit dem Schlagstock draufgehauen", sagte der Parteichef. Der Skandal um die Äußerungen des Oppositionschefs weitet sich damit aus. Denn er griff auch ganz gezielt die wenigen noch bei LR verbliebenen Parteigrößen Alain Juppé und Valérie Pécresse an. Der abtrünnige Regionalratsvorsitzende Nordfrankreichs, Xavier Bertrand, verglich Wauquiez mit dem amerikanischen Präsidenten Donald Trump. Der Verlust der intellektuellen Redlichkeit in der Parteiführung sei genau der Grund, warum er sich von seiner Partei abgewendet habe, sagte Bertrand.
Such a tilt to the extreme right can also be observed in Austria, Bayern (with the CSU getting increasingly cozy with Orbàn's Fidesz in Hungary) or Poland's "Law and Order".
Wauquiez's discourse could be backfiring: historically, the mainstream right echoing the Front National discourse has only helped reinforcing the latter, by making the FN's xenophobia mainstream and thus giving it full legitimacy. And why vote for the copy if you can vote for the original?
This is one example in one European country: feel free to add your own in the comments.