Panicking over far-right parties fosters polarization.
A significant majority of voters in most of these countries disagrees with the colossal number of migrants that has been forced on them the last thirty years. And the only parties that take their preferences seriously are always called "a threat to democracy." That requires a truly Orwellian definition of democracy. They usually mean democracy is "when things go our way."
The author is a very astute observer pf European politics. She is absolutely correct that demonization of most popular "national conservative" parties in Europe is both inaccurate and counterproductive for the reasons noted.
Ms. Berman should take some of her own advice when assessing the US Republican party which she then deems "far right" with the US supposedly the sole western example of weakening democratic institutions. I submit that democratic forces have strengthened in the US as the anti-democratic administrative state and activist judiciary has had its wings clipped a bit.
Its unfair and ad hominem for me to suggest this but, i cant help wondering whether its tough to be a poli sci professor at Barnard who urges calm about those scary European national conservative parties without duly trashing the local bad boy. Would it be a bridge too far to acknowledge the similarity of the trends and overreactions in both the US and the EU??
Thanks. I had noticed some of this, but you put it in perspective. Excellent article.
In your next piece, could you go deeper into how to encourage this trend in the U.S. I do appreciate the general guidance at the end of your present post.
Forget all of rhetoric about 'democracy' and/or the lack thereof. The reality is that 'democracy' is dying because it doesn't get things done.
For better or worse, El Salvador is the future. Liberalism leads to men pretending to be women so that they can cheat at sports. I have a standard comment about this.
“China is very good at building dams, the US is very good at enforcing PC. Which system will prevail in the 21st century?”
This is sophistry. Claiming that the fat right will “moderate” only “when it has a motive to” means that the moderation in question need be only apparent. If they can look moderate they figure to pick up votes. No change of conviction or heart need be involved.
The global elite want the opposite of what the political right are fighting for. The global elite own the global media including tech. The global media and tech fills the heads of emotive people... primarily young people and females. And thus they vote against the right. They also vote against their own interests.
Sometimes what appears to be moderation from elements of the right or the left is the center compromising its principles and, thus, changing its perspective.
Professor Berman makes very good points about the public moderation of Europe's hard right partiers, as well as the mistake of attaching the label of fascism when it does not apply. However, she omits from her analysis the two one-party illiberal democracies in Europe - Poland and Hungary - that have become role models of sorts for the Republican Party and other right-wing parties in Europe. She also seems to believe that what happens in the U.S. wouldn't affect the dynamic in western Europe that she has described. If we ever get a second Trump Administration, you could expect its foreign policy to be very focused on undermining democracies that could provide a counter-example to its authoritarianism. Lastly, the European right may have moderated its rhetoric and image, but that is all appearances. They have gotten better at the dog-whistles the U.S. right has deployed for decades. These newly born lambs are still wolves under that clothing.