Monday, February 29, 2016

European Media In Disbelief About Trump's Rise

This article provides a sample of the media coverage in Europe about Trump's success in the GOP primaries.  Much of it is satirical and critical, but Trump is viewed more favorably in the Czech and Russian media which argue that he reflects popular discontent with the US political system.  Trump is also viewed favorably by right wing populist parties which have also taken strong positions against immigration and multiculturalism.

While the media coverage of Trump in Europe has been extensive and very popular it fails to recognize a critical distinction between the rise of right wing populist parties in Europe and Trump's success in the US.  Trump has not spawned a new populist party like those in Europe which failed to find a home in any of the major political parties.  Trump threatens to take over one of America's two major political parties.  His position on immigration, race, and other conservative issues only differs from those of his two major contenders in style, not in substance.  Trump has been winning GOP primaries by convincing the GOP electorate that he will be more vigorous in supporting their goals than the other candidates.  His language is crude, and less subtle, than that of the other candidates and that has been one of the keys to his success.  He speaks like one of them.  The real issue in the GOP primary campaign is that Trump has capitalized on positions that the Republican Party has nurtured in it's base.  He has successfully taken them to an extreme.  The Southern Strategy has come home to roost in the Republican Party.  He is not trusted by GOP establishment because he may not be the kind of puppet to which the Party elite has become comfortable.  It prefers candidates who talk the right wing conservative game in the election cycle but which will focus on the economic policies of the elite after they are elected.  The Republican Party has lost control of its identity with the rise of Donald Trump.  They are totally confused about how to proceed if Trump is nominated and if he would manage to become President. 

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