conservative dilemma

Breaking the Populist Fever

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Populist parties have grown in support as the Republicans and the European center-right have ignored the concerns of voters alienated by globalization.

  • Facts


    • Donald Trump, the Alternative for Germany of AfD and the U.K. Independence Party have gained political momentum over the past year.
    • In Scandinavia, support for populist parties has declined as the center-right in Denmark, Norway and Finland have sought to address their concerns.
    • British Prime Minister Theresa May has sought to position the Conservatives in Britain as the party of working class Britons in the wake of the Brexit vote.
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Donald Trump and UKIP's Nigel Farage have teamed up. Source: Reuters

For many European observers, the rise of Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee seems inexplicable. Henry Olsen, an expert on the Grand Old Party, broke down the enigmatic Trump phenomenon in terms more familiar to readers across the pond.

“Republicans are within the German context more to the right economically and culturally then any of your mainstream parties,” Mr. Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, told Handelsblatt during an event at our Election Camp in Washington D.C.

And Donald Trump has been able to pull them even further rightward, winning “a battle between different factions within that [Republican] coalition for which degree of conservatism and what tactics ought to be deployed,” he said.

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