Trump, Le Pen: same base, different politics

Mabel Berezin is professor of sociology at Cornell University and author of “Illiberal Politics in Neoliberal Times: Cultures, Security, and Populism in a New Europe” and “Europe Without Borders.” Berezin says that while voters are choosing populist candidates on both sides of the Atlantic, neo-nationalists in Europe are very different than Trump.


Berezin says:

“Forces of globalization that left vast swaths – particularly youth – unemployed and looking to a bleak future have definitely impacted national societies on both sides of the Atlantic.

“But there is a key distinction across continents: European neo-nationalists are all experienced politicians who have held office and have thought out policy positions whether we like them or not. Trump’s electoral victory is a peculiarly American product of working class unemployment, a deep distrust and resentment of educated – think anti-intellectualism – elites, and a celebrity culture that valorizes street smarts.

“Trump tapped into all of these issues and added a cadence of fear with a mega dose of emotional empathy. He had his voters at hello.”



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