Thursday, March 02, 2017

Two views on Trump / Le Pen comparisons

With the second answering the first.

Ross Douthat, New York Times --

Which points to an interesting difference between the National Front’s candidate and the populism that triumphed in America’s presidential race: Hers is better thought out, more disciplined, and more often correct ... Her party platform overall suggests what Trumpism would look like if it were more coherent — and, for that matter, more responsible, since she’s actively tried to distance her movement from the sort of toxic bigotry that Trump’s campaign saw advantages in winking at.

Gideon Rachman, Financial Times --

The one clear difference between the Trump and Le Pen movements, that could count against the French far right, is novelty. Mr Trump emerged from nowhere (politically speaking) to take over the Republican party and then the US presidency. By contrast, the National Front has been around in French politics for decades, as has the Le Pen dynasty.

Rachman has it correctly. Comparing Trump and Le Pen policy positions is not comparing like with like, because Marine Le Pen leads a long-standing party and has had a generation of watching her father to refine her views to try and break the FN vote share ceiling. But Trump's party is the Republican party, whose ceiling is ... an Electoral College majority. Trump's victory says very very little about the prospect of a President Le Pen.

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