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 Trump's victory might stimulate global populism wave, - The Washington Post

The populist wave of 2016 that carried Trump to the pinnacle of international power and influence didn’t start in the United States. And it certainly won’t end there.

This opinion was voiced by The Washington Post, Censor.NET reports.

Not long before Americans shocked the world by selecting Donald Trump to be their next president, a wealthy Brazilian businessman who played a reality-star boss on television became mayor of South America's largest city.

On the other side of the globe, in Southeast Asia, a gun-slinging vigilante who vowed to kill all criminals and dump their bodies until the "fish will grow fat" was elected to lead a nation of 100 million.

And in Britain, voters with a centuries-long streak of moderation and pragmatism opted to ignore the overwhelming advice of experts by leaping into the abyss of life outside the European Union.

The populist wave of 2016 that carried Trump to the pinnacle of international power and influence didn't start in the United States. And it certainly won't end there.

Instead, the biggest prize yet for a global movement built on a seemingly bottomless reserve of political, economic and cultural grievance is likely to be an accelerant to even more victories for people and causes bent on upending the existing world order.

Read more: Trump will not recognize Russian Crimea, - former US Ambassador to Russia

And unless something dramatic changes to curb the populist appeal, a scattering of surprise victories this year could soon turn into a worldwide rout - the triumph of those who preach strong action over rule of law, unilateralism instead of cooperation and the interests of the majority above the rights of ethnic and religious minorities.

"Their world is collapsing," tweeted a jubilant Florian Philippot, senior adviser to French far-right leader Marine le Pen, following Trump's victory. "Ours is being built."

With French presidential elections due next spring, Le Pen is well placed to add Paris to the list of world capitals that have fallen to the populist tide. She is seen as a lock to make it to the final round of voting, and although her chances have long been discounted among political prognosticators in France, that changed after Trump's victory.

Well before France votes, Austria could become the first country to elect a far-right head of state in Western Europe since 1945 when it picks a president next month. On the same day, Dec. 4, Italians will vote in a constitutional referendum that could bring down the center-left government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi - while boosting the fortunes of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.

Although the exact causes of the populist surge vary from country to country, the broad outlines are similar across national boundaries.

Read more: Populists hamper reforms in Ukraine, - Balcerowicz

Anxiety over economic gains that accrue to the few and leave the rest stagnant or sinking. Unease with the cultural implications of an increasingly interconnected world. And alienation from a self-serving political class that aligns with the wealthy at the expense of the working class.

That the populist leaders are often wealthy sons of privilege who bear little relation to the masses they claim to speak for doesn't matter.

That was certainly the case with Trump, an Ivy League-educated billionaire urbanite who won biggest in rural areas and among less-educated voters.

It was true, as well, when Britain voted in June to get out of the E.U. The voters who backed that cause were predominantly from England's small towns and struggling, postindustrial cities - well outside the booming, cosmopolitan metropolis of London. Voters who wanted to jettison the Brussels bureaucracy ranked immigration atop their list of concerns and tended to be less educated than those who wanted Britain to maintain its ties across the English Channel.

Read more: Trump poses risks for Europe-US relationship, EU commission president says

Yet the movement was led by well-to-do politicians with pedigrees from the nation's fanciest schools. Together, they championed a once-fringe idea and, by urging voters to "Take Back Control" of their own affairs, turned it into a cause that a majority of the country's voters could back.

One of them, former commodities trader Nigel Farage, later became Trump's most outspoken overseas backer - appearing with him at campaign stops and urging the New York businessman to follow the Brexit model to victory.

Trump did just that, promising "Brexit times five" - and delivering.

Farage has pledged to help replicate the electoral success of Brexit and Trump across the West. The longtimeleader of the anti-immigration U.K. Independence Party on Saturday became the first British politician to meet with the president-elect, spending an hour with him at Trump Tower and later posting to Twitter a photo of the two men smiling broadly in front of a set of gilded doors. "Please don't for a minute think that the change ends here," Farage wrote Friday in Britain's mass-circulation Sun tabloid. "Voters across the Western world want nation state democracy, proper border controls and to be in charge of their own lives. Further political shocks in Europe and beyond are coming."

Read more: "Trumpocalypse," "White House of horrors," "loose cannon," - world media on Trump's victory. PHOTOS

Indeed, the most effective way to defeat the populist wave, said Leonard, is often to let them govern. "They don't do very well," he said.
 
 
 
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