Not Tired of Winning Yet LXXX

Trump cannot get direct credit for this, but the same spirit which calls American to reject the politically correct, atheist, total-control policies of Antichrist here at home, is beginning to breathe through Europe.

1) The mainstream parties of the center-Left and center-Right (or so-called legacy parties) continue a decline that has now been going on, at different speeds in different countries, for several decades. Italy’s Christian Democrats fell apart in the 1990s; its post-Communist socialists more recently; Berlusconi’s once-dominant Forza Italia fell into single figures this time; and the socialists are still struggling, at 22 percent. In this election, Italy’s insurgent populist partners — the League and the Five Star Movement — got 51 percent of the total vote between them, and they’re not getting a divorce. It was a less happy story in Germany where the two main parties in the “Grand Coalition” — Angela Merkel’s CDU-CSU and the Social Democrats — both lost ground compared with their performance in 2014, scoring only 45 percent jointly when they would once have been in the high seventies. France’s traditional parties of government almost disappeared from the results, all scoring in single figures. And so on. The most dramatic collapse of the centrist parties was in Britain, where the governing Tories fell to below 10 percent. But that story will get fuller treatment elsewhere.

2) Where the center retreated, however, the populist Right did not always occupy the abandoned position. National populists (which is the approved non-hostile term for describing them) advanced moderately and consolidated their previous gains substantially in the elections. Victor Orban’s Fidesz won 52 percent of the votes in Hungary. Poland’s Law and Justice party held off a multi-party attack from an organized left-wing coalition and won a majority that suggests it will win the forthcoming national elections. France’s National Rally — the latest name for the populist Right party led by Marine Le Pen — narrowly defeated the populist-centrist party of President Macron in France. (Populist-centrism may be a novel concept, and it may prove to be an unsuccessful one, but it’s the best description yet coined of Macron’s ambiguous politics.) The political success of Italy’s populism we outlined above. And in the United Kingdom, the populist Euroskeptic party, titled with stunning simplicity the Brexit party, went from its foundation five weeks ago to become the largest U.K. party in the European Parliament, with 32 percent of the national vote and 29 MEPs. But it hopes to be leaving Parliament soon.

Populism suffered no major defeats anywhere