Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Senior Fellow H.A. Hellyer writes for Slate on how the rise of far right parties in Europe provides a model for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s increasing dominance in the Republican presidential primary polls:

Donald Trump wants America to shut its doors to Muslims. When a political candidate known for being a firebrand calls for a bar on Muslims entering the United States, there is a temptation to simply disregard the comment as outlandish—or as Jeb Bush, put it, “unhinged.” But there is a danger in not looking at hate speech as anything other than what it is. Europeans now understand this very well. Because Europe’s recent experience with extremist rhetoric suggests that Americans ignore Trump and his politically motivated bigotry at their peril.

For much of the last decade, Europe’s mainstream media and political establishment treated the rise of far-right politicians as though they were anomalies—peculiar misfits on the margins of society that would forever remain on the sidelines. The British National Party, the Austrian Freedom Party, the Belgian Vlaams Belang (formerly Vlaams Blok), and others were regarded as nasty but essentially irrelevant to the national debates.

Read the full article here.

Related Experts: H.A. Hellyer