World (OpenDemocracy) – Xenophobic nationalism has created uncertainty and threat, but also new opportunities, through cultivating the necessary conditions so that public communication can be taken more seriously than before. The 2008 financial crisis opened up a window of opportunity for…
Since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency, he has ridden a wave of right-wing populism to become the Republican presidential nominee. Throughout this entire process, he has adopted a protectionist, anti-immigration, and nativist political platform. While Trump’s success in politics has shocked the American public, his rise is only part of a global trend towards protectionism as political parties like UKIP in the UK, the National Front in France, and AfD in Germany have steadily gained in the polls. All of these protectionist political parties claim that their policies will “make their country great again.” However, there is no economic basis to these claims and implementing these protectionist policies will cause severe damage to the global economy.
Since the end of World War II, the world has rapidly become more globalized and connected. However, since the 2008 Financial Crisis, the world has experienced a period of unprecedented economic stagnation, leaving hundreds of millions of people impoverished and facing a bleak future. Unfortunately, this has fostered political discontent and extremism throughout the world. Like previous times of economic hardship, this has encouraged the rise of nationalistic, right-wing political forces that have rejected globalization. The rise of the Brexit movement in the UK and Euroskeptic political parties reflect this trend.
With both Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropping out of the race, Donald Trump has become the Republican candidate for the general election. This nightmare scenario has set the stage for a turbulent general election season. This development, which has raised the specter of a dysfunctional future in which fascism rules America, has left many people in the US scared and angry. This has driven many people who oppose Trump to violently lash out, most recently at protests in Costa Mesa and Burlingame in California. This, however, is very short sighted and will only divide the country further.
I have previously written about how the use of violence in the name of anti-fascism will inevitably be used by Donald Trump to discredit his enemies. Despite this, anti-fascist protesters have continued to use violence to express their displeasure about Trump’s vitriolic ideology. They often justify this by arguing that anti-fascists and the United States as a whole will lose their credibility if people don’t make a vocal stand against Trump. In addition, they would argue that the public’s failure to react to Trump would amount to appeasement to fascism, which is comparable to how the Weimar Republic reacted to Hitler in the 1930s.