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It is strange how quickly the world has changed. In 2012, the Republicans nominated Mitt Romney--your classic pro-business, fiscally conservative (except when it comes to tax cuts for rich people), family values Republican.

In Europe, "The Right" had a lot of similarities--they were pro-business, pro-free-trade, anti-government deficits, and "tough on crime."

Now, "The Right" as a political movement is almost entirely tied to a social position--anti-immigration, anti-gay rights, a belief in Europe and America as "Christian" cultures, and a strange obsession with masculinity. There is essentially no platform for governing beyond "get rid of immigrants and keep them out."

The French Presidential election campaign is now underway for next year. In the French multi-party system, they have two rounds of votes. The first round is on April 10; the top two have a runoff vote on April 24; the President starts his/her term on May 13.

An interesting story is the rise of Eric Zemmour who is trying to be the "French Trump." He has had a radio show for years and openly advocates "the great replacement" and overtly talks about how French society is being "overwhelmed" by Muslims. He has named his party "Reconquest" harkening back to the history where Christians drove the Muslims out of Spain.

The reason this is interesting is because his rise in the polls is hurting the reigning racist queen in France, Marine Le Pen. She has spent the past 4 years since her massive defeat in 2017 trying to "moderate" her party. Anyway, now Le Pen's "National Rally" party are still anti-immigrant, but they no longer openly talk about "the great replacement." She is what Gore Vidal would call a "crypto fascist," which is totally accurate.

So, we will see how it plays out. From early polling, it seems people want the real open racism of Zemmour, because beyond the racism Le Pen really doesn't offer anything. Trying to appear as a "mainstream" politician is "off brand" for her core supporters.

And where they link to the U.S. is their idolization of Victor Orban in Hungary. Le Pen recently went to Hungary where she was received as if she were actually the President of France. Tucker Carlson and Steve Bannon have spent a lot of time in Hungary and they sing the praises of Orban.

This is Orban in a nutshell:

After winning Hungary’s 2010 election, the prime minister systematically dismantled the country’s democracy — undermining the basic fairness of elections, packing the courts with cronies, and taking control of more than 90 percent of the country’s media outlets. He has openly described his form of government as “illiberal democracy,”...

He hits all the cultural hot buttons in a way that makes the Right swoon:

Orbán has given significant state support to Hungary’s churches, officially labeling his government a “Christian democracy.” He provided generous subsidies to families in an effort to get Hungarian women to stay at home and have more babies. He launched a legal assault on progressive social ideals, prohibiting the teaching of gender studies in Hungarian universities and banning transgender people from legally identifying as anything other than their biological sex at birth.

Orban of course is also notoriously anti-immigration.

This is the challenge of our time. The Right--in both Europe and the USA--no longer believes in democracy. They believe in illiberal democracy like Orban--where the votes of white, Christian, straight people are the only ones which count. And once they get in, they tilt the board in their favor so it is extremely difficult to get them out.
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