The continent’s populists have run out of momentum—and are looking for an unlikely boost from across the Atlantic.
The trans-Atlantic relationship has been declared dead many times, but Europeans’ behavior this week would suggest otherwise. While the Chinese indicated they had other preoccupations, Europeans have had the U.S. elections foremost in their minds. Glued to their screens, they have meticulously followed every move in this nail-biting election. Rightly so: The result greatly matters for European politics.
While most Europeans want Joe Biden to become president, Europe’s radical right is putting its cards on Donald Trump. On Wednesday morning, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa congratulated Trump right after the president had declared himself a winner—despite the fact that millions of mail-in votes, which could tilt the balance, had yet to be counted. And a far-right candidate in the Dutch elections next spring tweeted that Trump was the “moral winner.”
It is clear what Jansa and others are waiting for. Four years ago, Trump’s election gave Europe’s far-right a tremendous boost. And they want one again.