Rise of populist Right a challenge for progressives

A quick wordVociferous minority parties in Australia often claim to represent those whose voices are not being heard. They have the elites and the establishment in their sights. They see Donald Trump as their role model. They miss the irony that Trump was born into elitism and is now part of the establishment. They take heart as ultra conservative forces gain momentum across Britain and the European continent.

Andrew Bolt said he could not stop laughing at Trump’s win and the media’s humiliation. Cory Bernardi was enraptured with Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” and toys with deploying it in an Australian context. During a recent stint in the US as an observer of the presidential election, Bernardi became a firm supporter of Trump and avidly follows him on Twitter. Even Nigel Farage of the extreme right UKIP party was ecstatic over Brexit’s triumph and Trump suggested that the British PM give him a cabinet post.

After watching the rise of Obama in the US and the demise of Campbell Newman and Tony Abbott here back home, the chagrin of reactionary forces was intense. Now their star is once more in the ascendant and they will pose a formidable challenge for moderate and progressive thinkers in 2017.

Frank Carroll


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