Let’s not close our eyes for what’s happening: the far right is on the rise (again) and we mustn’t underestimate the possible consequences of this in the coming years. The Netherlands, France and Germany all have elections coming up and it could dramatically change the European political landscape.
Of course, we already have President Trump in the USA. He is well on his way to erase Barack Obama’s legacy and to put his mark on the Western world. With every tweet and executive order he is testing the leaders of the West. So far, none dare to really stand up to him. British PM Theresa May has already dropped to her knees before him, forced by Brexit to swallow any trade deal Trump wants to shove down her throat. A special relationship indeed. The rest of the European leaders remain painstakingly quiet, afraid to lose Humpty Trumpty’s affection.
After the upcoming elections mentioned before, Trump might gain some allies with influence in Europe. Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party (PVV) are in the lead in the polls, as well as Marine Le Pen’s National Front (FN) in France. The German right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) is currently third in the polls and on the rise, with nine months to go. Is Trump’s rise an indication for the changes about to happen in the rest of the Western world? The people will have to decide. But can we still trust the people to make the “right” decision? Yes, we can.
In a time where the political leaders are mainly keeping their mouths shut, the people go out on the streets in thousands and protest against the normalization of xenophobia, bigotry and misogyny. I still have faith in the European people, hoping they’ve learned from both the distant and recent past. For now, while most politicians don’t dare to speak out, you, the people, should. Make yourself be heard, don’t assume it’ll all just blow over. And most importantly: look at the world, think, and when the time is there, vote.