Voters around the world reject fascism. Trump should be worried

Voters around the world reject fascism. Trump should be worried

In early June, the far right made a strong showing in the European elections, particularly in France. French President Emmanuel Macron caused a surprise by calling early elections. His goal: to put an end to the rise of the fascist right, which he did not want to torment him during the three years he had left in office.

The move was seen as madness. Polls suggested that the far-right National Rally party would win by a landslide. Far-right leader Marine Le Pen did something of a pre-election sweep by giving a lengthy interview to CNN last Thursday. In that interview, she promised to slash aid to Ukraine.

But once the votes were counted, Macron’s goal of neutralizing Le Pen appeared to have been achieved. The National Rally found itself in third place, behind the United Left and Macron’s centrist party.

Believe it or not, this story is very relevant to our own November elections.

In the United States and abroad, the right has struggled to match its poll numbers for one main reason: Voters are terrified of fascism.

In 2022, polls overestimated Republican strength. In the Pennsylvania Senate race, the FiveThirtyEight polling average showed Republican Mehmet Oz leading Democrat John Fetterman by 0.5 percentage points. He lost by nearly 5 points. And in Wisconsin, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson was just over 3 points ahead. He won by 1 point.

Indeed, FiveThirtyEight’s election forecast showed Republicans as slightly favored to win the Senate. That’s not the case. Same thing in the House of Representatives, where the consensus of seven forecasters at 270toWin predicted Republicans would win 227 seats. They won 222… in a midterm election that saw the party in the White House expected to be swept.

What was President Joe Biden’s closing message? Democracy.

In late 2023, Poland shocked the world by ousting the right-wing Law and Justice party from its parliamentary majorities, dealing a major blow to Andrzej Duda’s increasingly autocratic presidency.

Fast forward to early 2024, when Donald Trump underperformed his polling average in the Republican presidential primary by 9 points in early states. People were happier say they voted for him rather than going to the polls for him.

In early June, the world was once again shocked by the defeat of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party in parliamentary elections. In the run-up to the election, the increasingly autocratic leader had claimed that his party would win at least 400 of the 543 seats in parliament. Instead, it won 240 seats, forcing Modi to enter a coalition to govern.

Last week, the British Conservative Party got its butt kicked by the Labour Party (although, to be fair, Labour underperformed in the polls by about 6 points). Labour’s victory ended 14 years of Conservative rule.

And then, of course, there is the surprise victory of the left in France. According to Bloomberg, recent pre-election polls predicted that the far-right party would win between 170 and 250 seats in the legislative elections. It won 142.

The results seem to be many and shocking. Pundits and elites continue to believe that right-wing fascists will win key elections, and voters continue to defy those expectations by and large. Between freedom and creeping (or overt) fascism, voters choose freedom.

Does this mean we will see the same dynamic here in the United States in November?

Nothing is a given yet, and we have to work hard. But this election has less to do with President Joe Biden than with the threat Trump poses to democracy. I bet it will. THE major issue that drives voters to go to the polls.

One last note, for dessert:

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Soon it will be our turn to defeat the fascists.

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