My piece on the Donald Trumps of Europe is this week’s cover of the international edition of Bloomberg Businessweek.
From the volume of the outrage, you’d think Europeans had never dealt with the likes of Donald Trump before. The French newspaper Libération called him “the American Nightmare.” The German newsweekly Der Spiegel slapped his face on its cover in front of flames crawling up an American flag. (Online, the fire was animated.) Wherever one looks in the continent, there’s rising alarm in the media about the possibility that Trump could become president of the U.S.
And yet, as much as the headlines make him out to be an American phenomenon, in Europe, Trump would fit right in. His mix of nationalistic nativism and economic protectionism has proved a winning formula for far-right parties across the continent. Trump’s rise is reminiscent of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s, which stunned the French media and political class when he made it to the second round of his country’s presidential election in 2002. A former paratrooper who’d questioned the historical significance of the Holocaust, he was widely considered far too unconventional, far too crude—and, frankly, far too racist—to ever be granted a shot at the country’s highest office.
Read the rest.