|European Parliament building in Strasbourg, France via Flicker|
Here in the U.S. when we wring our hands about our rabid right wing, its racism, violent rhetoric and embrace of ignorance, we tend to see it as a local aberration, a national failing.
But it's not entirely limited to the U.S. Thanks to the Mayor of Toronto, we're more cognizant of a Tea Party rightist trend in Canada, which has affected national as well as local politics and policy.
Now an oped in the New York Times asserts a widening of something similar in Europe, and not simply within countries. It is deliberately attacking the European Union, so it is happening to Europe.
Andrea Mammone writes:
It may seem bizarre that two far-right, nationalist politicians — Marine Le Pen of France and Geert Wilders of the Netherlands — have reached across borders to form a Pan-European group dedicated to weakening the European Union. Their aim is a transnational political alliance that would compete in the May elections for the European Parliament; once in power, they would cooperate to try to rein in the power of Brussels.
While the Tea Party in Canada may be partly an American import, Mammone traces the history of the European model: "But in fact, since the early 20th century, Europe’s far-right nationalists have often united in search of an “other” to oppose, exclude, resist, restrict or oppress... "
The most extreme and famous example is the Nazis.