How populism went mainstream in Denmark

May 22, 2020 by

by Douglas Murray, UnHerd:

Across Europe, political parties once deemed to be on the far-Right have made huge electoral breakthroughs by moderating their positions and coming in from the cold. They have been able to do this because of the unwillingness of mainstream politicians to address one of the most important issues facing the continent – immigration — coupled with media’s tendency to cast dissenting opinion as extreme.

The story does vary from one country to another, and, just as fringe parties come into the mainstream, so can the mainstream come to the fringe. Few places demonstrate this more clearly than Denmark, where politics in recent years has adapted in a way unlike anywhere else in Europe.

The international press regularly describes the Danish People’s Party as ‘far-Right’. But what precisely does the term mean?

There is no hard and fast definition. That’s part of the problem with the term. But by their fundamental nature, ‘far-Right’ parties do not believe in extending the rule of law to all citizens, and either do not support the democratic process or believe that it should be supplanted.

Other specific platform policies — in particular racism and anti-Semitism — are associated with the extreme Right, but attempts to make legitimate and often common and mainstream opinion into signifiers of extremism have made identifying the phenomenon unnecessarily hard.

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