Donald Trump might not be as popular in Europe as Barack Obama was, but for many groups on the far-right of Europe’s political spectrum, he has become a heroic figure.
“With Trump, the pride of a whole population has awoken … Their hope is captured in one sentence ‘Make America Great Again,’” said Martin Sellner, the leader of Austria’s Identitarian Movement, one of these far-right groups, in a German magazine in 2016. “The ‘Trump Wall’ already acts like a mystical symbol of self-preservation and the survival of a culture.”
“The Donald,” Sellner continued, “has given me back the belief in the other America that I never had.”
Such unabashed adulation for the United States by European far-right groups was not something scholars of Nazism and other radical movements like myself are accustomed to hearing.
On the contrary, throughout the history of the 20th century, far-right groups in Europe always considered the United States to be more of a nemesis than an ideal to look up to.
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