The new nationalism: Trump’s impact on the U.S.

Kylie Cracknell, Staff Writer

On Jan. 20, the U.S. will inaugurate a new president: Donald J. Trump. His inauguration will be the beginning of a new era for U.S. politics with the very conservative Trump Administration. Trump’s success in the election contributes to the rise of a movement taking precedence all over the world.

Trump’s winning campaign message helped him tap into the patriotic nature of most of the American electorate. His emphasis on putting America back on top is one that historically wins over voters. In the U.S., patriotism and celebration of our independence is a strong part of our culture. But in other parts of the world, countries focus more on creating relations with neighboring nations. However, in more recent times, marked by Trump’s electoral success and the U.K.’s decision to the leave the EU, or Brexit, a rise of nationalism has begun to influence many countries in Europe and Asia.

In the months leading up to the Brexit vote in the U.K., former leader of the United Kingdom Independent Party Nigel Farage, who communicates closely with Donald Trump, also tapped into the British electorates’ new nationalistic opinion, resulting in the vote to leave the European Union. Nationalism and the lack of focus on international relations is, arguably, what led to the U.K.’s break from the EU.

While Brexit seemed like a crazy political move for Britain at the time, more members of the EU are seeing a rise in nationalist movements and are feeling pressure to follow suit with the U.K. and leave the union.

In France the race for the presidency is on, and rising in the polls is Marie Le Pen, candidate for the National Front, a national- conservative party in France. Le Pen expressed an interest in France leaving the EU to move towards a more nationalist agenda.

In Germany a nationalist party is beginning to outperform in areas in which the current Chancellor has typically had a strong political hold.

Even politicians in the Netherlands, such as Geert Wilders, have proposed a “Nexit” for the Dutch to also say goodbye to the EU.

But why this major move towards nationalism now? There are many reasons, but immigration is the driving force for most of these countries. Most nationalist parties and candidates push for tighter borders and stricter regulations on visa and citizenship laws. Within the EU there is free movement of people and open borders between member states of the union. This means immigrants from countries like Romania and Greece are able to work and live in countries like France and the U.K. with no visa. While open borders seem like a positive idea, many people believe these immigrants are taking jobs away from citizens, a point Donald Trump drove home in his campaign. Could the rise of Donald Trump and “Brexit” mean the emergence of a new nationalist movement both in the U.S. and abroad?