Life at № 42
In Europe as well as the United States the political arena has shifted to the fringes. Measured, moderate stands on issues of national and international importance are zapped by high-voltage soundbites, obliterated by incendiary one-liners.
Anger is the coveted political currency of the moment—anger fueled by fear of foreigners, by fears for the future—anger fueled by populist politicians at home and abroad. And even little Switzerland, the Continent’s hoary paradigm of democracy, has not been immune.
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Very interesting article- and interesting movement. I think society really has to find a way to respond to and contain the wingnuttery. Their exceedingly distorted vision of the world is heavily dependent on profoundly flawed thinking. The Brexit mantra was evidence and experts don’t matter. Silly things like the alleged EU banana curvature “legislation” are still being banded about as if true. Trump is proposing the construction of a wall when net migration from Mexico is around 0%. Marine Le Pen says France is being Islamised even though only 1/3rd of French Muslims say they practice the religion at all. And even then only 20% say they go to mosque regularly. That makes the number of mosque attendees (between 600,000 and 1 million) spectacularly insignificant in a country with a population of over 65 million people. In fact we could even say the opposite of Le Pen. The one thing living in France does to Muslims is make them drop the religion they were born to.
All that means these aren’t actually ideological battles, these are battles between people with evidence and those without. And somehow both sides are being treated as if their positions are equally valid.