Palko Karasz, New York Times, July 12, 2016
This spring, we asked readers who support far-right parties in Europe to tell us why they had turned away from mainstream political movements. We received hundreds of responses from voters, most of whom cited concern about immigration and a desire to challenge the European Union in explaining their views.
These responses have been edited for length and clarity. And because many of the issues raised are highly contentious across Europe, we have provided context with each submission.
Mikael Jakobsen, 24, law student, Aarhus, Denmark
Party: Danish People’s Party
Symbolic politics of “helping” those who need help by inviting them in regardless of circumstances and economy don’t help. Our economy doesn’t increase along with the never-ending supply of immigrants. To help, you figure out the cause of the problem and fix it. It’s like buying buckets for a leaky roof instead of just fixing the roof itself.
Oscar Lind, 43, economist, Stockholm
Party: Sweden Democrats
Three things make me consider voting for the Sweden Democrats, even if I find the party’s historical links to white supremacy repugnant and don’t agree with their anti-E.U. and anti-NATO membership stances: mass immigration and open borders, identity politics, and “establishment” propaganda for the previous two.
Sweden has had massive immigration over the past couple of decades. Instead of acknowledging the problems related to mass immigration, the mainstream parties and mainstream media have for decades either ignored them, blamed them on Swedish/Swedes’ racism, blamed them on lack of social services or claimed that while there may be initial cost with immigration, it’s profitable long term.
Why would a male, ethnic Swedish worker want to vote for political parties which see “white men” as oppressors and regularly denigrate their ethnicity and culture?
Mark Cserepes, 24, management student, Pecs, Hungary
Party: Jobbik, Movement for a Better Hungary
As a young adult, I would like to vote for something fresh with no or few connections to the previous regime. Only the far-right party is speaking about real problems, e.g., the two largest parties promise to solve Gypsy-related issues (their low education, their low income), but they never do anything.
As a master’s student, I can say most of my friends, most of the people I know, think in the same way. They want to support something new, because neither Fidesz nor the Socialist Party works, and we would like to see the country improve.
Robert Meyer, 58, technical writer, Dieburg, Germany
Party: Alternative for Germany (AfD)
Watching 800,000 uninvited illegal migrants wander into the country, and seeing Germany allow these people to ignore the law and do what they wanted, I realized that countries that can’t control their borders–or won’t because of misguided naïve ideas about “human rights”–are doomed unless the people who pay the taxes and make things work have some say in the matter. It is a new “silent majority” that has been cowed into submission by a liberal press and cowardly politicians. Time to end this.