Editorials

Donald Trump has scary fans outside America, too

The Editorial Board

Donald Trump voted Tuesday in the Republican presidential primary in New York.
Donald Trump voted Tuesday in the Republican presidential primary in New York. AP

Donald Trump is in the spotlight in America as well as around the world.

Believe it or not, some people really would like the Republican Party’s leading candidate to be elected as the next president of the United States this fall.

Views from Europe

Some democratic countries have leaders who think like Trump. They can be reference points for Americans but not in a good way.

Trump sees immigrants as illegal aliens and describes deporting them in a “very humane manner.” Sadly, he is not alone.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said he does not want a large number of Muslims in his country and it’s important to secure his nation’s borders from mainly Muslim migrants “to keep Europe Christian.”

And he added, “All the terrorists are basically migrants.” In recent months, Hungarian police have fired tear gas and used water cannons in front of big fences on the border to stop people Orban calls “terrorists” from getting into the country.

It’s encouraging to see that European Union officials have criticized Orban; European commission head Jean Claude Junker welcomed him at a 2015 summit as a “dictator.”

In Turkey, Trump’s attacks on the media are echoed by President Tayyip Erdogan. He constantly blames journalists for spying on and insulting him.

Erdogan has sued journalists and even a German comedian. It’s no surprise that Turkey is ranked 149th out of 180 countries in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index.

Radicals, angry conservatives

The politics of rage is not a problem only in America. It is also an actual danger for people in Europe and the Middle East.

Trump’s absurd plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico plus his anti-immigration discourse inspire conservatives and radicals in Europe.

In Slovenia, Melania Trump’s homeland, one of the anti-immigrant protester groups shouted Trump slogans during a recent protest.

And writing about radicals like Trump, journalist Evelyn Roll of Germany’s Süddeuctsche Zeitung said, “In nearly every European country they are on the move now, the little Trumps.”

Why do they like Trump? They are very angry, they do not know how they can manage their problems and they want to see a leader like Trump in their countries.

Putin’s best friend?

The Cold War ended long ago. But we still are not used to seeing Russian leaders talk about U.S. presidential elections.

The exception is the near-bromance between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin said of Trump in late 2015 that he “is a bright and talented person without any doubt — an outstanding and talented personality.” Trump responded and said of Putin, “He is running his country, and at least he is a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”

Alas, Putin also is blamed for killing a journalist and some opponents, too.

Why does Putin favor Trump? Some specialists say Putin believes Trump’s presidency would turn American toward isolationism, leaving Russia with a free hand to interfere in the affairs of other countries.

ISIS, other terrorist groups

While critics say Trump is a dangerous demagogue, there is no doubt that many radical Islamists and terrorists like his speeches.

They think Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric helps legitimize their terrorist attacks everywhere. After the latest Brussels attack, the Islamic State released a new propaganda video with Trump’s voice in the background.

An al-Qaida affiliate group al Shabaab also has used Trump’s speeches for its propaganda videos.

Donald Trump’s threatening words echo on the other side of the world and unfortunately are embraced by some who share similar political views.

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