HuffPost Blames Populists And Russia For European Renewable Policy Failures

Portrait of Vladimir Putin, Source kremlin.ru,
Author Russian Presidential Press and Information Office

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The alleged Russian conspiracy which is supposed to be helping populists win elections worldwide has now been blamed for a fall in EU nation state support for European renewable energy policies.

How A Populist Europe In Thrall To Russia Threatens Climate Change Action

“We are in a really dangerous moment.”

By Arthur Neslen
26/06/2018 7:45 PM AEST

As a growing number of European countries tip toward the far right politically, attempts to curb climate change are coming under pressure. The region’s race to cut planet-warming greenhouse gases is generating friction, and some Members of European Parliament and experts point the finger of blame at Russian big energy interests and populist governments in thrall to them.

This month, a bid to raise the European Union’s supply of renewable energy to 35 percent of the electricity mix by 2030 was stymied by a bloc of EU states led by populist governments in the Visegrad countries ― Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia ― even though it had the support of the European Parliament and European Commission.

The same bloc of countries helped whittle down proposals for a binding 40 percent energy conservation target, despite signs of accelerating climate change from the Antarctic to the African savannah.

“We see a pattern of populist governments clearly opposing ambitious climate and energy regulations, which is in line with the primary Russian economic interest: exporting fossil fuels and nuclear technology,” Benedek Jávor, the vice-chair of the European parliament’s environment committee and a Hungarian Green MEP, told HuffPost.

Russia supplies more than a third of Europe’s gas but this could be reduced to nothing by an ambitious energy saving target, according to analyses by several think tanks and consultancies.

Hungary, for example, which is becoming an increasingly authoritarian government under far-right leader Viktor Orbán, is a valued advocate for Russian gas infrastructure and is also building a Russian-financed €10 billion ($11.5 billion) nuclear reactor outside Budapest.

Russia’s energy agenda plays to a wider audience than extreme nationalists. Gas and nuclear are both seen as relatively lower carbon options than coal, which could “bridge” the path to a mid-century world powered solely by renewables. However, some climate studies suggest that, where gas is concerned, the bridge could also burn the chances of limiting global warming to no more than a 2 C temperature rise above pre-Industrial levels ― the target the majority of scientists say cannot be exceeded if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Several academic papers have found that investment in gas could crowd out desperately needed funds for renewable energy while providing few emissions-cutting benefits.

Read more: https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/europe-populism-russia-climate-action_us_5b30b86fe4b0321a01d33adf

In my opinion HuffPost are making it up as they go. If renewable energy was viable, gas wouldn’t have an opportunity to “crowd out” renewable investment, because renewable investment would make sense on its own terms.

As for Huffpost’s evidence free allegation that Russia is pushing populism to undermine the green agenda, in my opinion it would make far more sense for the Russian government to support the green agenda – to support anti-fracking, anti-nuclear and renewable energy advocacy movements.

More fracking in Europe would undermine Russian gas sales. A Nuclear power renaissance in Europe would undermine Russian gas sales. Useless green energy “investments” not so much.

Of course I’m not suggesting Russia is doing anything of the sort. Why risk scandal and exposure, when liberal green European politicians are doing everything in their power to wreck European energy independence without outside help?

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Joel Snider

I guess it couldn’t simply be the failure of renewables.
This kind of relates to the perpetual victimhood progressives ‘aspire’ to. Nothing’s ever their fault, nothing’s ever fair (which of course, justifies ‘any means necessary), and they never question their basic presumptions – just rationalize them away.
Repeating patterns, circular logic.

Tom Halla

Maybe those mostly Eastern European countries have memories of Stalinism, and recognize the similar irrationality of the green blob, and the level of callousness needed to enforce a vision of the Radiant Future?

Joel Snider

You’d think that would be hard to forget.

Phoenix44

Or maybe having just started to get wealthy again, they don’t want a bunch of bureaucrats making them poorer!

Margaret Smith

Russia did it! Now, what were you asking?

Russians have been trying their utmost to promote anti-fracking protests – that, at least makes sense.
Russia decided the result of the US election to get their friends out of power…… apparently.
When I voted for Brexit clearly I was seriously influenced by Russia and didn’t even know it!
I thought I was voting to leave the totalitarian EU.

Jones

“When I voted for Brexit clearly I was seriously influenced by Russia and didn’t even know it!”

That’s how clever Putin is. After all, if you did know it then Putins’ mind-rays might not work.

He’s pure eeevil…
comment image?w=807

Russia did it! Now, what were you asking?

comment image

HotScot

Margaret Smith

In one way I have to laugh. Having done what the America and Europe desired for generations by overturning communism, the Russians are, somehow, still the enemy. I don’t doubt they are up to all sorts of tricks, but I don’t believe, for a nanosecond, America and Europe are any better.

In another way I’m enraged that the term ‘far right’ has been hijacked by the left to describe the excesses of their political failures, communism, fascism and nazism (non capitalisation deliberate).

I suspect most people on this blog are far right, they believe in small government, freedom of speech, free trade, low taxes, the rule of law, and the peaceful means of achieving those.

And the left’s response to their spawn of violent jackboot skinheads, carrying offensive insignia and marching and making nazi salutes? To launch antifa, a violent mob rallied by the left to suppress freedom of speech amongst examples of their own political excesses, whilst projecting those excesses onto the right.

Perverse just doesn’t begin to describe the left.

Craig

Centre right would be more reflective of the belief of smaller government.

HotScot

Craig

Love to see the official scale of political diversity.

I have no idea what centre right means.

Gerry, England

What annoys me is how anything to the right of centre-left liberal drivel is Far Right.

HotScot

Gerry, England

Anything to the right of far left, is far right.

The disgusting excessive behaviour of the left has somehow been pinned on the right.

Fascism, despite being the brainchild of Mussolini, kicked out of the left and the right beforehand; Nazism, despite it emerging from the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, and Hitler admiring Mussolini, somehow this has been attributed to right wing politics.

The tactic of smearing their opponents with their own excesses isn’t even recognised by them because it’s become so engrained.

Honest liberty

I recognize voluntary social organization and nothing beyond that has any claim to legitimacy. Why? Because anything else requires external ownership, which inevitably leads to tyranny. Every time, without fail. It’s a paradox. Most individuals desire low hanging fruit and easy solutions, which invite both intellectual and physical laziness, so voluntary societies with that constituency devolve into might makes right oligarchies; however, even limited government grows from original intent to protect the strictest sense of the word minority, the individual, to what we have now which is mob rule by ignorant psychopaths, who place no value in individual rights. Seeing that either option will end with cyclical power transitions, I still do not advocate “legitimized” violence or better known as authority.

I alone own my thoughts, emotions, and resultant actions and it is encumbant upon only me to govern myself accordingly, so as not to inflict suffering upon others. Likewise, there is no legitimate reality that can suggest that does not hold true for every other human, unless you accept some men are superior than others and therefore have the right to enslave another. Unless you own 100% of your own product (according to a mutual contract in the case of being employed) you are to some degree enslaved because another human or group will claim dominion over a share of your labor/words whatever it is you generate to make a living.
Men with guns, doing the bidding of other men in fancy costumes who then write edicts on paper, claiming authority based on magical boxes being checked in their favor, will come by force to violently cage or kill you if you simply say no. That is government. For all time. Full stop. The rest is quibbling about which “elected master” owns you or has the authority to control your actions.

So there you go. That’s me. Call it whatever section of the spectrum you wish. I recognize no external authority only in as much as I recognize the Mafia excels in extortion and violence through fear of death.

Label me as you choose, for it means nothing to me

Phoenix44

He’s more than just evil, he’s a time-traveler!

I wanted to leave the EU before Putin came to power. The UK’s view on the Eu has fluctuated greatly over time – back in the early 1990s, over 60% said they would vote to leave. Of course we didn’t get a chance then. Presumably that was Putin as Dr. Who too.

Sweet Old Bob

Sceptical of anything from the Hoof Poo …

Jim Masterson

>>
In my opinion HuffPost are making it up as they go.
<<

IMO, most of Huff-‘n’-Puff is made up news. They’re the personification of “fake news.”

Jim

James Beaver

After all, they are the Puffington Host.

Russ Wood

A couple of years ago HuffPo in South Africa was hauled over the coals by our local Press Council for publishing a fake diatribe against maleness, with the theme that white males shouldn’t be allowed to vote. This ‘article’, written by a GUY with tongue firmly in cheek, was turned down by some of the other news blogs. But Huff decided it followed the PC pattern and published. I’m not sure whether the editor was fired or just demoted, but things happened!

Aaron

This is the symptom of a party, or politics, that hates the white working class and has pretty much thrown in the towel on ever winning the white working class again. It’s putrid and therefore they must resort to the most putrid thing that someone can be called these days. One is real: https://naturalresources.house.gov/newsroom/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=404881 , one is fake. They’re playing with definitions of which is which and disparaging a lot of people while doing it, oh but they’re white people so it’s okay! It’s a pity what the left has become, every worst thing that they attacked their opponents of being for the last 50 years.

MarkG

“It’s a pity what the left has become, every worst thing that they attacked their opponents of being for the last 50 years.”

SJWs always project. You can be pretty certain that anything they accuse others of is something they’re doing themselves.

And the left murdered over a hundred million people in the last century, so it’s hardly surprising they’re turning out to be monsters now Trump has taken off their masks.

“We are the people we warned you about”

Latitude

we should all be scared sh1tless…Russia is so powerful….LOL everything is their fault

michael hart

If they genuinely believe Russia is really wielding so much influence, then these bozos ought to be asking Vladimir how he does it. After all, this is just the kind of power and extra-governmental control that they themselves wish to exert over Western democracies.

Same with the Clinton Democrats. They spent a rough $Billion on the USA’s best (or most expensive) win-an-election consultants. Yet, allegedly, a dinner table-full of Ruskies ran rings round them with a few cheap Farcebook adverts. It’s just not logical, Captain.

simple-touriste

Not only that. We know that the Clinton machine was pro Trump because they were 100% sure they could beat Trump hands down. She even admitted that! “Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?” Well, because you misunderstood the will of voters in your own country. (And concluding a debate by honoring a former Miss Universe involved in a crime wasn’t a great idea either.)

Saying that “Putin did it” just confirms that the Dem party is so out of touch, even culturally remote Russians connect with the voters more easily.

And there was no one in the party capable of explaining it and that Hillary was capable of listening to.

Edwin

How come anyone rejecting far left policies, supporting the rule of law, defending in the US the Constitution, preferring capitalism, and generally preferring logic over radical blind orthodoxy is automatically labeled “right winged?” While Putin may have made roads into Hungary, Poland just asked the USA for a new missile defense system, to which Putin would definitely object. European countries are become populist because of the EU parliament and bureaucracy accountable to no one but the elites. Democrats in the USA and the political elites in Europe remain in denial about why the general public are angry.

old construction worker

‘European countries are become populist because……’ Bingo, we have a winner.

Tom Abbott

From the article: “As a growing number of European countries tip toward the far right politically”

What is the difference between the Right and the Far Right?

The European answer is there is no difference.

Anyone who is not a socialist is considered to be Far Right. In other words, they are portraying those on the Right as extremists, by adding the “Far”. It’s a tactic.

MarkW

Socialist are rightist, anyone more conservative than that is far right.

MarkG

“Anyone who is not a socialist is considered to be Far Right.”

No, anyone who’s not a globalist is considered Far Right. Many of those the left are calling ‘far right’ are socialists, just not globalists.

But then, SJWs always lie.

Jtom

I’ve often read that the average American was right-of-center (American politics). My question is, who decided where the center is, and how? Seems to me that the center should be defined by the position of the average American. So what someone has deemed to be ‘correct’, the center, has been skewed to the left.

In response to your thoughts, it seems as though the right does not exist, only the far-right (or radical-right); and everything on the left of the political spectrum, including Socialists, Communists, and Anarchists, are the left, liberal, or Progressive, whichever term gives the least negative impression at the moment.

Jones

That pesky Putin chap.

Old ladies across Europe are freezing to death (or starving if they keep the heating on) because of his dastardly deeds.

Is there no limit to his evil?

WHYYYYYYY?

lee

posted in wrong spot. Should be under TA’s.

Tom Abbott

From the article: “despite signs of accelerating climate change from the Antarctic to the African savannah.”

Lol! They couldn’t prove any of this. This is just standard CAGW BS that’s added to every study even remotely connected to human-caused CO2.

hunter

Paranoid conspiracy ideation at its finest.
Where are the social psychologists wringing their hands over the obvious signs of pathology HuffPo has embraced and is spreading?
Calling Dr. Lew……

Tom Abbott

From the article: “Russia’s energy agenda plays to a wider audience than extreme nationalists.”

So “Far Right” also means “extreme nationalist. If you don’t want to throw your borders wide open, you are an extreme nationalist.

I have a test for all those who think we should have open borders to all comers: If you are really sincere about this sentiment, then to demonstrate that you are not just waving a virtue flag but are really serious, you should open wide the front door of your house and leave it open 24 hours per day.

Your wide-open door will demonstrate your sincere committment and will tell all your neighbors that you put your money where your mouth is.

markl

.”Why risk scandal and exposure, when liberal green European politicians are doing everything in their power to wreck European energy independence without outside help?” Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

MarkW

Who cares that it doesn’t work and makes energy expensive.
The reason why people don’t love renewable energy is because Big Oil is confusing them.
Or it’s because Russia is confusing them.
Or it’s because evil people are allowed access to the airwaves.

There’s always an excuse and it always leads to other people losing their rights.

Steve Reddish

“Hungary, for example, which is becoming an increasingly authoritarian government under far-right leader Viktor Orbán, is a valued advocate for Russian gas infrastructure and is also building a Russian-financed €10 billion ($11.5 billion) nuclear reactor”

If the intent was to “cut planet-warming greenhouse gases” there would be no objection to Hungary going to gas and nuclear for its energy.

Ah, here is their real objection: “We see a pattern of populist governments clearly opposing ambitious climate and energy regulations”

Somebody wants to be the Boss, and objects to peoples’ refusal to aquiess.

SR

So what is it? Authoritarian or Populist? Don’t think it can be both…

J.H.

Eric Worrall is right, Putin’s Russia would want to reduce Fracking in Europe as it directly competes with their gas sales, so Putin is definitely NOT in league with these Nations. The Huffpost is also hysterical in its claims that Hungary’s government is “authoritarian”. It’s a democratically elected government that is popular with its electorate…. Somehow this is sinister to the propagandists at the Huffington Post.

Also, the Huffpost can’t even be consistent and logical in their story’s premise…. I thought their article was trying to point out the sinister situation concerning Putin’s influence and interest in Russian oil and gas dominance?… Building a nuclear power station for Hungary would be kind of counter to that oil and gas strategy….Hmmm?

… and of course the biggest flaw in the Huffposts article is their assumption that these ex Eastern Bloc countries are ” in league” with Moscow…. Dude, these countries are beyond sick of Moscow’s malign influence in their countries. They may be critical of the EU’s immigration policies, but they are even more critical of Putin’s Russia.

The Huffington Post is Fake News.

Geoffrey Williams

Wind and solar renewables are only part time intermittant energy.
Gas is 24×7.
I know which I prefer to have.

joelobryan

If you listen to the Dumbocrats, then Russia’s $100,000 of Facebook ads completely erased Hillary’s $1,000,000,000 campaign against Trump.

I mean if I were Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO/founder), I be talking-up some serious smack on this apparent 10,000 fold multiplier impact of Facebook.

DocSiders

Meanwhile…Hillary is smiling on camera receiving an illegal $200,000+ campaign donation from a British lefty organization.

In my opinion HuffPost are making it up as they go.

The left always do that. If you tell them “we don’t have a model for the socialist economy“, because no one ever made a socialist pilot study work. They’ll say “we need to discover socialism after the revolution“. We can’t make a pilot study work under these conditions (of capitalism) because capitalism always makes such studies fail. That’s been the left argument for a good 130+ years. Other left ideas take their cue from it: destroy first, make something up afterwards. Or in the Huff case: make something up if it helps you destroy what you know is evil. Sadly: a lot of things I know are evil are also necessary. When they aren’t (GMOs, water management, plentiful energy, new technology), it’s often enviros opposing improvements. Enviros are often ‘the left’ too. Real life’s a bitch, then you die.

The European Liberal Green Left uses techniques derived from Russian Agitprop to get its message across.

Since intermittent renewable energy does not actually lessen gas usage, Russia has no reason to oppose windmills and solar panels,

Nuclear, coal and fracking DO harm Russia’s gas interest.

Guess what the Greens oppose….

Guess whose money is being channeled to the Greens.

Gary Pearse

What are they saying? Putin is smart and the EU is run by a lot of stupid people? This is definitely old news! Actually Trump has saved the shreds of European culture and economy from annnihilation (if its not too late as I have felt over the past decade). He has inspired a virtually defeated people to act and that is what is happening.

Pragmatic Eastern Europe didnt need such a wakeup call, but Brexit and Austria’s and Italy’s heave-ho of this cultural and economic suicide pact called the EU, is just the beginning. France and Germany came close to doing the same in their last elections and they’re is no question this ugly EU cabal is on its way out in the next election cycle.

In the US, the bankruptcy of ideas in a doubled down left guarantees Democrats to have shut themselves out of political power for at least a generation. Instead of a thoughtful restrospective on “What (really) Happened” they chose to blame everybody but themselves and have become indignantly obstructionist. Mark Steyn’s clever statement of what has been going on in Europe and America over the past couple of decades is that governments have been “dissolving the people” instead of the other way around.

Well, the tide has turned. “Brilliant” billionaire Champagne Soshulists are throwing the money they made so easily away by the trainnloads on a system that’s done..

Edwin

Gary, sorry do not buy for a second that the Democrats are on the decline for any reason. They are totally ruthless and will use any method to regain power. Appreciate that since 1932 they have controlled Congress 75% of the time. Even when Republicans have held majorities they were so small that, especially in the Senate, nothing could be done without a few Democrats willing to compromise. A lot of folks need to turn out and vote come November to avoid Democrats regaining power.

Julian

POPULISM – another word for “the will of the people” or “democratic rule”.

Old England

“it would make far more sense for the Russian government to support the green agenda – to support anti-fracking, anti-nuclear and renewable energy advocacy movements. “

That is precisely what people, including the EU, have claimed in the past that the Russians are doing. Russian funding to green campaign groups in Europe and the US has been identified and particularly where anti-fracking campaigns are concerned. Fracking will produce so much gas that Russian sales to Europe would plummet creating a massive hole in the Russian budget.

Apart from anything else it would suit the Russians to see Europe’s economy severely weakened and reduced by the political push for unreliable and wildly expensive ‘renewable’ energy.

Populism, used as a term to denigrate voters, is a simple reaction from the general public who have had enough of the left-wing political nonsense and attempts to destroy their culture . But of course the left-wing liberal elite can’t bear to have their political BS rejected by the man in the street – they believe they know far better than the ‘little people’ as they see them. So called ‘progressive’ politics is anything but; it is a smoke screen for regressive policies to steadily erode independence of thought, independence of action and life, and ultimately remove democracy whilst leaving a fig leaf that democracy still has effect. (Precisely how the EU operates)

Of course Populism means what is popular with the majority and that is what Democracy is all about, doing what the public and the voter wants and sees is needed.

The EU was specifically structured in a way to reduce and ignore the effect of Democracy and democratic procedures because its founders believed the voter wasn’t competent to make the ‘Right’ decisions – namely to follow a left-wing socialist-marxist ideology and allow social engineering on a continental scale.

British voters, with the tradition of representative democracy rejected that and voted for Brexit – the global power-brokers, longing to see democracy ended, are doing everything they can to try and reverse Brexit .

Barry Sheridan

Far right. I see this term a lot, but never far left! The propaganda churned out by much of the establishment, which is itself now well to the left, really is pathetic in condeming people voting for governments who aim is to serve rather than act as master.

michel

What you are seeing here, and in other places, is the way the activists are reacting to their failure to persuade.

The advocates have for many years been proclaiming that if the planet continues present levels of CO2 emissions, civilization is doomed. You might therefore expect them to advocate measures which would reduce global emissions.

But they do not. They instead advocate that the West should do things which will have little impact on their own emissions, and in any case none on global emissions – like install wind and solar in the US and Europe. And they object strongly to anyone suggesting that what really needs to happen, to secure their supposed aims, is for China and developing world countries to stop increasing or reduce.

They also object strongly to anyone suggesting that to meet their supposed goals in the West would require, for instance, changing where we live and work and how we travel. Like, abolishing the car, suburbs, suburban business parks, shopping centers….

No, all that has to happen is Paris. So everyone except us can carry on emitting furiously, and all we have to do is put up a few more wind turbines, and this will save the planet. Oh, and turn off our standby appliances, yes, that will help. And bike a bit more. But keep those lovely malls, cars, and all the stuff, and drive to work, just in electric cars.

For some this is a central part of the strategy, because they are following the Alinsky playbook, and being careful to make demands which are impossible to meet, and avoiding coming to power, when you could be held accountable for implementing them. It also helps if the case you are making is nonsense, because that way it will not persuade, and you can claim conspiracy by dark interested forces to account for its lack of success in public opinion.

We see this in the Huff Post view, and we can see it regularly on Ars Technica’s climate pages, and in the Guardian’s environmental pages.

The advocacy has failed, because there is no case for the alarmist view of climate to start with, and because the policy measures proposed make no sense even if there were such a case.

Now we have to find someone to blame for the failure to persuade everyone to adopt these policies. Obviously we cannot admit the deficiencies in the case or the measures. Well, we tried blaming Exxon, but that seems to have run into the sand. So lets think, who else could we blame? Not China of course, because we cannot draw attention to China’s huge and rising emissions, and huge and rising coal use. So lets think… Ah, yes, Russia. Lets join the chorus of disapproval, and blame Russia.

The movement is on its last legs. The problem in political terms is that the Alinsky model works up to a point, but at that point it needs a genuine external crisis to allow it to come to power and forget all the demands which got it there.

You need a disastrous war, a depression, something of that order of magnitude. Even a financial crisis is not enough. Otherwise you get to the peak of radicalization, but its not enough to allow what is still a minority group to seize power. And there is a reaction.

In the climate case, we’d need something more than a few floods or storms. We’d need something like Manhattan or London to vanish under the waves. Fortunately there is no sigh of this, and so we now see climatism moving slowly down the far side of the normal distribution into oblivion. Slowly at first, but with increasing momentum as time goes by.

Watch for the next moral panic. Because there will be one in a couple of years, once this one has decisively faded from view.

Edwin

Che Guevara supposedly once said “if a country is not ripe for socialist revolution it is the responsibility of every good socialists to make it so.”

Phoenix44

Note the wholly unjustified leap from “they don’t support renewables” to “but climate change is happening everywhere”.

They never stop to consider that perhaps (i) people would rather adapt to any changes rather than become considerably poorer now or (ii) there might be other solutions that would work better, and people are realising that.

This whole fiction is based on the assumptions that we must act now and we must do it this way. But neither has been properly discussed or agreed by an electorate anywhere. It is the utter lack of proper democratic discourse that is leading to “populism” across the West, not the Russians. The same happened with immigration, where various elites simply increased immigration massively without any consent from the population and withtout any discussion of the benefits and disbenefits. As with “Deniers”, anybody asking for a debate was shouted down as racist.

Steve O

I can see that Russia depends heavily on oil revenues, and we can appreciate that they’d be willing to influence elections in other countries if it would make them billions of dollars. But in the US, why would they support the party of “Drill, Baby Drill!”

Government doing what the people demand. Isn’t that the “Democracy” we are supposed to all support? When did that become “Populist” and a pejorative? Isn’t the purpose of government do do the will of the people? Or is that only outside of the EU?

Olavi

In EU the elite, unelcted Komisars & Co wants to do their own way, but people have that DAMN democracy. It is bad thing to give Democracy to the people !

DocSiders

“Populist” governments are where stupid citizens vote the wrong way.

Steve

I knew them John Birch boys was right! There’s a Ruskie under every bed!!! And theys coming for our windmills!!!

Jack

Russia, Universal bogey man.

Isn’t ‘Populist Government’ what democracy is all about? Can you believe the hubris of these elites who are so angry about the people having government do what the people want?

Hugh Mannity

Wow! I’m impressed. I didn’t know Putin was so powerful.

Sheri

Wow, that Vlad is one heck of a guy—almost superhuman. Or so it would seem by reading the news.

arthur4563

Don’t you love the utter stupidity : nuclear is to be avoided

Juan

Until Russia is under the bankers’ jackboot again they will continue to be demonized.

beng135

As a growing number of European countries tip toward the far right politically

WTF? Right in political terms means LESS government, LESS taxes, etc. Nowhere in Europe is that happening AFAIK. Just more word-definition-twisting by the media.