Wilders is the ‘Dutch Trump’ in America, and not just because of his haircut

Wilders is the ‘Dutch Trump’ in America, and not just because of his haircut

In the Netherlands, comparisons between former US President Donald Trump and Wilders often go no further than their hairstyles. “It looks like you both go to the same hairdresser,” Wilfred Genie told Geert Wilders last week. Foreign media also mentions this similarity, but mostly about the underlying concepts that show the similarity.

‘Right-wing provocateur Geert Wilders wins election: Dutch Donald Trump’, it says above. An article From Fox News, an American channel. Wilders has long been compared to the Netherlands’ Donald Trump because of his populist politics. But unlike the former US president, he seemed destined for a life in opposition.

‘America First’

Political scientist and US expert Raymond Mens understands the comparison between Trump and Wilders. “Of course both say: We are putting the US and the Netherlands back first. They both criticize migration, Islam, development aid and climate programs. Also: both see nothing in continuing to support Ukraine financially and militarily.”

According to Mens, the American media’s interest in Dutch politics is very limited. But now that Wilders has won, a lot of the media is focusing on it. Even the New York Times sent its readers A push notification After the exit poll: ‘Far-right party wins big in Dutch election’ headlines.

‘Red tie to look like Trump’

“The American media mainly put the developments in the Netherlands in a European perspective,” says Mens. “Therefore, when talking about the electoral success of the PVV, they mainly mention his support for Ukraine. It is also indicated that people in Brussels are not happy with this Dutch Trump.”

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Off list Mainly the American media Comparisons to Trump is long. However, it has not really been explored in depth. Bloomberg News Recommends Wilders deliberately switched from blue to red ties at the end of the campaign to emphasize his solidarity with Trump.

Stop migration

In terms of content, most comparisons do not go beyond the same ‘radical ideas in the field of migration’. One of Trump’s most controversial plans, a wall along the border with Mexico to stop immigration, is comparable to Wilders’ aim to stop immigration.

Even if Trump is able to partially implement this plan, it is questionable whether Wilders will win. Although his PPV is still the largest party and he wants to be prime minister, he has to take into account the coalition parties. “Wilders, completely in the Dutch tradition, is willing to compromise. In the American two-party system, this is much less needed. So Trump is much tougher than Wilders,” Mens says.

Nevertheless, Trump cannot easily carry out his ambitious plans as president. Man on it: “It’s the other way around in America ‘Checks and Balances, meaning that any change must happen slowly. The president always needs Congress, which means Democrats and Republicans always need to work together. After that, the Supreme Court also has the final right,” he said.

Close relationship with Trump

We can get the latter in the Netherlands too: Pieter Omdjicht wants a constitutional court. “Wilders will undoubtedly give him that,” Mance thinks. Wilders will no doubt be impressed by how things are going in America. He has long had close ties to the Republican Party and expressed his support for Trump when he was a presidential candidate before he was elected president.

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He said of Trump: “He has courage, many good ideas and appeal to broad groups in society.” According to Mance, this support for Trump is ‘logical’. “There are only two parties in America: Democrats and Republicans, and in that category Wilders clearly falls into the latter camp.”

According to RTL News reporter Eric Moudan, Wilders is better known in the US than Rudd because he regularly appears in right-wing media. “When he went to the Republican convention in 2016, I remember taking pictures of Trump riding in the saddle and talking to Wilders about how well people thought he was doing against Islam. One referred to him as a ‘savior.'”

Standing up for the people

Wilders himself laughs a little at the ‘Dutch Trump’ headline. “Oh, people have called me many names. Some call me Geert Milders, others Dutch Trump.” In previous interviews, she has said that she and Trump have similarities. Both stand for a group that is not represented by politics:

Trump, who is most likely to be the Republican presidential candidate again next year, has not yet said anything about the ‘Dutch Trump’ election victory. “I don’t rule out that he will do so in the coming days,” Menz said. “He had previously encouraged the Dutch farmers at an election meeting.”

According to Eric Mouton, Wilders’ victory will be seen as a positive omen by Republicans. Mouton: “They believe that populists will do well in the polls and that Trump will win again.”

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