Donald Trump is struggling to win the support of mainstream American political figures—despite being the clear frontrunner, he lags behind all of his rivals in what FiveThirtyEight calls the “endorsement primary” (which naturally doesn’t include the legions of fringe white nationalists who support him, like David Duke).
But Trump is leaving his rivals in the dust when it comes to high-profile endorsements from abroad: Geert Wilders, the Dutch Parliamentarian who has campaigned to ban the Koran, endorsed Trump back in December. Jean-Marie Le Pen, the Holocaust-denying founder of France’s National Front party, enthusiastically proclaimed his support for Trump last week. And the Weekly Standard recently reported that Donald Trump received the endorsement of Aleksandr Dugin, the far-right, neo-imperialist Russian philosopher whom TAI contributors Hannah Thoburn and Anton Barbashin dubbed “Putin’s brain” in Foreign Affairs.
The embrace of Trump by ultra-nationalists around the world probably derives from several sources. Social media has enabled reactionaries to share ideas and methods to a greater degree than ever before. The threat of global terrorism has fanned the flames of reaction. And around the world, universalist, end-of-history liberalism has turned out to be more flaccid, and less satisfying, than many expected and hoped.
Whatever the reasons, Trump’s growing base of support among internationally-renown anti-liberal figures suggests an emerging commonality—even an alliance—between movements playing with the darkest and most destructive political forces in the world. And that is a cause for concern.