A New Center-Left Rises in the West to Counter Putin, Illiberalism

The Center-Left Rises in the West - Australia’s ousting of a conservative government on Saturday leads us to return to a theme we first wrote about a few weeks ago – the center-right/far-right has been repeatedly losing elections and steadily losing influence in the West.  It’s our belief that the 2018 Putin-Trump Summit in Helsinki, and Trump’s subsequent very public illiberalism, helped waken Western voters to the threat of Trumpism/Putinism, and they have been consistently voting in center/center-left governments ever since.  This year we’ve seen the right defeated in Australia, France, Germany and Slovenia, and there are now center/center-left governments in power in Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the US.  In the UK Labour/Lib Dems/Greens lead the 3 right parties in current polling by 57-37.  The right is more out of power today in the West than it has been in a very long time.  

The rejection of the American right, MAGA, has been arguably the central driver of American politics in the last 3 elections.  Since Trump became the Republican nominee, the average Democratic electoral margin has been 5 points.  Democrats won the last two elections by 8.6 and 4.4 points in very high turnout elections.  There is a clear anti-MAGA majority in the US today, and more people have voted against MAGA than any other political movement in our history.  

For Americans the threat of the global and domestic far right to our way of life is far more acute today than it was in November of 2020.  We’ve seen an unprecedented attack our democracy itself, one which is ongoing and not has been renounced by GOP leaders; Putin has become of history’s great butchers and is working to end the American-led global order; and now a compromised Supreme Court’s far-right faction has begun to take away long-held American rights and liberties.  

As we discussed last week, Joe Biden is successfully reinvigorating and rallying the West to counter Russia’s rancid aggression.  Part of the reason why this anti-Putin coalition has been so successful is that many of the governments in the coalition were elected explicitly to counter the far-right’s rising threat, and thus share a common political orientation. This new anti-right, anti-Putin, anti-MAGA center/center-left political movement in the West is now it’s most powerful political force.  And it’s why I remain optimistic about the fall elections.  People here understand the threat MAGA poses to all of us.  They have voted against it twice in record numbers.  As Joe Biden is rallying the world to counter the threat, he needs to once again rally the anti-MAGA majority there in the US to win another election.  For a defeat for Democrats this fall may not just return extremists to power here, it could begin to fracture the global coalition countering Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and elsewhere.

And if there is any doubt that a GOP Congressional majority could fracture the anti-Putin coalition let’s remember where CPAC, one of the GOP’s most important organizations, has been these last few days.  In Hungary, making common cause with Victor Orban, who recently described Zelenskyy as his “enemy.” 

Democracy, the West, authoritarianism are all on the ballot once again here in America this fall.