Donald Trump, in a recent interview, discussed the success of international conservative populists, like Javier Milei’s win in Argentina and Giorgia Meloni in Italy. He considers these victories a sign of an even stronger movement than what was seen in 2016.
“It’s basically a MAGA-Trump movement,” Trump stated during a lengthy discussion at Mar-a-Lago. He emphasized the global impact of his brand of politics.
Globally, conservative populists are seeing a surge in electoral success. Trump mentioned Milei’s victory in Argentina as a significant example. He shared that Milei credited him for paving the way for such wins, though Trump hadn’t spoken to him before his election.
“The Argentina leader called me right after he won. He said, ‘Thanks to your policies, we’ve achieved this,’ and he’s got his own MAGA hats,” Trump revealed.
The term “MAGA” is synonymous with Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, but Trump humorously noted that it might as well mean “Make Argentina Great Again.”
Trump’s win in 2016 was a surprise, but it wasn’t isolated. Events like the Brexit vote in the UK and other populist right-wing successes worldwide contributed to a global movement that culminated in Trump’s victory.
The trend continues in 2024, with Meloni securing her position as Italy’s prime minister and Milei’s win boosting right-wing momentum. Geert Wilders’ success in the Netherlands and upcoming elections in Europe and elsewhere hint at a possible sweep for conservative populists.
Foreign Policy magazine recently cautioned its readers about the potential rise of right-wing populism this year. It highlighted that upcoming elections could bring shifts in government across Europe and beyond.
Trump, reflecting on his 2016 campaign, described himself as “a messenger to a movement” and expressed hope for others to step up and lead this movement in the future.
He stressed that his policies and approach are unique, citing Steve Bannon’s viewpoint that “there is no Trump policy without Trump.” Trump recounted his negotiations with countries like Mexico and France, asserting that his direct approach was key to achieving ‘America First’ policies.
Trump believes that until conservative populists gain enough strength to govern, someone as forceful as he is needed to champion these policies.
The interview with Trump revealed his perspective on the growing influence of conservative populism worldwide and his role in fostering this movement.g.