'Why does democracy lead, increasingly, to the election of extremist parties?'

Opinion, comment and editorials of the day

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), speaks at an election night party in The Hague, Netherlands
The recent victory in the Netherlands of the party of far-right leader Geert Wilders, who has called Islam "the biggest problem of the Netherlands," followed right-wing wins in Italy and Sweden
(Image credit: Peter Boer / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

'If it can happen in the Netherlands, it can happen anywhere'

The Washington Post editorial board

"It is time to stop being shocked" when far-right candidates win elections, says The Washington Post editorial board. The recent victory of the party of far-right leader Geert Wilders, who has called Islam "the biggest problem of the Netherlands," followed right-wing wins in Italy and Sweden. It's "lazy" to chalk up these politicians as local Trumps. The truth is "the 'center' — on charged topics such as immigration — has veered" right. Once-fringe parties are no longer extreme.

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'Las Vegans grieve one more time'

Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial board

"Will this insanity ever stop?" says the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial board. Six years after one gunman murdered 59 people on the Las Vegas Strip, another has killed three at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. "The stale guns vs. mental health bickering that inevitably follows these horrific occurrences has already begun." But no debate is necessary to conclude a society that produces this many "lost and delusional" mass killers is suffering from deep, "entrenched maladies."

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'One can hardly blame Maduro for his cockiness'

Washington Examiner editorial board

Venezuela is exploiting President Joe Biden's weakness, says the Washington Examiner editorial board. Two months after Biden "gifted" the South American nation's "dictator, President Nicolas Maduro," with six months of sanctions relief in exchange for an "absurdly disingenuous commitment that next year's elections would be free and fair," Maduro is trying to take over neighboring Guyana's oil-rich Essequibo region. He clearly thinks Biden is too scared — or "distracted by the Middle East crisis" — to stop him.

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'If the economy is so good, why are Americans so grumpy?'

Steven Rattner in The New York Times

Unemployment, inflation, and the stock market suggest "the economy is strong," says Steven Rattner in The New York Times. But polls show "an understandable grimness about our broader economic prospects," partly because "the chaos of the pandemic" drove inflation to its highest in decades. Many people aren't satisfied that inflation is cooling. They want prices to fall, but that's proving to be a "fantasy." This is fueling pessimism about the future that could influence the 2024 elections.

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