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

Simon Rosenberg
3 min readMay 24, 2022

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.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas — a powerful leader in the fight against illiberalism, Putinism

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…

Simon Rosenberg

I run NDN/NPI, a DC think tank. Clinton & DNC alum, Tufts grad, Aspen Crown Fellow. Father of 3 great kids, truly lucky husband. Proud globalist.