Meanwhile, Emmanuel Macron, the new French president, is about to achieve something extraordinary: His brand-new centrist party, Republic on the Move, is on track to win a sweeping, unprecedented majority in the French parliament. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, will probably be reelected for a third term in September by voters who still favor centrist parties in high numbers. Even in Italy, where talk of a populist surge has lately grown louder, voters just rejected that party in large numbers in local elections.
Remember Old Europe? It was said to be dying, it was becoming irrelevant, it was a “corpse” to which British Brexiteers did not want to be shackled — and now, suddenly, it isn’t. Suddenly it looks more stable, more hopeful and especially more consensual. There is talk of reform and renewal, not revolution. Growth is up. Predicted far-right surges have failed to materialize.
Paris and Berlin are united and confident, while Washington and London are divided and dysfunctional. Something is rotten in the Anglo-Saxon world, or at least its U.S.-U.K. axis. Although it’s too early to be definitive, here are some guesses as to why: