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Trump and Le Pen: Two takes on a rising populism

France's far-right National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen holds a press conference in Lille on December 7, 2015, a day after the first round of the French regional electionsOn either side of the Atlantic, the 2008 recession, refugee crises and heightened terror threats have fueled an isolationist populism embodied by Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen — but they are far from mirror images. The US Congress is suffering from the lowest approval ratings in four decades, five years after the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement burst onto the scene with its anti-establishment “throw them out” rallying cry against Democrats and Republicans. In France, Marine Le Pen pushes a similar message at the head of the party founded by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, the National Front, whose motto is “Ni-Ni” — neither left, nor right — and which is hoping to gain control of its first region in Sunday elections after a historic first-round score.

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