How The Far Right Is Winning Europe’s Word Wars — and Its Elections

Across the political spectrum, people talk about refugees as though they were a water mass, speaking of tidal waves of refugees, rising streams or even a tsunami.

As EU heavyweights France and Germany gear up for national elections this year, local media, pollsters, and mainstream parties are scuffling to understand the ever-growing support for their respective extreme-right parties, the National Front and Alternative for Germany.

Befuddled after a year with Donald Trump beating the political odds to take the Oval Office and the Brits voting to split from the European Union, observers seek an explanation for the recent slant towards the extreme right. A post-factual era has been announced. Over night, it seems, large portions of the global electorate lost the capacity to think rationally about politics.

From a cognitive science perspective, this hurriedly devised explanation is off…

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