Beautiful Walls and Barbed Wires – Populist Division in Discourse and Practice in Europe and USA
The present research explores populism as a form of political communication and practice. In order to investigate the diverse nature of populist phenomena, this paper provides comparative analysis of “the wall discourse” propagated by American president Donald Trump and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. As “a tide of populism is sweeping through the western world” this research is a contribution to the understanding of this growing phenomena by exploring its neglected aspects. Although communication is its essential element, it mostly has been overlooked and ignored. Likewise, there is a lack of a comparative research that provides a better insight into the characteristics arising from specific situations. By analyzing case studies of “a big, beautiful wall” in the USA and a barbed wire to protect Hungary from “Muslim invaders” , this research contrasts transformation of populist discoursive division into practice. It points out the importance of the conditions in which the process takes place claiming that different political circumstances result with the specific populist styles and models. However, components such as binar mindset “us versus them” , “narrative of threat” and “simple answers to complex questions” remain corner stones of the populist framework. Furthermore, it points out that migration is a complex issue to have a simple answer. Not even in the form of barbed-wire or walls, despite how sharp or tall they are.