Donald Trump’s meteoric rise to become the most powerful man in the world, has set an example for other world leaders. Marine Le Pen, for example, the favorite to win France’s election next month, is imitating Donald Trump to a tee. In terms of political ideology, they are strikingly similar. For starters, they both rely on rhetorical dishonesty. In addition, both of them would not be where they are today, had they not fooled the less affluent demographic. Their biggest similarity however, concerns their opinion on the EU. Both of these leaders advocate the dissolution of the EU.

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The world was certainly confused when Trump encouraged Brexit. Trump would be the first US president to harbor such sentiments. Since the EU was created, every president has supported the EU vehemently.

Taken from Benefits of European Union, this is why the EU has done great things for Europe as well as the world.

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European harmony – Europe has managed to heal the divisions which were so painfully exposed in the two World Wars in the Twentieth Century. The EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 for helping to promote peace and international co-operation. Many Eastern European countries are keen to join the EU because they feel it will help promote economic and political stability.Free trade and removal of non-tariff barriers have helped reduce costs and prices for consumers.

According to one study – over ten years (1993-2003), the Single Market has boosted the EU’s GDP by €877 billion [£588 billion].

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I don’t need to explain why Putin would prefer Russia’s neighbor to be a string of tiny countries, as opposed to a massive force. Putin has always been against the EU. Countries like Georgia and the Ukraine are a few small Baltic countries decimated by Russia’s tremendous military. With the EU shattered, Putin would have his pick of any European country. After that, who knows?

Trump’s campaign slogan was ‘America first’. In the same vein, Trump could defend his push against EU by claiming the European countries should break apart. As opposed to unifying, countries should think of themselves first. For example, Spain first, France first, Scotland first etc.

Some can call this mind thought ‘patriotism’, while others call it populism. Populism is sweeping across the world. Putin is not a populist, however populism contributes to his mission to make the governments of other major countries weaker.

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Senator Mark Warner of Virginia said, during last week’s Senate hearing on Russia’s involvement in our election, “Russia’s goal, Vladimir Putin’s goal, is a weaker United States.”

“There is this myth that Putin is a populist,” says Greg Yudin, Professor of Political Philosophy at Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. “Populist leaders adore connecting with people and can spend hours talking to them. . . . Putin’s regime is the opposite: he famously avoids public politics and refuses to take part in the debates.”

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Populists target the power of elite establishments. In Russia, Putin is the establishment. This February, prominent Russian think tank Minchenko Consulting hosted a two-day seminar for politicians and spin doctors, titled “Elections, Victory and Big Data: Win Like Trump and Putin.” One of the topics was “How to Neutralize the Populist Wave: Strategies of Protection for the ‘Ruling Party.’” This is an indicator that current Russian elites are not applauding the spread of populism. Rather, they are studying it, in case it creeps into Mother Russia. NationalInterest article