If you crave attention, form an extremist party, preferably on the right. You will be assured of the undivided attention of media and commentators, even if only one in 10 voters support you. The past few years have seen a rise in extremist parties, almost always on the right, in democracies around the world. In the US, Brazil, Italy and the Philippines, among others, they have won elections. But in many other places they are very far from power. Yet media and commentators so fixate on the extremists that they don’t seem to notice anyone else. This fixation may offer extremists the attention they so deeply desire, making the problem much worse. At the weekend, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which wants to leave the EU without a deal, was declared a huge winner in the UK vote in European parliament elections. But it won only 32% of the vote and only 37% of registered voters showed up, which means it was supported by 12%. The real story is surely that 88% of the electorate did not supp...

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