Some people would disagree with me on this, but I have a theory that one of the reasons for fascism's rise is the left's inability to effectively differentiate itself from dominant liberal orthodoxy. We have this problem in Canada as well.
Liberals - centrist proponents of mixed economy solutions - are highly resistant to grievance politics and any modes of expression that privilege emotions like frustration and anger about existing social problems. They are often obsessed with being logical, professional, pleasant and generally proper with words. Always careful to not offend, choose their language carefully, play by the rules.
The problem for liberals is that many people hate their buttoned-down style because liberals strike many of them as unsympathetic, often indifferent and unwilling to share in their emotional frustration. Liberal attitudes do not mirror their anger.
Leftists have the same problem. Many voters - pick any country for this - can't even tell the difference between liberal and leftist alternatives to right wing politicians. In spite of starkly different platforms and philosophies, leftism and liberalism remain synonymous in the minds of most people.
Conservatives - as well as extreme right wing nationalists and fascists - are great at using public anger to their advantage. Their proposed solutions will be absurd, but make superficial sense to many ordinary people. It is easy to blame you country's problems on immigrants and people of color and is a convenient outlet.
But does the liberal offer as an outlet for the voter's anger? Unfortunately no. Liberals continue to insist that negative emotions are bad, that smiles are better, that logic wins arguments, that fascists are worth listening to and that their arguments can be defeated by a careful attention to the facts.
If liberals continue to think this way, we will need a leftist alternative that rejects the politics of pleasantry and civility. One of the reasons Bernie Sanders won me over is due to the way he embraces and directs the emotions of disenfranchised voters. He is passionate and focused, and is often clear about the targets of his ire which, instead of the immigrants, are the capitalists and the super rich. He does not discourage the politics of grievance, but channels it in appropriate directions. Corbyn is also good at this, having produced brilliantly made television ads that do an excellent job of acknowledging the frustration of voters.
Liberals everywhere are losing because they don't know how to master the discursive art of politicized anger. I want to see more anger in politics, but targeted intelligently against the actual foes of cultural progress.