Foolishness since 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Trump - Why You Love Him Or Hate Him
The return of populism I am not all that surprised that Trump was elected. I see it as balancing against Obama. I don't think either was a good thing for the US. Donald Trump was created not by haters, but by an often hateful contempt displayed to half the country. The question for me, is Trump a harbinger of an era of Populism?
Until recently, liberal democracy reigned triumphant. For all its shortcomings, most citizens seemed deeply committed to their form of government. The economy was growing. Radical parties were insignificant. Political scientists thought that democracy in places like France or the United States had long ago been set in stone, and would change little in the years to come. Politically speaking, it seemed, the future would not be much different from the past.
Then the future came – and turned out to be very different indeed. Citizens have long been disillusioned with politics; now, they have grown restless, angry, even disdainful. Party systems have long seemed frozen; now, authoritarian populists are on the rise around the world, from America to Europe, and from Asia to Australia. Voters have long disliked particular parties, politicians or governments; now, many of them have become fed up with liberal democracy itself.
Donald Trump’s election to the White House has been the most striking manifestation of democracy’s crisis. It is difficult to overstate the significance of his rise. But it is hardly an isolated incident. In Russia and Turkey, elected strongmen have succeeded in turning fledgling democracies into electoral dictatorships. In Poland and Hungary, populist leaders are using that same playbook to destroy the free media, to undermine independent institutions and to muzzle the opposition.
More countries may soon follow. In Austria, a far-right candidate nearly won the country’s presidency. In France, a rapidly changing political landscape is providing new openings for both the far left and the far right. In Spain and Greece, established party systems are disintegrating with breathtaking speed. Even in the supposedly stable and tolerant democracies of Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, extremists are celebrating unprecedented successes.
There can no longer be any doubt that we are going through a populist moment. The question is whether this populist moment will turn into a populist age – and cast the very survival of liberal democracy in doubt.