Populism

Deplorables

Featured image Spiked has posted the film below “about the transatlantic populist revolt” with this introduction: Brexit and Trump were two ballot-box revolts that, though different in many ways, shared one clear thing in common: the fury they provoked from the establishment. Politicians and commentators, in the US and UK, immediately denounced voters as uneducated, racist and deplorable. Democracy itself was called into question. We travelled from the Rust Belt to the »

The defeated Greek government, was it socialist, populist, or both?

Featured image Greece will have a new Prime Minister and a new government. Its conservative party has defeated the leftist party headed by current Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. I doubt that anyone is surprised by this result. When we visited Greece last Fall, we scarcely met a Greek (outside of Crete) who didn’t complain bitterly about the economy. From the ancient taxi driver who had to fight his way through brutal Athens »

The Europe of Nations vs. the Europe of Brussels

Featured image John Fonte is probably the leading American critic of what he calls “the Europe of Brussels.” Thus, his is a voice worth listening to in connection with the European parliamentary elections now being held. John discusses what’s at stake in these elections in an article for “American Greatness” called “The Virtues of Patriotism.” The election, says John, represents a “war of ideas between the ‘Europe of Nations’ and the ‘Europe »

The European parliament elections, what’s at stake?

Featured image Voting in the European Parliament elections begins today. It will continue into the weekend. As I understand it, different countries vote on different days. The “populist” parties are expected to make their best-ever showing. I wrote about this development here. In that post, I suggested that if the populists make the gains they are expected to, they will fall far short of making up a majority in Parliament, but will »

Populists poised to make major gains in European elections

Featured image European parliamentary elections will take place on May 26. I’m old enough to remember the early elections in which my wife’s socialist cousin refused to vote on the grounds that the EU had no power and the elections didn’t matter. Ah, the good old days. Nowadays, the EU has vast power, so the elections are not so easily dismissed. However, it’s possible that the results of this election might cause »

CRB: Tucker’s right

Featured image So far this week we have previewed three stellar review/essays from the new (Spring) issue of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here). It is an invaluable magazine for those of us who love penetrating essays on, and reviews of books about, politics, history, literature and culture. We continue this morning with Michael Anton’s review of Tucker Carlson’s book Ship of Fools. Tucker has a book? Well, yes, he does. »

An “antidote to nationalism”?

Featured image This column by Fareed Zakaria is called “Democrats need an antidote to nationalism.” The most interesting thing about it is that Zakaria never describes such an antidote. Instead, he seems to favor nationalism, but one that isn’t “populist” — one that’s “informed and influenced by other values such as liberty and equality.” We’ll get to this prescription in a moment. For now, let’s consider what the alternatives to nationalism are. »

The Hard Lasch the Left Deserves

Featured image Don’t ask me to explain why just now, but lately I reread Christopher Lasch’s last book, The Revolt of the Elites, published in 1995 shortly after his death. I recall disliking the book somewhat back then, in part because I had a bias against Lasch, who not only sympathized with the New Left in the 1960s, but whose 1978 book The Culture of Narcissism was said to be one of »

Some “Yellow Vests” turn on the Jews

Featured image Anti-Semitism is on the rise in France. The French Interior Ministry reports that instances of anti-Semitic violence increased by 74 percent in 2018. Anti-Semitism has been increasing for some time in France. The rise corresponds to the increase of the Muslim population and its growing radicalization. However, recent developments suggest that anti-Semitism is also percolating up from France’s native population. The “Gilet Jaune” (“Yellow Vest”) movement is a mini-rebellion by »

Carlson’s complaint revisited

Featured image Steve Hayward’s post about an upcoming event with Tucker Carlson, which Steve will moderate, refocused my attention on Carlson’s controversial monologue in early January. I wrote about it here . I concluded my post, which praised Carlson for his “insights and plausible, thought-provoking claims” about the problems in rural America, by saying that he avoided the question of “personal responsibility.” I did not elaborate. I want to do so now. »

Carlson’s complaint

Featured image Tucker Carlson rang in the new year with a 15-minute monologue in which he claimed that the leaders of both political parties don’t care about American families. Liberals, libertarians, and social conservatives aren’t misguided in their beliefs about what’s good for America and its families, they are indifferent or, in some cases, hostile. Only those who subscribe to Carlson’s populist narrative, consisting of views he didn’t used to hold, care »

Getting it wrong on democracy, Part Two

Featured image Yesterday, I argued that Dan Balz of the Washington Post missed the point in an article bemoaning the fact that “traditional politics, of the kind practiced in Western democracies for decades after World War II, is on shaky ground nearly everywhere.” The point Balz missed, as he complained about “instability and popular unrest,” is that the politics practiced by Western democracies are under attack mainly because these politics haven’t been »

Getting it wrong on democracy

Featured image Dan Balz of the Washington Post bemoans the “new world order” of “instability and populist unrest.” He writes: The particulars might be different, but the upheavals playing out in Britain and France this week have familiar and common undercurrents, born of the same forces — rebellion against globalization, fear of immigrants and distrust of traditional leaders — that have stoked discontent in Germany and other European countries and that are »

Identity populism

Featured image On Sunday, I wrote about the riots in the heart of Paris. As a source for how the riots disrupted life in some of the areas where they occurred, I used the report of a friend who lives in the center city. That friend has called my attention to comments critical of my reliance on him. The complaint is that my source, because he lives in a well-to-do neighborhood, is »

The Italian Crisis—Update

Featured image I thought I was suitably harsh about the magnitude and meaning of the Italian crisis in my post last night, but then I read the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial about it this morning: The President has now handed the populists more evidence that the elites don’t trust the Italian people. Mr. Mattarella has asked former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli to form a government, but he’s unlikely to win »

The Italian Crisis—and Ours

Featured image The media and the left (but I repeat myself) are in a tizzy that democracy in America is in imminent risk of being snuffed out, because Trump is at least Mussolini, if not Hitler. This is plainly ridiculous. As has been pointed out, Hitler would have gotten The Wall built and repealed Obamacare. Still, the Washington Post trumpets their self-regarding slogan, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” while there is a flood »

Does populism threaten our liberal democracy?

Featured image William Galston of the Brookings Institution argues that liberal democracy “faces clear and present dangers” from a rising populist tide. Unlike members of the anti-Trump resistance, Galston is not in full panic mode. In his view, the various populist movements sweeping the West, including Brexit to Trumpism, are not at this time an existential threat to democracy. However, they are “beginning to question key liberal-democratic principles such as the rule »