The surge of right-wing populism
The New York Times
Throughout the world, right-wing populism is ascendant, while liberalism is in retreat, said Ross Douthat. In the recent EU elections, far-right parties surged and captured an unprecedented number of seats. In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, an evangelical Christian who opposes liberal policies to combat climate change, won an upset victory. In India, Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi was re-elected by an overwhelming margin. These results should chasten American liberals, who have convinced themselves that President Trump’s election was an aberration, and that “their own coalition is the real American majority.” In reality, polling shows that only 18 percent of Americans agree across the board with Democratic positions on abortion, gun control, taxes, immigration, and other hot-button issues. The progressive belief “in a hidden left-of-center mandate” is “a fond delusion.” Yet liberal Democrats insist that their candidates adopt an “inflexible,” far-left agenda on both cultural and economic issues. Democrats might get away with this in 2020, because Trump lacks “the political cunning” of a true demagogue and needlessly alienates “so many persuadable voters.” But in the longer run, Democrats would be foolish to dismiss the angry populism that spawned Trump and so many leaders like him.