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Populism Isn’t Dead

July 9, 2017

Populism isn’t dead.  It’s in the air still.  It’s in the news again.  I just read a very interesting article about populism and about what the other political parties should do about it.  The article states that other parties should not retreat in response to populist politics.  Instead, they should treat them as a fair competitor in the political arena.  Democracies can survive in this new political landscape, just as they have adapted and survived when other changes came along.

In election campaigns, there are some hints that should set alarm bells ringing for most people.  What do you think of a politician who makes promises to poor people, but who is actually a wealthy person?  What about one who claims to understand the working classes, but is a successful business owner?  Don’t people know who their enemies are?

Of course, people often vote for their superiors, for candidates who are better than they are.  It’s like the hens voting for the fox who is guarding the henhouse.  Somehow they can’t believe that someone just like them could be suitable to hold office.  Does that make sense?

In the US, poor people voted against a measure to increase taxes on the rich.  Did they all expect to be rich one day?  That’s impossible, of course, just like everybody can’t win the lottery.  It’s amazing what some people believe.  Sometimes it doesn’t make sense, either.

Fortunately, the majority of people can make sensible choices.  They can be fooled, but they can’t be fooled for long.

 

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