In less than a year there will be presidential elections in the US. UU. and what is going to happen with the country is already being debated in case populist Donald Trump is no longer in power. This is precisely the widespread problem of populists: as they are unable to offer a substantial program, the frustration about the political system and democracy is greater than before, once the populists have disappeared from the scene.
In view of the current situation in the United States, this perspective is, however, incorrect: Donald Trump is not the populist that many believe they see, but rather Barack Obama was the populist who did not fulfill what was promised. And Donald Trump is the reaction to the populist who used to rule the White House. What you are reading may sound as shocking to many as it is to me too, the author of this opinion note: that is, there are "good" populists. Those who do not set limits, but evoke the collective spirit. One thing unites the "bad" populists: the fact of simplifying reality to the point where it is no longer possible to make an impartial policy.
What did Obama really want to do?RELATED
"Yes, we can" was his mantra during the 2008 election campaign: the pious and well-intentioned desire to positively transform the United States after the leaden years of the Bush administration. But it was never clear what he was supposed to do specifically. The country had to undergo a renovation, but how? Then came the financial crisis and the opportunity to build something new on the rubble of Lehman Brothers. But Barack Obama only made use of learned policies: he saved the banks, but not hundreds of thousands of homeless owners. None of those responsible for the disaster ended up in jail. The book and the movie "The Big Short" tell this story in detail.
Many Americans perceived the above as totally unfair. And if someone, like many of them, had to move to a small room in the basement of their in-laws or siblings to not end up on the street, then Trump's speech about the nation as a family that aims to "reign decency" is becomes attractive And that is the message of Donald Trump: "Amerca first" means above all "honesty for us Americans." A cosmopolitan agenda can only work if decency also prevails at the local level.
Honesty for America! The figures are favorable.
For the future of democracy in the US UU. It is important to properly assess the recent past: Donald Trump is not a work accident, but a politician who his constituents believe can restore honesty to the country. At the moment, they are favorable for Trump: employment increases, the economy is booming. And also in international relations, especially in China, his followers see that he returns decency to the country.
Cosmopolitan liberals, among which I include myself, must first digest all this.
Alexander Görlach is Professor Emeritus of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and a researcher at the University of Cambridge at the Institute of Religion and International Studies. The linguist and postdoctoral theologian was also a visiting and visiting fellow at Harvard University in 2014-2017 and a visiting professor at the National University of Taiwan and the University of the City of Hong Kong from 2017 to 2018.
(rmr / jov)
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