Do Americans recognize the significance of the tidal wave of Populist Nationalism that is sweeping over Europe and especially in old eastern block countries like Hungary and Poland?
This exact sentiment is what’s fueling the Donald Trump “economic express” train here in the U.S. I have been in the economics/monetary research business since 1971 and do not recall in my decades of observation such a profound swing in America’s jobs market. Progressive/Liberal policies, as practiced by the likes of Obama, the Clinton cabal, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, nearly ran America’s ship of state to ground. With Donald Trump’s pro jobs tax cutting and anti-stifling-regulation policies taking hold with a vengeance, the American blue collar worker is back in the driver’s seat looking at a plethora of good paying job vacancies across our country.
Professor Paul Gottfried of Elizabethtown College, and author of Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents, writes at The American Conservative:
In a TAC commentary last month, Robert Merry responded to a lament by Brookings Institution fellow William Galston in The New Republic about an “anti-democratic populist” wave sweeping across Europe. In light of the ascent of a Euroskeptic coalition in Italy and the recent impressive electoral win by conservative nationalist Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz Party in Hungary, Galston believes that democracy has suffered a fateful setback:
The global democratic tide which began in 1974 with the end of Portugal’s authoritarian regime crested in 2006, making way for anti-democratic populists. Many Western leaders have yet to come to terms with this new reality, hoping that anti-immigrant sentiment is just a passing phenomenon.
Merry addresses these complaints by pointing out that it’s not democracy but elites that have failed. There is after all no reason to assess the success of democratic government by how many Syrian migrants European countries take in or keep out. Democracy is about caring for one’s citizens, not turning over one’s cities to a mass of humanity from the Middle East. Nor is there anything intrinsically undemocratic about citizens in Hungary or Italy voting for officials who reflect their views on immigration. Why is it undemocratic to disagree with Galston, the Brookings Institution, or The New Republic? Are we supposed to be grading countries for democratic good conduct by how often their wishes coincide with the preferences of globalist elites?
With due respect to Galston, Orbán could not have expressed populist sentiments any better. The Hungarian premier won a national election overwhelmingly this spring with a higher proportion of eligible voters than existed in John Jay’s America. Orbán’s democratic mandate is far more evident than that of the EU bureaucracy that he and his voters detest.
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