download (1)

Donald Trump and I have something in common. Both of us are still trying to make sense of the 2016 election year particularly its result.

Last year, the term populist was frequently used to describe Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. While I was familiar with William Jennings Bryan and the “Cross of Gold,” I didn’t have a firm definition of populism and could not place it on the traditional Republican-Democrat, liberal-conservative spectra.

I recommend John Judis’s ,The Populist Explosion, if you were also uncertain. This book, shiny yellow color reproduced above, defines and describes recent populist movements in the United States and Europe as a counterpoint to free market rule.  According to Judis, populism is a way of thinking that is neither Republican nor Democrat neither liberal or conservative. It is more symbolic, a clash of  David as the people versus a Goliath.

His compare and contrast  discussion of European politics  was an intellectual plus because of the background on the European Union so I have a better idea why Great Britain might Brexit.  And the book helped me in my question about what the heck happened last year though WARNING in a troubling way. Judis states that “they often function as warning signs of a political crisis,” that “the prevailing political ideology isn’t working and needs repair” and “the standard worldview is breaking down.” Judis, however, did not anticipate a Trump victory.  Europe isn’t a good parallel for us because we don’t have a multi-party governing system.

 

 

Advertisements