Tag: Populism

Don’t Ask Government for Love, Tucker

 

Tucker Carlson is completely right about one thing – the decline of marriage is a great challenge of our times. I’ve written a whole book about it. So, you’d think I would rejoice that Carlson’s rant-heard-round-the-right focused on it. Sorry, no. I’ve rarely seen such a cynical and misleading use of television.

Everything that is going wrong with this country, Carlson instructed his viewers, is the consequence of “uncaring” politicians. They don’t care about your 19-year-old son who’s high on pot. Why? “It’s not an accident.” It’s because “our leaders understood that they could get rich from marijuana.” Never mind that 62 percent of voters say they want to decriminalize marijuana.

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Populism, Economic Nostalgia, and ‘Left Behind’ America

 

Economic nostalgia is a notable attribute of America’s populists on the left and right. If not for the mistakes of elite policymakers, the economic golden age of postwar America might never have ended. But it’s not just economic nostalgia that unites populists across the political spectrum. It is also the idea that reality puts no constraints on policymakers’ actions, or at least the effectiveness of those actions. Take the issue of what to do about America’s “left behind” regions. It’s the subject two outstanding pieces, one in The New York Times by Eduardo Porter, the other in The Wall Street Journal by Christopher Mims. Both are definitely worth a read.

In “The Hard Truths of Trying to ‘Save’ the Rural Economy,” Porter notes the “inescapable reality of agglomeration.” Innovative companies, the sort that generate high-paying jobs, want to locate near other innovative companies so they can tap deep pools of high-skilled worker talent. And thus you have Amazon building new campuses in New York City and Washington DC, rather than Columbus, OH. Sure, policy wonks have lots of ideas to help distressed communities take part in the evolving American economy — tech education initiatives, broadband investment — but there are no guarantees. As Brookings scholar William Galston is quoted, “I don’t know if these ideas are going to work. But it is worth making the effort.”

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The guardrails of American democracy

 

I spent part of last week watching and reading accounts of the marches in Charlottesville. The media scrum was predictably the same at this year’s event as it was last year. There were roughly a couple dozen white nationalist marchers on display. Far lower than last year. Whereas there was a dramatic uptick was the […]

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This week on Banter, Dr. William Galston joins the show to discuss his new book Anti-Pluralism: The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy. Dr. Galston serves as the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in the Governance Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. He is a former policy adviser to President Bill Clinton. The book describes populist movements in the United States and Europe and the economic, cultural, and societal factors that led us to this moment. Dr. Galston concludes the book with several policy recommendations that might stem the populist tide and strengthen liberal democracy.

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This week on Banter, Dr. Yascha Mounk joined the show to discuss his new book, “The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It.” In his book, Mounk explains the rise of populism and its threats to liberal democracy, but also provides some practical solutions to turning that tide. Dr. Mounk is a lecturer on government at Harvard University, a senior fellow in the Political Reform program at New America, and executive director at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. His research focuses on political theory and comparative politics. He participated in a book event at AEI with AEI’s Jonah Goldberg, Norm Ornstein, and Stan Veuger. You can watch the full event video at the link below.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are pleasantly stunned to hear Saudi Arabia’s crown prince publicly state that Israel has a right to live in peace on its own land and wonder if things are truly changing in the Middle East or whether this is a temporary thaw in order to confront Iran. In the wake of the very public feud between Fox News host Laura Ingraham and gun control activist David Hogg, they also discuss how the rise of populism leads to political debates becoming a referendum on the people in the debate rather than the ideas involved in the debate. And they wonder why President Trump is spending so much time blasting Amazon and the rate it pays to mail packages, suspecting it might have something to do with another business venture headed by Jeff Bezos.

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Our Conversation with Victor Davis Hanson

 

Professor Victor Davis Hanson discussed his prescient contribution to Vox Populi: The Perils and Promises of Populism with our own Ben Weingarten. You can listen to their interview right here on Ricochet. What follows is a full transcript of their discussion, slightly modified for clarity.

Ben Weingarten: The term “populism” has been thrown around repeatedly throughout history and it’s often used pejoratively to put down one’s political opponents. How do you define it?

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In Defense of “Half-Baked Nationalism”

 

To say that I’m not a big fan of Sen. John McCain (R-NYTimes Editorial Board) would be an under-statement.

I’m a huge fan of his military service, but as a senator he has only two speeds: Irrelevant and Obnoxious. When he’s not voting like a pretty traditional Republican and going along with the party, he’s out declaring how much better he is than the party he regularly carries water for.

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Who Fills the Vacuum in the Illinois GOP “Civil War”, and Why?

 

There’s a civil war going on in the Illinois Republican Party which can only accrue to the benefit of the Democrats. From my blog: More

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The Great Sort and the Rise of Populism

 

Over the course of a generation, American politics has increasingly been shaped by a series of forces which are only now beginning to be understood. This phenomenon has created effects as divergent and seemingly disconnected from each other as the inflation of real estate prices in California’s Silicon Valley to the election of Donald Trump and the rise of populism. Trying to understand the underlying forces which animate these disparate occurrences requires traveling back in time to track both their origins and how they’ve progressed over time.

Let’s start in 1976 with Jimmy Carter winning the Presidential election with 50.1% of the popular vote. He does so with just 26.8% of counties voting for him with a margin in excess of 20%. After Carter’s inauguration in 1977, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs found the Apple Computer Corporation in April. Later that year, Paul Allen and Bill Gates found Microsoft. The median price of a home in the US is $33,000. The median price of a home in Cupertino, CA — where Apple will ultimately place its headquarters — is slightly higher, as California Real Estate tends to be.

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As the nation prepares for its Fourth of July celebration, the question arises of where the Trump presidency fits in the mosaic of American leadership. David M. Kennedy, a Stanford University historian and Pulitzer Prize winner, discusses the current state of the Republic and whether Donald Trump is the second coming of Andrew Jackson, as Trump would have us believe, or similar to a more recent Oval Office occupant.

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Hoover senior fellow Russell Berman, a specialist in the study of German literary and cultural politics, takes us through the aftershocks of the French presidential election. Is German chancellor Angela Merkel breathing a sigh of relief or, despite the nationalist setback in France, does her future and that of the European Union remain in doubt?

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Vin Diesel Arguing in Clinton v. Trump

 

I’ve been comparing Vin Diesel to Stallone over at The Federalist. That’s my beat, manliness and American culture. But I have more things to say about Vin Diesel than fit into that piece. He is successful, neglected, and misunderstood all at once. And he has made the relationship between the promise of success in America and the anguish of manliness a big subject in movies. At the same time, this has become a subject in politics, too, so let’s look at its clearest, most vulgar statement on the matter. Having already written about his major franchise, the Fast and Furious, I want to talk about his minor franchise, Triple X, which had another success earlier this year.

The American audience ignored it, because it’s so obviously a B picture. The worldwide audience liked it much better for much the same reason–the film made $300 million, half in China. The story shows something lots of people want to see: An anti-liberal, anti-globalization ideology. Vin Diesel starts by presenting himself as the champion of third-world kids who love soccer–the game of globalized democracy. He ends up the successful, defiant enemy of the government-tech oligarchy. The antagonist you could call the establishment–evil, treacherous, but undeniably powerful and sophisticated people that secretly run American foreign policy. Vin Diesel’s against the evils of espionage, war, and the surveillance state. How could you not admire him, nay, even love!

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Why Brent Berarducci Cancelled The Wall Street Journal

 

Our favorite Navy Fighter Pilot, @BrentB67 (let’s get him back on Rico!) joins this week’s Whiskey Politics podcast to discuss the current economy. Brent Berarducci of BlackLion Capital Management shares his unique and timely perspective as we talk about the trend towards populism, the U.S. debt, trade protectionism, and just what the heck is happening in Saudi […]

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How Important Is the Nation-State?

 

Today I’ve been reading over the first issue of American Affairs, a new intellectual journal that appears to have grown out of the (largely Claremont-based) American Greatness movement. American Affairs seems to understand itself as a possible seed-ground for exploring an intellectual foundation to Trumpism.

I should admit forthrightly that I look on this project as a skeptic, and as one who considers that the founders of this project have taken a large (not to say foolhardy) burden on themselves. I’m not, in general, the sort of person who seeks to shut down ambitious intellectual projects. But to my mind, the trouble with American Greatness was always the extent to which it understood itself in rejectionist terms. The spirit of the thing seemed not to be, “The right could use some fresh ideas around now, so let’s explore,” so much as, “The whole conservative movement is intellectually and (probably) morally bankrupt, so we’re starting over. Sign onto our program or be rendered irrelevant.”

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Host Teri Christoph went to CPAC seeking an answer to the question: What the heck’s going on with the conservative movement in the age of Trump? Her guests, Guy Benson and Matt Vespa from Townhall.com, attempt to find that answer.

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