Freedom and responsibility can turn back the tide of populism


“[P]opulists invariably exploit cultural flashpoints to accumulate political power. Because their ideological compass is set by popularity rather than conviction, they have a remarkable ability to cling to power – and to transform the system to assure their grip never weakens.” Acton Institute


The Fantasy of the Non-Politician President

Political conservatives in the US may be more deeply divided than at any point in my lifetime. Ugly infighting over who should be the nominee is nothing new. The desire to overturn the status quo by means of a non-conformist, anti-establishment candidate isn’t all that new either.

What seems to be new is a combination of factors:

  1. Much higher levels of disappointment and frustration with “the establishment”
  2. Much lower awareness of the weaknesses of populist political thought
  3. A famously contrarian (to put it nicely) TV celebrity working the populist angle
  4. High polling numbers for a strikingly long period of time, fueling the feeling of inevitability

It’s probably obvious who I’m talking about, even without looking at the photo.