Populism: Your Demise Can’t Come Soon Enough
The rise of populism — on this continent and beyond — has drawn condemnation from across the political spectrum. But as former prime minister Stephen J. Harper argues in this exclusive excerpt from his new book, Right Here, Right Now: Politics and Leadership in the Age of Disruption, the so-called “deplorables” who have voted establishment figures out of office deserve a careful hearing. Their concerns point to deep problems with globalization — and they aren’t going away.
Unfortunately, he was right. For a very short time.
What are we left with? Trump. Johnson. Musk. Other megalomaniacs.
Thankfully, after many years of the world being turned on its head, he’s been proven to be dead wrong about the importance and rise of populism.
It was like saying the price of pumpkins would continue to increase long after the end of November.
By Nov 1, all you’re left with is compost material (no offense to those who use pumpkins for anything other than Jack O’Lanterns).
What’s unfortunate is that Stephen Harper seemed to believe that populists – those negatively affected by globalization – were being abused by governments. He seemed to miss the point entirely that globalization is about maintaining the stature of the elite forces in the world, something he and right-wing libertarian governments like enjoy supporting and cavorting as opposed to limiting the controls they exert on the people of the planet.
In the National Post special editorial, Harper writes:
Conservatives won the Cold War. Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and their generation stood against communism abroad and socialism at home. And they were largely successful. Our values — free societies, free markets, free trade, free movement — have spread around the world. The problem is this: globalization has been very successful for many of the world’s people, but not so much for many of our own. A billion people worldwide — mostly in the emerging economies of Asia — have moved out of poverty. Yet, in many Western countries, the incomes of working people have stagnated or even declined over the past quarter-century. This is especially true in the United States. Trump clearly understood this.
Free markets good.
But free movement bad (the racism implied by the white-pride slogan of ‘Make America Great Again’ being the most obvious reason why).
Also, Conservatives didn’t ‘win’ the Cold War. They put off the ugly reality that we’re facing now: well-funded megalomaniacs that are out to destroy peace-loving countries because we never had the nerve to stop doing business with them.
We’re all paying for this rapid expansion of military expenditures in the 1980s and Stephen Harper was keen to keep that going during his time in office.
Trump bullied everyone to pay more for NATO while shirking bills with the United Nations.
Ideology and aggregation of wealth into the hands of the few are the true reasons we are where we are now and why ‘populists’ are angry with the wrong targets.
We’re seeing the fallout today.
Trump’s madness in the US has all but destroyed the credibility of the Supreme Court of the United States, pushing the US into a second Civil War. Today, it’s the elimination of a woman’s right to choose. Tomorrow, it’ll be an end to gay rights and same-sex marriages and possibly even the validity of equality for people of colour and different races in America.
We are at the beginning of the end because of populists.
Boris Johnson, another populist, has completely fallen apart like a castle in the sand facing waves of truth and reality.
I heard an interview today where someone asked what the solution is.
Easy answer: stop electing idiots and blowhards.
Starting sourcing out leaders that have experience and knowledge (and stop ridiculing them because they actually possess these admirable traits).
Here’s my point: ‘populism’ as it’s been used by narcissists in the past 40 years and beyond only acts as a deflection from reality.
Nominate people that are pro-planet, pro-people and pro-gressive.
Support people that want to repair what we’ve done to our planet and people around us.
Stop electing CONS.
We’re giving companies and elites the permission to rob from average folks in the name of free markets and free trade and we’re blaming ghosts and unicorns (and other nationalities, of course) for the crimes.
The act of blaming others for our own mistakes – trusting megalomaniacs to make the right decision for all of us – is a most vile way to lead the planet.
With the crushing blows being delivered to populism every day, average citizens that want to do the right thing can finally stand up and be counted without worrying about being harrassed or shamed about their beliefs.
It’s time we stopped thinking about ourselves and took back the planet and gave it a future.
I propose a new jingoistic term to describe our movement: planetism.