Thursday, January 12, 2017

Populism Isn't a Threat to Democracy, But a Vibrant Manifestation of It

Following-up, "Fascism vs. Right-Wing Populism."

I don't believe so-called "right-wing populism" is a threat to democracy. What it is is a threat to the morally bankrupt, far-left globalist agenda, and radical progressives across the institutional spectrum, from Hollywood-types, the leftist media, far-left academe, and the radical left's NGO network, working hand-in-hand to delegitimize the grassroots popular surge against the political class, seen in Brexit to Trump and beyond.

The latest case in point is Kenneth Roth, and his piece up at Foreign Policy, "Dark Days: The Global Rise of Populism is a Dangerous Threat to Democracy and Human Rights":

The global rise of populists poses a dangerous threat to human rights — which exist to protect people from governments. Yet today, a new generation of populists is reversing that role. Claiming to speak for “the people,” they treat rights as an impediment to their conception of the majority will, a needless obstacle to defending the nation from perceived threats and evils. Instead of accepting that rights protect everyone, they encourage people to adopt the dangerous belief that they will never need their rights against an overreaching government claiming to act in their name.

The appeal of the populists has grown with mounting public discontent over the status quo. In the West, many people feel left behind by technological change, the global economy, and growing inequality. Terrorism sows apprehension and fear. Some are uneasy with societies that have become more ethnically, religiously, and racially diverse. There is an increasing sense that governments and the elite ignore public concerns.

In this cauldron of discontent, a certain breed of politician is flourishing by portraying rights as protecting only the terrorist suspect or the asylum-seeker at the expense of the safety, economic welfare, and cultural preferences of the presumed majority. They scapegoat refugees, immigrant communities, and minorities. Truth is a frequent casualty. Nativism, xenophobia, racism, Islamophobia, and misogyny are on the rise.

But if these voices of intolerance prevail, the world risks entering a dark era. We should never underestimate the tendency of demagogues who sacrifice the rights of others in our name today to jettison our rights tomorrow when their real priority — retaining power — is in jeopardy.
And you know what's coming: When leftists start going off on nativism, xenophobia, racism, Islamophobia, misogyny and blah, blah, the dreaded "F" word is just around the corner.

See, more from Roth:
We see a similar scapegoating of asylum-seekers, immigrant communities, and Muslims in Europe. Leading the charge have been Marine Le Pen in France and Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, but there are echoes of these arguments of intolerance in the Brexit campaign, the rhetoric of Viktor Orban in Hungary and Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Poland, and far-right parties from Germany to Greece. Throughout the European continent, officials and politicians hark back to distant, even fanciful, times of perceived national ethnic purity, despite established immigrant communities whose integration as productive members of society is undermined by this hostility.

We forget at our peril the demagogues of yesteryear — the fascists, communists, and their ilk who claimed privileged insight into the majority’s interest but ended up crushing the individual. When populists treat rights as an obstacle to their vision of the majority will, it is only a matter of time before they turn on those who disagree with their agenda. Such claims of unfettered majoritarianism, and the attacks on the checks and balances that constrain governmental power, are perhaps the greatest danger today to the future of democracy in the West. They threaten to reverse the accomplishments of the modern human rights movement...
Voices like Roth's are the voices you need to ignore.

Democracy's not under threat. There is no wave of "xenophobia" and "racism." And the so-called "nativist" tide is a righteous populist revolt against the out-of-touch elites in both the U.S. and Europe, who've brought on an unprecedented crisis of jihad terror and political correctness. It's these scourges, and the neo-communist economic policies that go with them --- that threaten world order and the survival of democracy.

Spread the word. Keep fighting for freedom. Make America Great Again!