Washington Responds to Trump, Bolsonaro, and Meloni and the New Populist Wave

Donald Trump rode a new populist wave that upended the established order of power grabs in democracies worldwide. When he gets elects as the US president in 2016. In 2020, voters removed Trump after just one term, but his political clout and the more significant movement were diminished.

Although not all of the candidates he supported in the congressional, state, and local elections in November were victorious, Trump declared he would run for president in 2024. In other countries in 2022, populist parties gained power or saw an increase in support from Italy to Sweden, which some people see as a boost for would-be autocrats and a danger to the acceptance of democracy around the world.

1. Exactly what populism is?

A populist can be defined in many different ways. In actuality, the phrase is frequently used as an insult. It primarily involves opposition to liberal democratic values like respect for individual and minority rights and restraint of governmental power. Associate professor of politics at the Australian Catholic University, Benjamin Moffitt, identified the following three traits:

• A declaration made to “the people” in opposition to a reviled elite;

• “bad manners” to shock the establishment and establish the politician’s legitimacy

•  a crisis to support a rebellion call creating or exploiting

2. From where does populism originate?

It is generally accepted that the People’s Party incited irate peasants and rural voters against the brutal capitalism of the Golden Age at the end of the 19th century when modern populism was thought to have first emerged in the United States. Fascism is distinct from populism because it also requires a cult of violence and a potent ideology based on nationalism and racial superiority. However, fascist leaders in Europe also used populist tools. Since the 1930s, populist movements swept through Latin America; in the 1990s, they also appeared in some areas of Asia.

The financial crisis of 2008 is a recurring theme. Confidence in the ability of incumbent leaders to deal with changes in the global economy. Technological shifts and upward mobility in China erodes by rising inequality and perceptions of an unjust response to the market crash, particularly the bailouts of Wall Street companies. That’s still the case, even with possible global recessions in 2023. It excludes populism from being a purely economic phenomenon. Populists are more likely to address racial and ethnic issues, including proxies like immigration. Trump accomplished this by promising to erect a wall along the US-Mexico border.

4. Is populism on the right or left?

Populism is not inherently left or right, unlike socialism, fascism, liberalism, and just about every other “-ism.” Jair Bolsonaro is a conservative former military officer who ran as Brazil’s populist president in 2022 but lost. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the president of Mexico, describes himself as a radical socialist. The populist Five Star Movement, a left-wing party, won the Italian election in 2018. In October, The leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy party, Giorgia Meloni, appoints the prime minister.

5. Can populism and democracy coexist?

Populism refers to a pathology or malfunction of democracy by some political scientists. According to populists, they are saving democracies from elite takeover, according to Cas Mudde, professor at Georgia University in the US. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Populists are pushing back traditional forms of democracy with a winner-oriented interpretation that rejects pluralism and directly asserts the people’s will against unrepresentative elites. At the same time, the other side of the debate favors both positions. It explains why populists, once in power, frequently challenge democratic checks and balances, particularly the judiciary and the media.

6. How do you identify a populist?

Watching what politicians are criticizing is one way. For instance, during his tenure as president. Trump frequently referred to As “The media called “the enemy of the American people.” He has repeatedly disparaged judges and courts that rendered decisions opposing his policies. The European Union charged the leaders of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party and Hungary’s Viktor Orban with undermining the independence of their respective national judicial systems. The freedom of Turkey’s judiciary, central bank, and media has come under fire from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Trump’s denial of his election loss and apparent attempt to reverse it by rallying a crowd of supporters to march to Congress on January 6, 2021, was perhaps the pinnacle of a populist leader.

Most likely not. First-time voters in the national elections in September, the ultra-nationalist Sweden Democrats came out on top. The victory of Meloni came next. After Trump’s success and the decision by the UK to leave the EU in 2016, many extremist parties anticipated a domino effect, but it did not fully occur. With an appeal to the political center, Emmanuel Macron twice defeated far-right populist Marine Le Pen for the presidency in France. Nevertheless, in the first round of the 2022 French elections, roughly 44% of voters supported a populist party on the left or the right. Even though some Republicans wanted to find a different standard-bearer, Trump was still the most favored candidate when he declared his quest for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.


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