Thursday, June 13, 2019

Populism AND Democracy?

For several days my local Public Radio station has been broadcasting a series on The Daily – New York Times driven radio – about populism in Europe.

The series commenced at a gilets jaunes roundabout somewhere in Normandy.

Then it went to Italy.

Then to Poland.

I think it is going last to Germany.

There have been myriad interviews.

They all sounded as if they were interviews of trump voters.

Which has been really unnerving.

For me.

Today, after an interview and discussion of what democracy means with some Polish government factotum, the Public Radio correspondent was willing to proffer a summary statement, trip to date.

It went something like this.

“I have had a revelation; they don’t have any problem with democracy; they are all in favor of democracy, they are in favor of having elections in which they can vote for their choice of populist strongmen; their problem is with liberalism; they feel that, for example, allowing gay people to live normal lives as normal citizens, rather than criminalizing them, persecuting them and imprisoning them is an unacceptable intrusion on their inalienable rights; that laws against hate, mayhem and minority marginalization are un-democratic; and that xenophobia is a cardinal principal; and that any other so called liberal issue, such as freedom of the press, is to be viewed with the same skeptical outlook”.

My soul retracted into itself as I heard these words.

If that is Europe, no wonder we Americans are so screwed.

So there really is no hope.