June 17, 2024
The Longer Elites Ignore Populist Outcries, the More They’ll Be Surprised
Elites ignore at their own risk voters who want political accountability and more control over national borders.
Elites ignore at their own risk voters who want political accountability and more control over national borders.

Los Angeles — It’s been three years since the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump sent shock waves throughout the world.

Those events in Britain and the U.S. symbolized a broader revolt against elites by frustrated voters in other countries. The populist revolt was a reaction to elites’ reckless and anti-democratic push for ever greater integration. Many critics have tried to paint these uprisings in scary terms by branding them as rooted in racism or xenophobia. I myself part company with the more radical populist movements on some issues — especially those that want to shut down legal as well as illegal immigration.

But it’s unarguable that many populist concerns are rooted in the understandable desire — of people who feel neglected, even held in contempt, by distant, self-interested liberal elites — to have a voice. That is especially true in Europe, where a suffocating European Union bureaucracy threatens both to hold back economic innovation and to trample on many of the continent’s traditions.

Even a neoconservative such as the late Charles Krauthammer recognized the need to rein in a European Union that was trying to absorb or co-opt the key functions of the nation-state. “The task today is to address the sources of Europe’s economic stagnation and social alienation rather than blindly pursue the very drive that led to this precarious moment, he wrote in 2017. “If the populist threat turns out to have frightened the existing powers out of their arrogant complacency, it should be deemed a success.”

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See Also:

(1) British PM Johnson to EU: ‘We’re Packing our Bags and Walking Out’ in 25 Days

(2) Another triumph of political correctness

(3) Multiple injuries as stolen truck ‘rams into traffic’ in German state of Hesse

(4) Boris Johnson talks with EU ‘are dead’ after explosive Merkel phone call

(5) Boris Johnson to punish ‘hostile’ EU nations over Brexit delay, exposed No10 messages say

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