Donald Trump has been constantly attacked for being a “populist”, for appealing to the losers of globalization and for painting an apocalyptic picture of contemporary America which does not correspond to reality; only to show once more, if that was required, how Trump “lies”. The words below are taken from the Presidential inaugural address of one of his illustrious predecessors.
“Most people are working harder for less; when others cannot work at all; when the cost of health care devastates families and threatens to bankrupt our enterprises, great and small; when the fear of crime robs law-abiding citizens of their freedom; and when millions of poor children cannot even imagine the lives we are calling them to lead, we have not made change our friend”.
You may argue that Presidential speeches are a very special literary genre with very specific rules and cliches, but in that paragraph Bill Clinton sounded a lot like Donald Trump. Did somebody ever call Bill Clinton a populist? I don’t recall. Clinton, like Trump, was addressing very real problems. In 2017 America, however, these problems do not seem to matter anymore to the intellectual elite, who so decisively turned against the “fascist” Trump.
Trump has been accused of feeding the populist flame of hatred with his anti-establishment talk. According the best and brightest in that beautiful country that the United States is, this anti-Washington rhetoric is just another sign of Trump’s dangerous imaginary world of conspiracy theories.
“To renew America, we must revitalize our democracy. This beautiful Capital, like every capital since the dawn of civilization, is often a place of intrigue and calculation. Powerful people maneuver for position and worry endlessly about who is in and who is out, who is up and who is down, forgetting those people whose toil and sweat sends us here and pays our way. Americans deserve better. And in this city today there are people who want to do better. And so I say to all of you here: Let us resolve to reform our politics so that power and privilege no longer shout down the voice of the people. Let us put aside personal advantage so that we can feel the pain and see the promise of America”.
That was Bill Clinton again. The accusations against the Washington establishment are hardly something new. New is the appearance of so many apologists of the system on the left. To any casual observer of social and political developments over the last 40 years, the phenonomen of income inequality is well known. Before Trump, income inequality and the corcern about the plight of the working class were traditional Democratic causes. Now being a Democrat has stopped meaning being left wing, it means just being a liberal, and only in social matters. Who cares about the economy, stupid?!