Populism Is Down but Far From Out in the West

After a Rocky 2018, Populism Is Down but Far From Out in the West
By Max Fisher
The New York Times

President Trump’s push for a border wall hints at a problem that populist leaders are facing across the Western world.

After a year of setbacks, populist leaders and parties are trying to rejuvenate their fortunes by revitalizing the sense of crisis on which they thrive. But as with Mr. Trump’s demand for a border wall — which has brought a two-week government shutdown — this may say more about populism’s weakness than its strength….

Postwar liberal democracy is simply too new of a system, scholars of democracy say, to know whether it can survive these challenges. We may look back at 2016 as a populist blip associated with one-off crises, or as the beginning of a process of chipping away at liberal democracy from within.

“For anyone who was hoping for a break in the hectic politics of the past years,” Mr. Mudde wrote in his assessment of populism’s prospects, “2019 won’t be it.”

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