This piece is denial squared. Having been taken totally by surprise by Brexit and by Trump’s victory, the author now wants us to believe he’s a great prognosticator. Is it a prediction or a comfort to a dying order to say “don’t worry it will be all right, Trump will implode quite soon and bring down all the Republicans and we can go back to those wonderful Obama times”.
The author is missing the big point: populism is on the rise across much of Europe and the US because the Obama/Merkel style of liberalism was such a failure to large sections of the populace. The interests of working people in each country were being systematically sacrificed to elites serving corporate and international bureaucracies. The Obama policy of foolish intervention and doing just enough to lose slowly has led to a huge rise in interminable wars and radical Islamist terrorism. Merkel’s open gate to vast numbers of immigrants has been a disaster. Political correctness has become extreme, but the masses are not entirely willing to submit to the censors and thought police. The antidote to all this is not $15 an hour minimum wage or destroying manufacturing jobs to save the environment or acquiescence to terrorism. It is not clear if Trump or the Republicans will be successful, but what if he puts middle America back to work rebuilding infrastructure and the inner cities, what if he negotiates better trade deals that among other things better protect Silicon Valley intellectual property, what if the Republicans come up with a health plan with more access, lower deductibles, and no taxes, what if illegal immigration is halted, what if war with Russia is avoided, and so on. There are now wonderful and positive visions of the future. It is hard to say whether any will be realized, but we are embarking on a voyage to see if an optimistic and futuristic populism can become reality.