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A Grassroots Antidote to Populism

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25.06.2019

PARIS – The political parties that once dominated Western democracies have been shaken to the core. Many have suffered electoral debacles, not least in France, Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. Others have changed so radically that only their name remains the same. The Republican Party of US President Donald Trump has little in common with that of former President Ronald Reagan.

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    These developments are similar across the West. Leaders of the once-dominant parties oscillate between denial and despair, while populists siphon off their traditional supporters. Some refuse to see any legitimate reason for their defeat, dismissing their opponents’ supporters as “deplorables,” as Hillary Clinton did shortly before losing to Trump in 2016; others are too petrified by the populist surge to mount a counteroffensive.

    But neither........

    © Project Syndicate