Posts tagged Populism
Salvini Loses His First Battle Of The Message

Ever since Matteo Salvini became leader of The League (Lega) in 2013, he has been simply masterful. In just five years, he took a party given up for dead and made it the first political party in Italy. He transformed Lega from a regional secessionist movement into one of the main nationalist parties in Europe. At every turn, Salvini has proven his critics wrong. When he became Minister of the Interior (Italy’s equivalent of Secretary of Homeland Security), the “experts” confidently declared that he would not be able to stop the flow of migrants as promised during the campaign. In a few weeks, he turned the migrant wave from Africa into a trickle. As Il Capitano (Salvini’s nickname The Captain) scored victory after victory, an aura of invincibility surrounded him and his political enemies began to despair. Even his harshest critics, praised Salvini’s communication skills. His uncanny ability to distill complex matters into simple, easily digestible and memorable lines - that is until this month.

#CrisiDiGoverno

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Italy's Populist Government Comes To An End

After fourteen months, the populist government of Italy comes to an end.  Berlin and Paris must be rejoicing that Matteo Salvini, who has been a thorn on their side, will be leaving government. Within hours of Premier Giuseppe Conte announcing his resignation, the NGO ship Open Arms was able to dock on Italian shores and deliver its merchandise of desperate Africans for the oligarchs to exploit. More ships are sure to dock in the coming days.  #CrisiDiGoverno

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Tucker Carlson Establishes Himself As The Chief Advocate For MAGA

Carlson exhibits a very nascent understanding of the situation.  He criticizes not the MAGA agenda but the failure of its primary messenger at implementing it. Further, he rightly recognizes that the president, his administration and the MAGA movement have faced tremendous opposition right from election night two years ago. As it became clear that the procession of Hillary Clinton from Democratic nominee to president-elect had been stopped, forces on both sides of the proverbial aisle, whether conspiring or Democrats taking an active and Republicans a passive role, “withdrew into a defensive crouch,” as Carlson put it, to oppose the new administration’s agenda.

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Lessons From The Midterms

It was a blue wave. It didn’t appear so on election night but as the days passed, the mail in ballots were counted the Democrats gained 40 seats in the House and did exceptionally well in the Senate. They were able to win the two vulnerable Republican seats – Arizona and Nevada - and avoided losing Montana and West Virginia, two states Trump won handily in 2016. The president and his supporters are still trying to spin gaining two seats as somehow ‘defying history’ but the reality is, given the Senate electoral map in 2018, the GOP should have easily gained 4 to 5 seats. Hopefully, once the happy talk from the RNC about "touching" 8 zillion voters (whatever that means) fades away and the holidays are behind, more and more Trump supporters will realize that the midterms were a disaster for the president. There are many lessons to be learned and no time to waste.

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How the Italian Establishment Helped the Populists Win

It has been a tumultuous three months in Italian politics, complete with high drama, plot twists, and the breaking of well-established norms. Just as events seemed to be spinning out of control, all the key players were able to step back from the brink and engineer a happy ending – especially for the populists. It was never supposed have turned out this way. The Italian establishment took every precaution to make sure that the populists would never be able to enter the halls of power – or that if they did, they would be kept on a tight leash. In the end, the unthinkable happened. The two populist parties – Five Star Movement on the Left and La Lega (The League) on the Right – came together, agreed on a legislative agenda for the next five years, and formed the first populist government in Western Europe. It is the old establishment that finds itself on the outside looking in.

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The GOP Establishment Would Rather Lose Than Embrace Populism

In retrospect, it was very optimistic on my part –- perhaps naïve might be a more appropriate adjective –- to believe that Donald Trump winning the presidency would cause the GOP establishment to be more humble and willing to entertain some populist policies. It wasn’t so much that Trump’s victory was surprising. It was how he won. Trump didn’t just crack the so-called Blue Wall. He took it down brick by brick, in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and came very close in Minnesota. Trump did exactly what Republican strategists had said for many years the party needed to do: he expanded the electoral map and brought new voters into the Republican Party tent. The GOP should be one big happy family right? Not so fast.

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Leave Trump Behind And MAGA On

In the aftermath of a complete betrayal, it is very hard to focus on any silver linings. And 'betrayed' is just the word for how many Trump supporters feel after the second bombing of Syria. It's just the latest of a string of policy reversals: he's open to amnesty and gun control, there's no wall, he's funding Planned Parenthood, and he's even contemplating rejoining TPP. Trump's core supporters are asking themselves whether he is compromised, simply not up to the job of changing Washington, or simply lied to get elected. In the end, it doesn’t matter. Trump is a lost cause. Trying to decipher his latest move or tweet is now a waste of time. Defending him against Mueller, the Deep State, or the Mean Media is just a waste of energy that could be better used to advance the MAGA agenda. So I say: forget Trump. It's time to look for our silver linings and focus on the future.

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