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Showing posts with the label democracy

The End of “End of History” and the Arrival of Casino Democracy

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A year ago, on the eve of the Brexit vote, many went to bed confident that the referendum was one big showoff event for those who held a deep-rooted, but utterly misplaced, contempt for the political, social, and economic consequences for the UK’s membership in the EU. They expected that at the end of the day sanity would prevail. Their complacency did them in! Then in November, many went to bed in the US, believing that what happened in the UK half a year before was a unique event, Donald Trump's candidacy for the presidency was a joke, and he had virtually no chance of prevailing. Complacent again. 
If voters - and more importantly, those among them complacent enough to believe that democracy would take care of itself without a robust get-out-the-vote effort - knew then what they know now, they certainly would have gone to the polls. But they didn’t. Instead, they bet on pollsters’ predictions. Their forecasts could not have been more wrong.
In the Brexit referendum, only 36% of …

The Upside-Down World of Populists

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It is rather puzzling why the supporters of populist political actors seem not to care at all about obvious and undisputed facts (or their lack thereof) that concern their candidates, while mainstream supporters tend to withdraw their support at the slightest hint of an allegation of misconduct?

Consider the following examples, although others abound: the U.S. president, Donald Trump, publicly accuses his predecessor in wiretapping his Trump Tower. The allegations are consequently officially disproved and rejected by the FBI director James Comey, and by both Republican and Democrat leaders in the House and Senate. Yet, Trump supporters continue to believe it is all a cover-up by “fake” media and “corrupt” establishment. No loss of credibility or love, it seems, for Trump by his supporters. Sticking to his claim might have even helped him consolidate further his base. During the same congressional hearing, the FBI director reveals that the Trump campaign ties with Russia are subject to…