Right-wing populists are all the rage these days. Donald Trump and his spleen control the White House, while his counterparts have taken over in Italy, Hungary, Poland, Colombia, India, and elsewhere. Steve Bannon, Trump’s former Svengali, hopes to inspire a worldwide revolution of nationalism-inflected right-wing extremism.
It is not right to disparage left-leaning governments without acknowledging the pervasive neoliberal assaults that undermine them through economic malfeasance and political maneuvering fomented by Empire. More context is needed to have a meaningful dialogue on such matters.
Harry Truman famously said, " if you want to live like a Republican ( an Eisenhower one ) you have to vote like a Democrat ". Whle HST lived and governed 7 decades ago, as the author acknowledges, the winning formula for continued progressive governance hasn’t changed all that much.
The overlay of Sen. Sander’s New Deal 2.0 strategy, given the immense wealth of the U.S., as compared to AMLO’s Mexico, should make this a no-brainer for a new coalition of an alt-left Roosevelt’s Army.
The left progressive coalitions must be willing to, figuratively speaking, " lock and load " against the known enemies of a viable representative democracy. Trump and his corrupt elite wealthy minions, the movers and shakers constanly profiled by our MSM, are not our allies. They are the smooth-talking PR lackeys for a more-of-the-same-only-worse economic disfigurement. They are the status quo gatekeepers, now literally armed by the snooping police and security state, offering the 99s a botox injection for the acute case of melanoma they’re exposing the vast majority of the body politic to.
Like so many who ignore the burning suns’ long-term efforts to literally torch you slowly, or to boil the frog if you will, the gamma knife comes for most eventually, regardless.
The Progressive/Populist left in N. America has, like AMLO, seen the elites outline of rule more than once already: stolen elections by the courts and state counters, bought and paid for politicians, judges and whole national federal agencies in the hands natural resource extractors and much worse in the financial sectors and private corporate boardrooms.
I say, Viva AMLO and his deal-cutting leftish paladins. I say, import some calloused and hard- knuckled street theatre, if need be. I say, push back hard or get rolled by bamboozlers and swindlers like Trump and his bullying ilk.
As long as Bernie Sheep Dogs for the Democratic Party, he divides more then he unites. That is a simple basic truth. Two years into Trump and see how far we have come…
In Greece, the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) has been in power for three years. It has guided the country through one of its most difficult economic periods as the economy shrank by 26 percent. Greece hasn’t yet caught up to where it was in 2007 — and won’t for another decade, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Instead of embracing default and leaving the euro zone, Syriza negotiated the best deal it thought it could get from the European Union and the banks. But the population is still 23 percent poorer than it was before the crisis. Syriza has made any number of political compromises to stay in power, including an alliance with a far-right party. Having started as a populist party, it has governed largely as a conventional political force.
This is just plain wrong in so many ways. The Tspiras wing of Syrizia was never “radical left” that was forced to compromise, but always a bunch of yuppie opportunists who have sold Greece so far down the hole of IMF/Euro “bailouts” that the Greek economy and nation will be in economic austerity and political receivership until there is an uprising that will include default on the imposed vampire debt and Grexit from the EU.
As for the title of the piece, it is both racist and myopically ahistorical. Mexico has a long a storied history of left radicalism and populism and doesn’t need to learn a damned thing from any Norte Americanos – including Bernie. AMLO and the democratic revolutionaries who support him got to where they are by many decades of organizing, sacrifice and standing up to massive repression – much of it engineered from north of the border.
Your truth, possibly. Facts are stubborn things, especially so, for worn out GP reactionary political boilerplate. And, those who.reflexively employ it. Your party is only relevant to another type of 1%er. Your rhetoric is stale; " sheepdog " is so, like 2016, dude.
Thank you for yor voice of sanity, reality and truth.
So tell me John, what part did the alt right in Venezuela and the US have to do with the conditions there? and it is not just alt right here in US, it is our MIC. Please enlighten me more. You should know I follow Abbey Martin trips to Venezuela.
Please tell us John? I don’t know if I can go back and read this article.
Tom, tell me about your take on Venezuela comment and lack of alt right and US participation take down socialism in that nation.
This article is full of paternalistic NeoLib framing:." What distinguishes left populists from the left more generally is their focus on economics rather than identity politics" No. For the real Left, all over the world, ‘economics’, i.e. Capitalism is the focus, a destructive force that unifies people of ALL identities all over the world in opposition. Why? Environmental destruction,ethnic cleansing, military occupation and the loss of livelihood and ways of life all over the planet, obscene wealth and abysmal poverty, gross human rights degradation, the absolute impunity of the blood soaked war fueled and war funded capitalist machine. The attempt to split left movements by framing identity as separate from the whole is a divisory tactic, one that points to the cynical partnership between NeoLibs and the NeoCons in their never ending work to undermine any Left movement anywhere in the world. The author’s grotesque attempt to smear the Left by painting the reactionary right wing nut job Rodrigo Duterte as a “Left” Populist is reminiscent of the kind of tactic the US has used against the Left for the last 50 years. Disinformation and smear campaigns often marked the beginning of interventions of the past: Undermine, co-opt, destabilize, exploit. Conveniently leaving out any mention of decades of US intervention and destabilization and the resultant chaos, violence and economic warfare, this article puts movements for economic justice and human rights into the “populist” category, using the definition of populism that suits NeoLibs best; anti-democratic, anti-pluralist, & dangerous.Therefore; deniable, discreditable, targetable.
In addition to the “two legs, political and economic” of left-wing populism we need a third, namely education. We need a large fraction of the population who understands how they’re being exploited (the ruling, capitalist class), and who their (potential) friends are, namely working people in both red and blue states and around the world (not the Republicans, not Trump, and not the mainstream Democrats, either).
Periods of reform in the US, including the early 20th century and the 1930s, were pushed by millions of ordinary Americans who understood enough of the issues to separate truth from self-serving propaganda, and to demand change.
Good observation, Tom. I knew sooner or later the true colours of the writer would be revealed.
Any sort of leftish progress in Mexico would be welcome, but Mexican elections generally involve fairly direct force and bribery. And of late they have involved electronic manipulation as well.
The population in general is far more aware of these factors than are Americans, though we are catching up. One major difficulty is that anything or anyone new has to get by the the CIA and the larger narcotraficantes that the gringo agencies work with. The narco “turf war” that has cost so many thousands of Mexicans their lives actively cements these patterns of power and control in ways that will not be easily influenced by a vote within Mexican borders because the larger central power is in Washington.
A legitimate popular vote in Mexico might school some gringo reformers a wee bit.
A sheep dog is a sheep dog…regardless of the point in time.
Sheepdogs have a life expectancy of 12.8 years. Your use of the word won’t even last 1/2 that time. Then what will you call the people you need to achieve your policy goals? Seriously, how will you overcome calling left/center and social democratic leaders, and by extension their voters, such a thing?
Please elaborate on the GP strategy and tactics. 85 million potential voters are waiting for your coherent answers on this matter.
You will forever be blocked from seeing the forest because of all those damn trees.
What I take away from this article:
- Uncertainty what it is people on this forum want from a left victory…
- Attempts to score candidates on whether they will deliver…
While reading the article, at the end, I recalled a saying attributed to Porfirio Diaz, in this later career called a dictator: “Poor Mexico. So far from God and so close to the USA.” - Mexico wouldn’t have such a drug problem if not for so many rich drug users in the USA who want a fix, a hit. For the USA, call it “affluenza”.
I also thought of Ollanta Humala Tambo, a Peruvian army officer (not high rank) who sought the Presidency of Peru in 2006 and 2011, described as advocating leftist positions. The first time there was anxiety related to Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, quite a bit of resemblence. Humala lost the election. In 2011 Humala was up against Keiko Fujimori, and won. Nothing earth-shattering happened during Humala’s presidency, and in 2016 Pedro Pablo Kuczinski defeated Keiko Fujimori.
I know the difference between a grove of trees and a national forest, too. The GP is truly a grove; usually defined as, " a small cluster of trees… often producing fruits and nuts ".
R U and your GP insultors pecans, filberts or acorns? Just wonderin’.
I wasn’t aware that Thomas Friedman was using a nom de plume.
Danny-o trolls for the GOP. He/she is as much a GP member as Mike Pence.