Monday, September 19, 2016

Populist Persuaders

"Trump and Sanders both reflect the growing public dissatisfaction with the political consensus that supplanted New Deal liberalism after Ronald Reagan's landslide victory in 1980. In Europe, it's called 'neo-liberalism.' In the United States, it might more accurately be called 'market liberalism.' Forged in reaction to the protracted economic slowdown that began in the 1970s, it has prioritized growth over equitywith the promise, as Reagan put it, that a 'rising tide would lift all boats.' It has promoted free trade and capital mobility (including outsourcing), labor mobility (including immigration), tax reductions on business and the wealthy, deregulation of finance, and fiscal restraint (to keep taxes down). It has retained, but punched large holes in, the 'safety net' created under the prior New Deal consensus.
"The consensus of market liberalism was put in place by Reagan and a new generation of Republican conservatives, backed by traditional GOP business interests and members of the white working class. Although many Democrats initially resisted market liberalism, the 'new Democrats' led by Bill Clinton soon embraced the emerging consensus on business tax cuts, free trade, increased immigration, and financial deregulation. American politics entered a new stage of normalcy."

John B. Judis in The New Republic argues that the Donald Trump campaign and the Bernie Sanders campaign may be harbingers of party realignment.

Isaac Chotiner at Slate interviews Judis about Judis's new book, The Populist Explosion: How The Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics.

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