Clueless: According to this Nature article, researchers are completed baffled by the recent surge in nationalism in Europe and the United States, best illustrated by the UK vote to leave the European Union and the victory of Donald Trump in the U.S.
The cluelessness reeks throughout every word, but I can’t quote the whole article. The following quote will give you the flavor:
Some academics have explored potential parallels between the roots of the current global political shift and the rise of populism during the Great Depression, including in Nazi Germany. But Helmut Anheier, president of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, cautions that the economic struggles of middle-class citizens across the West today are very different, particularly in mainland Europe. The Nazis took advantage of the extreme economic hardship that followed the First World War and a global depression, but today’s populist movements are growing powerful in wealthy European countries with strong social programmes. “What brings about a right-wing movement when there are no good reasons for it?”Anheier asks.
In the United States, some have suggested that racism motivated a significant number of Trump voters. But that is too simplistic an explanation, says Theda Skocpol, a sociologist at Harvard University. “Trump dominated the news for more than a year, and did so with provocative statements that were meant to exacerbate every tension in the US,” she says.
They are like a someone throwing darts at a dart board from two feet away and missing continuously. For some reason, they can’t seem to conceive of any of these possibilities:
- Out of control budgets that are bankrupting entire countries
- Out of control regulation that is squelching freedom
- Incompetent and corrupt management that results in the failure of practically every government project or effort
- Out of control immigration that is overwhelming countries with unskilled workers as well as terrorists
- Foreign policy stupidity that has routinely and steadily worsened the international climate in the past three decades
- Elite arrogance that lazily uses the accusation of racism to explain everything
I could go on. You can also read this article: How We Got Trump II: 2008, 2009, 2010 to get a few concrete examples here in the U.S.
The last point above sums up this article quite nicely. Until our intellectual community stops fooling itself and starts to accept some of the responsibility for their own failures, things are only going to get worse. Their liberal policies are failing, and need to be rejected by them. And if they don’t do it, the voters will definitely do so, with increasing fury.
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