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Reply to Gordon Campbell on ‘populism’

Gordon Campbell’s attempt to define populism leads him to claim there is much equivalence of Trump to Podemos, for example. Does he really think Trump is “truly and aggressively in opposition to the politics of ‘business as usual'”?  I’m sure Campbell would see one of the most significant signs of business as usual, having developed over at least centuries, is the dominance of the elite.  Note the recent report that in 2016 only eight men own wealth equal to that of half the world’s population, perhaps signalling some sort of climax in that process today.  But dominance of the elite describes the heart and soul of Donald Trump. !!!   Can Trump’s support come from both an acceptance of the dominance of the elite and opposition to an unfair distribution of resources?  Very weak.

Campbell’s description of NZ politics makes some relevant observations, but he still avoids the proverbial elephant in the room:

– John Key is called a ‘salesman’. But doing nothing but release a thick debilitating fog over the political scene for eight years is not salesmanship, rather pandering to fundamental fears.

– “the Greens have not been scarily idealistic : they’ve been right”.  Here he writes the relevant words but seemingly cannot actually admit most important aspect:  THE GREENS HAVE BEEN SCARILY RIGHT.

Much of the political reality here in New Zealand, with its passionless personality, is revealed in those two observations. The same political reality in the USA, with its obnoxious loudness, is revealed in Trump. What has come to be described as ‘populist’ is more about a reaction to the fact that the Greens have been scarily right.  What are you waiting for, Gordon?  Perhaps an academic tome?  Refer to Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’.

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