Saturday, July 23, 2016
Trumpism: A New Era in World Politics?Yascha Mounk on the growing instability of liberal democracy – and what Joschka Fischer, Nina Khrushcheva, Bernard-Henri Lévy, and others think should be done about it.
What do the coup attempt in Turkey, Donald Trump’s US presidential candidacy, the Brexit referendum, and the rise of populist parties in France, Germany, and elsewhere have in common? They all reflect deep anxieties among many citizens about the functioning of their democracies and the openness of their societies.
BERLIN – The short-lived coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan failed in large part because Turks poured into the streets in their tens of thousand to oppose a military takeover of their country. The fact that so many would willingly risk their lives for what they perceived as their “democracy” speaks well of their courage. But it is also likely to reinforce Erdoğan’s troublesome understanding of what democracy is: a form of government in which the will of a popular majority is fully represented by him, and is to be implemented by him without regard for institutional or legal constraints.
Donald Trump’s campaign for the American presidency also seems to draw on this understanding of democracy. His recent praise of torture, his calls to exclude all Muslims from entering the United States, and his attempted intimidation of a federal judge all speak to a contempt for law as a limit on what he believes a majority of Americans really want...''