Sunday, March 5, 2017

Against `Populism' the Center must hold - Tony Blair //NY Times

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His relentless support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq turned me decisively against Tony Blair.  And I was never a real fan of his `third way'.  but he is certainly very smart - with the kind of global vision that Bill Clinton has at his best.

I understand the appeal of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren's denunciations of the "billionaire class".  But in a nation that just elected one of them the rhetoric rings increasingly hollow.  There needs to be a better way..a third way. - gwc

...traditional conservatives feel like strangers in their own land. They are unsure whether to play along with the new order on the basis that it will soon pass or to accept that this is a revolution aimed at overturning their authority and fight it.

The causes of this movement are the scale, scope and speed of change. This is occurring economically as jobs are displaced and communities fractured, and culturally as the force of globalization moves the rest of the world closer and blurs old boundaries of nation, race and culture.

The same dynamics are splintering the left, too. One element has aligned with the right in revolt against globalization, but with business taking the place of migrants as the chief evil. They agree with the right-wing populists about elites, though for the left the elites are the wealthy, while for the right they’re the liberals.

This leftist populism is a profound error. It has no chance of matching the populist appeal of the right, and it dangerously validates some of the right’s arguments. This only fuels a cynicism that depresses support for the more progressive parts of the left’s program.

 But this left tendency has gained from the seeming paralysis of the center. The parties and politicians of the center have become the managers of the status quo in an era when people want change. So, the center — in both its center-right and center-left camps — is marginalized, even despised.

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