Clip of the Month: A Populist in the White House with John B. Judis

Clip of the Month: A Populist in the White House with John B. Judis


– So now Donald Trump is president and you have this populist in office. But he still has to work
with the Establishment. So what happens next? – Well in a sense, he
is the Establishment– – Right, but he’s espousing
anti-establishment views. So what happens next? – Well of course I don’t know but (laughs) – We all need a crystal ball. – Let me put it in a broader context. What sometimes does happen to populists when they finally get into
office is that they do become the Establishment and they
lose their own political focus. The Greeks, Syriza, they
run their campaign against the troika in Europe, the bankers, the EU, the IMF and they say that
if we get into office, we’re gonna defy these guys, we won’t let them push us around anymore. And that’s the basic
conflict that they run on. And they say you know,
the old Socialists Party, Panhellenic Socialists,
they gave into these guys, we’re not going to and so
they get into the office, and they give in to these
guys and they’ve become now, in effect, a kind of other version of the Panhellenic Socialist Party, and they’re going to
get voted out in a year. So sometimes what happens
is that the populists try to do it, that they get into office, they become the Establishment,
and they find, lo and behold, that they can do no better
than their predecessors. Now we can’t tell what’s
gonna happen with Trump. One of the things that interests me, you know, you can say
interests and alarms, but is that if you listen
to his inaugural address, it was an attempt of a guy
who has won the presidency, who has all this power, again
to recreate the populist conflict between himself and Washington. That was the basic theme
of the inaugural address. – Draining the swamp, yeah. – So he is there trying to continue that kind of politics and that logic. Now when he gets to the
point where he has to deal with the messy kind of
details of Congress, to get his bills passed
and all that stuff, that’s when he could get into trouble and find himself in the same
stew as Syriza did in Greece. On the other hand, there
is a scary possibility, and I said that there
were certain similarities you could find between
the 20s and 30s and now, and you can see the possibilities
of this happening now, which is Trump does this
stuff about travelers and immigrants from these
seven countries, okay? There’s a big uproar, people protest, he modifies it a little,
but they continue it. Then three months, month,
two months from now there’s a big terrorist
attack, and the people say we’re doing this on behalf
of ISIS and ISIS says great, you know or they either put him up to it. How does Trump respond then? Does he say, well, you
know, I did X, Y, and Z because I knew things
like this might happen. Now we have to go farther. We have to do A, B, and
C in addition to that. Big protests start again. Anyway, you could see a
kind of snowballing effect, that was similar to what
happened in the 20s and 30s and got us into a really
right-wing mess in Europe, especially in Central Europe. So that’s the, I think
that’s the bad scenario. But we don’t know what’s
gonna happen at this point.

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