populism & its critics

Download (4)Roger Kimball at The New Criterion:

At the heart of Trumpist populism, however—and I suspect of all populism—is a different yearning: for security, especially for those who feel forgotten and left behind. If Reaganite conservatism, at least in theory, has been deeply skeptical of the power of government to manage free markets and create prosperity, at the core of Trumpist populism—and maybe of all populism—is faith in governmental power, or at least a willingness born of desperation to use such power energetically to improve the lot of the people.

Donald Trump embodies this impulse. Painting a somber picture of American misery and corruption in his acceptance speech in 2016, he proclaimed: “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” It is a breathtaking divergence from the pro–free market, pro–limited government political and economic philosophy of Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and other heroes of mainstream American conservatism.

Is the policy gap between Kempism and Trumpism unbridgeable? In the next few months, presumably, we will find out.

more here.