2016 was a watershed year in politics. With Brexit and the stunning election of Trump as U.S. President the word populism has been used to describe anything that is not politically progressive. What is ignored is the reason for the shift to populism.
The liberal media brands anything which is not progressive as far-right, alt-right or populism. The label of fascism is now commonly used to describe any policy that the liberal left opposes. The freedom of speech and freedom of expression is being challenged by the left as they attempt to impose their beliefs on the citizenry.
For over two decades the left has changed its name from Socialist and Liberal to Progressive in an attempt to garner more votes. What is not understood by the vast majority of voters is that progressivism has nothing to do with progress, but rather the imposition of socialist dogma. Using progressivism, many leftist governments including those of Blair, Clinton, Obama. Hollande and even Merkel, have embraced policies and international agreements. Their affiliations with international organizations such as the E.U, the United Nations, The International Monetary Fund, etc., have reduced national sovereignty through multilateralism.
While the initial intentions of these organizations were altruistic, in recent past their policies have been more towards the formation of a one world order or government. The demand by progressives to have international laws dictate national policies on gun, gender, religion, education and immigration is causing havoc on national cultures.
Let us look at some of these policies. Climate change policies, as they turn out, are nothing but a ploy for the redistribution of wealth, with very little effect on the environment. The U.N’s refugee agreement is now causing major disruptions in the Western world as increasing number of people, some legitimate and some not so legitimate claim to be refugees. Illegal immigration in Europe and in the United States is often used by terrorists, drug and human traffickers.
Globalisation under the façade of free trade is now often used to push for issues other than fair or real trade. Progressives believe that we should no longer have borders and that immigration should be devoid of national regulations. President Trump’s travel ban on the same countries imposed by Obama, is now being challenged in court as a Muslim ban. Canadian students and Girl Guides visits to the United States have been cancelled because it may affect some participants’ visas. In reality the ban would not affect any legitimate traveller, but instead is being used as a pretext by the left to label Trump as a racist.
The idea that culture should be homogeneous is creating rifts in nations and even communities. The wearing of religious garments, mainly by Muslims, has become a lightning rod for the left. Islamophobia is the latest rallying cry for the left who refuse to acknowledge that there are more attacks on other religions than on Muslims except by terrorists, while they organize protests in favor of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. Schools are being forced to allocate time for Muslims to pray. Imposition of Laws that demand that transgender people can use the bathroom of their choice or that businesses no longer have the right to serve or not serve people whose lifestyles may affect their religious beliefs.
Universities are now becoming places of intolerance. Academic freedom is increasingly reserved for liberal professors, whereas conservative lecturers are being ostracised for their opinions. Supported by a Liberal media, it seems that freedom of speech is now the sole domain of progressives. Multicultural policies have helped to ‘ghettorize’ certain parts of the western world. In Europe there is no assimilation of immigrants within the country’s culture instead we have ‘No Go ‘zones where even law enforcement is reluctant to enter.
The judiciary is complicit in this attempt to move cultures to the left. Human rights legislations which were designed to stem some of humanity’s worst traits, has been used to muzzle or even ostracized people with common sense thinking. Political correctness, the core belief of progressives is now under attack by an increasingly worried citizenry. The rise and bias of progressivism has resulted in a backlash which has given rise to populism.
Despite the loss by Geert Wilders’ party in the Netherlands, it is yet to be seen what happens in the French and German elections. While the right may not win majorities, it is quite possible that they may make gains. The shift against progressivism in Europe is real. The unfortunate part about this backlash against progressivism is that it invites far-right parties into the political mainstream.
The idea that multiculturalism and multilateralism is the wave of the future is going to be challenged as progressive governments fall. Many of the progressive policies of the past have created more problems than improve the plight of the masses. Multiculturalism instead of assimilation and integration is the root cause of much of the immigrants’ problems of today. Despite the claim of the left as champions of the middle class, progressives have in fact reduced the wealth of the middle class. Foreign aid as a core principle of the left has created more wealthy despots in the third world instead of helping the poor.
The rise of populism is not going to be stemmed by progressives, because ordinary citizens are being affected economically and culturally. Call it Trumpism or populism, reality is that it is a growing movement of people taking back their countries from the elites of the left.