In a recent article published in Politico Magazine, ‘How Billionaires Learned to Love Populism’, Amy Chua describes the phenomenon of billionaire populism that we are witnessing in the United States and throughout various European countries.
Chua notes that this billionaire populism is not merely an American sensation, but also illustrated in the politics of Silvio Berlusconi, the media mogul and former Prime Minister of Italy, as well as Andrej Babis, the recently elected billionaire Prime Minister of the Czech Republic.
Chua maintains that the Trump political brand is unlikely “in the long run . . . [to] deliver on its promises to restore lost prosperity to the ‘forgotten man’ . . . they really don’t have answers to job loss from technology or global cheap labor.” Yet, this does not necessarily entail any less support for Trump amongst his main base, because of the heightened tribalism.
However, the state of the Resistance for Chua also suffers from a sense of tribalism demonstrated through the “frequently derogatory remarks about entire swaths of Middle America, people on the left sometimes seem to be handing billionaire populists the precise fuel they need to keep the anger of their supporters stoked.” Her remarks above, addresses the ‘Basket of Deplorable’ line that Hilary Clinton used to refer to Trump supporters.
In order to overcome the tribalism and ‘billionaire populism’ threatening the state of American democracy, an inclusive vision needs to be effectively communicated on the left, that offers an alternative to the neo-liberal hegemony that is not working for so many frustrated voters.