Who loves ya, baby?
I can't see any of Craner's posts. What's Burgon done?
A bit, but people were saying exactly this when New Labour started triangulating towards middle aged middle England middle class swing voters.Nonetheless, we're in uncharted territory with working-class voters being more pro-Tory than middle-class voters, aren't we?
Elections aren’t primarily—or merely—about winning. For the ideologue, however vague his or her ideology, power is not necessarily an end in and of itself. Discussing the objectives of socialists, for example, the sociologists Mathieu Desan and Michael McCarthy argue:
Socialist leadership in popular fights like Medicare for All can transform people’s consciousness and change perceptions of what’s politically possible, eventually leading to support for socialist goals. Moreover, reforms can build the working class’s fighting capacity, expose the limits of capitalism’s ability to satisfy our sense of justice, equality, and solidarity, and pave the way for more radical demands.12
In theory, the goal of democratic socialists and Left populists may be to govern one day, but if that day is very far away, they should probably be forgiven for not having ready-made proposals for governing in a world constrained by liberal economics. Populism is, and is meant to be, a “thin-centered ideology,”13 so to attack populists for not having practicable policy proposals is to miss the point. When Left populists like Bernie Sanders endorsed Medicare for All, or when Democratic Socialists campaigned on federal jobs guarantees, they were easy to dismiss as plainly impossible or prohibitively expensive. “The numbers don’t remotely add up,” Austan Goolsbee, formerly chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, said of Sanders’s economic policies.14 (After further investigation, Goolsbee noted that Sanders’s plans have “evolved into magic flying puppies with winning Lotto tickets tied to their collars.”15) Meanwhile Jared Bernstein, former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, called a paper by the economist advising Sanders “wishful thinking.”16
Yet while a jobs guarantee might not be the most compelling proposal in strictly economic terms, it does challenge a narrow and sometimes stifling liberal consensus. The art of politics, in this approach, is to make possible what was once impossible.
To view politics in this way is to see it not as a means of implementing policy, but as a means to alter and reshape political culture—something that right-wing populists have long understood. Across Europe, right-wing populists have purposefully and methodically “injected” the question of Islam and Muslim minorities into public debates. As these issues become more salient to voters—particularly with the influx of Muslim refugees and fears over demographic change—mainstream parties come under pressure to address them, which in turn makes them more salient. Even if immigration policy does not change significantly, the very fact that immigration—and related cultural, religious, and demographic issues—comes to dominate political debates helps solidify a party system in which the primary divide is oriented around culture rather than class. (If immigration isn’t seriously addressed by those in power, it may actually help right-wing populist parties by increasing the salience of immigration and the associated “Muslim problem” as a grievance.)
Just started this - yeah, insightful so far.Thought this was a good read: https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2018/11/left-populism-and-the-rediscovery-of-agonistic-politics/
On moving towards an understanding of economics as a mediator of meaning and culture:
If you were to ask 100 Trump voters what they thought constituted 'Trumpism', I wonder how many answers would be given by a significant number of them in common? I mean it goes without saying he stands for capitalism, but I suspect many of his supporters would see it as 'good' capitalism, as opposed to the 'bad' capitalism of 'fat-cat bankers'. This would explain the crossover of appeal with Sanders, the self-declared socialist. The fact that Trump promised to 'drain the swamp' and then proceeded to stock the swamp with a record-breaking number of alligators is presumably neither here not there.One amusing if unsettling example of this is when the Dutch populist Pim Fortuyn pointed out that his slogan, “He says what we’re thinking,” turned out to be quite effective with his supporters. As Anton Jäger recounts, when some of Fortuyn’s supporters were asked what exactly it was that they were thinking, they responded: “Well, what he’s been saying, of course.”