national populism

The Case for National Populism.


The first six months of 2020 has left America at its most fragile moment in decades: a pandemic, weakened supply chains, race riots, a corrupt media, tens of millions on unemployment, failing institutions, and a broken political class unable to respond to any of these rolling crises reveals America is in desperate need of reform.

The neoliberal agenda that our elite class mapped out for the West since the end of the Cold War cannot lead us into the future.

Rather than looking for slight reforms that amount to throwing a deck chair over the sinking Titanic, the West should embrace national populist thinkers, politicians, and political parties as the way out. A political movement that looks to counter the agenda pushed on the country by elites in Washington, Hollywood, academia, and our federal bureaucracy.

As my co-author Harlan Hill and I explain in our new book “They’re Not Listening: How the Elites Created the Nationalist Populist Revolution,” the media and elites have characterized the growth of national populism as a fringe movement for decades.

Then came Trump and Brexit, and they moved from ignoring national populists to lying about it declaring it was just old xenophobic reactionaries who hated immigrants and free trade.

In reality, national populist leaders and political parties have been rising on every corner of the globe, from Modi in India to the Law and Justice Party in Poland, to Netanyahu in Israel, and Piñera in Chile. National populism cuts across race, religion, and nationality. Despite every attempt by the media to cast national populist as lone wolves in the political forest, they are very much on the ascension in every corner of the globe.

The universal principles of national populism that Hill and I map out in our book are as follows:

  • The nation contains unique and valuable people, culture, and history that are worthy of preservation;
  • The government exists to protect its citizens;
  • All government policies—especially on trade, sovereignty, immigration, austerity, and wars—should serve the interests of the people;
  • Those in the government should live by the same laws of the people they govern;
  • Economic interests should never benefit the few while displacing the many;
  • Nation build at home, not abroad;
  • Law and order are the cornerstones of prosperity;
  • The media, more often than not, distorts the truth and divides countrymen;
  • No industry, including technology, should have more power than the state;
  • The preservation and prosperity of the family should be the main priority of the government.

They may seem simple.

Yet leaders around the world have become so distracted with carrying out the neoliberal worldview that they have lost the consent of those they govern.

Despite blowback from the people, they have continued their agenda of mass immigration, wars to expand neoliberalism, and an economy that has hollowed working-class communities.

National populist face many obstacles, including a hostile press, entrenched political interests, and big business. Yet with every passing year in country after country, they continue to gain a foothold in institutions and elected office.

This book serves as a guide to those who are sympathetic to the movement to explain and how and why it’s happening. It’s also a warning to the political class if they do not start listening to the people, the next national populist president will make Donald Trump look like Barack Obama.

Ryan Girdusky

Ryan Girdusky is a political consultant and author of 'They're Not Listening: How the Elites Created The Nationalist Populist Movement'. He writes a weekly, must-read newsletter aimed at D.C. and political insiders.

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