Pres. Biden says impact of “Pres. Trump’s phony populism” has been “a shock and surprise…and it is disappointing that so many of my Republican colleagues in the Senate, who I know know better, have been reluctant to take on, for example, an investigation” into the Capitol riot. pic.twitter.com/eUg5ZpzZTX— ABC News (@ABC) June 14, 2021
Looking back through our archives, I was disappointed with Donald Trump and ultimately wrote him off as a demagogue. During the 2016 campaign, Trump had attacked globalism and said that NATO was obsolete, but as president he reversed himself and said it was no longer obsolete and refused to withdraw from NATO. Instead, Trump presided over its expansion to include Montenegro and spent four years griping that America was subsidizing the defense of its European allies. He was a cheapskate.
“(CNN) – President Joe Biden on Monday called on foreign leaders to protect against those who prey on division and push “phony populism,” asserting that it’s up to democratic nations to prove to the world that democracy can prevail and autocracies cannot “deliver for the needs of our people.”
“We have to root out corruption that siphons off our strength, guard against those who would stoke hatred and division for political gain as phony populism, invest in strengthening institutions that underpin and safeguard our cherished democratic values,” he said, adding later: “That’s how we’ll prove that democracy and that our alliance can still prevail against the challenges of our time and deliver for the needs and the needs of our people.” …”
Joe Biden is currently in Europe crowing that “America is back.” He is opposed to Trump’s “phony populism.” What would real populism look like then?
A real populist would have withdrawn from NATO, withdrawn American troops from foreign countries, fired all of these insubordinate generals and cut the “defense” budget. It wasn’t until after he lost the 2020 election that Trump seriously tried to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany and Africa. He had tried to do it before in Syria, but was outmaneuvered and stymied by The Blob. In fairness to Trump, the same thing happened to Obama who also wanted to end the war in Afghanistan.
“BRUSSELS — President Biden lashed out Monday at what he called former President Donald J. Trump’s “phony populism,” using the global platform of his first NATO summit to criticize his predecessor. But he expressed optimism that the Republican Party is beginning to reject the political dominance Mr. Trump has exerted for the past four years.
“I think this is passing,” Mr. Biden told reporters after being asked about the reaction from foreign leaders to the Republican embrace of Mr. Trump’s election falsehoods. “I don’t mean easily passing. That’s why it’s so important that I succeed in my agenda.”
Mr. Biden’s willingness to directly call out his predecessor is a departure from his usual tendency to ignore Mr. Trump. …”
Trump was an interesting candidate who mostly flailed as president.
My views on the subject haven’t changed though. I don’t think anyone else has changed their views either. Trump failed to get the job done, but now there is a job opening for someone who can.
Note: William Jennings Bryan formulated the classic populist position on imperialism. Populists have never wanted to rule the world and have always preferred to mind our own business.