The Limits of Western Populism (That Lead to Revolutions) : The people do not have a monopoly on wisdom or humanity

“Vive la Revolution!” The great cry of the masses who turned bloodthirsty for decapitating the learned and cultured nobility who possessed much technical prowess. In fact during this period of the French Revolution in the late 1700s the so-called empowered people dragged aristocrats out of their coaches and butchered them.

There is no question that some members of the Occupy Wall Street movement held as cruel thoughts if not fully dedicated to such cruelty towards Wall Street bankers. Sometimes the anger of the people is not channeled to productive policies and actions just callous revenge, reckless hysteria and hateful rumor mongering.

In some ways all this excitement in the Trump camp is at times overly feeding on and overly stimulating hatred to elites who wish to be less cruel to immigrant illegals to Muslims. Then there are the actual minorities themselves.

While I think the reaction to Trump by mainstream media can be overboard, the behaviour of too many of his followers can be too in another way and be described as more narrow-minded and insensitive beyond belief. He needs to calm these kinds of people down than passively watch them talk rabidly about various minorities.

Feeding populist anger as seen in the French Revolution and beyond can lead to a grizzly end and even a counter revolution that reduces too much of the so called populism idealism to ashes with the return of the full power of the attacked elites.

If one remembers ones French history, the monarchy was restored afterwards so chaotic had the revolution turned and so lacking in expertise and leadership was the country after expelling or executing effectively too much of its managerial classes. No doubt a lot of wealth that was chased out and much new money outside France was largely not interested in coming to a nation in chaos ruled by too many vigilantes with no central authority.

Sounds like Libya, today? Indeed, watch out for the butchery and infighting fallout from those revolutions Washington helps to foment. Watch out for Hillary, McCain and Victoria Nuland, believers in starting these kinds of revolutions or expanding them. They have destructive contagion effects as we see in Eastern Europe or the Middle East. Certainly no one would want to see their magic work wonders in the West too?

In the United States many including Hillary Clinton and President Obama, however appear to look on favorably to president’s like Theodore Roosevelt, no real revolutionary despite how some bankers he upset might have felt. He was the president in the early 1900s.

Some called him a progressive populist. But I would say he was really a semi-populist realist. This is a better approach at least for America where wisdom and needs of the masses must be tempered with the insights of the enlightened elites as Roosevelt was essentially part of.

He never tried to get people to hate the monied classes per se but he stood up against the worst monopolists and the worst offenders of free markets. He also tried to improve conditions of workers without turning them on the streets or generating anti-millionaire hatred. And his Harvard thesis was on empowering women.

This is the leader we need to see emulated not so much Trump in his existing incarnation with his zero-sum attitudes be it on illegal Mexicans to certain crony capitalists to all non-American Muslims. If his rough edges were smoothed he could become this pragmatic populist of a Roosevelt.

But sorry those edges he has could incite the violent thinking if not the actual level of violence that went with the French Revolution. Roosevelt rarely made severe statements about minorities though back then there were certainly some less than savory ideas about minorities circulating among the elites and well below.

Hillary Clinton, unfortunately even if seeing herself as a progressive is too status quo and her foreign policy approach makes her dangerous, I would argue even more so than Trump. Theodore Roisevelt on foreign policy looks almost pure genius to her though hard to make a direct comparison as the times were different. In his time America was a secondary but rising power to European ones.

I would say that instead the populist realist is more reflected in a man like Collin Powell. Maybe he is too old to become president but he reflects more the solid restrained soldier though a committed one to protecting America and championing minorities without being politically correct or excessively so.

Americs needs to worry that it’s next leader may not be fully up to the job given what the US and the world are facing. This has been a partial problem with Obama lacking so much experience when he entered the White House especially in the dangerous minefiekd of the military and foreign policy.

Let us hope in Clinton and Trump may better understand snd connect to the populist forces in a responsible way over this year .They need to read better the times of Theodore Roosevelt and take a few chapters from him. Right now the pages they are taking from books they are reading may harm America more than solve its many pressing problems.

America or Western Europe do not need dangerous revolutions overly stoked by hate or anger mongerjng extremes. But if the Western elites continue to fail so badly as I have chronicled, it is likely they will get one well within our life time.

Can they help produce the likes of a Roosevelt today? I doubt it given too many still thinking in greed and narrow mindedness over what their country needs from top to bottom. But we shall see and may be surprised to see who will eventually lead America soon and over much the next decade or two. It might be neither Clinton nor Trump. Stay tuned.

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