Addressing Voter Frustrations with "Responsible Populism"
From Trump's America to Europe, citizens of many advanced democracies are frustrated. Populist politicians are succeeding in the most unlikely places. In normally staid Sweden, the populist rightwing Sweden Democrats earned third place in Sweden’s recent parliamentary elections. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has been under challenge from the far-right Alternative for Deutschland, which is challenging Germany’s postwar limits on civic debate.
While as with all political debates, there are local variations, voter frustrations across much of the transatlantic democratic space derive from several fundamental insecurities. Many citizens feel they've been left behind by the globalized economy and are uncertain about their economic future and that of their children. They are worried about the physical security of their families in an age of terrorism and political hate speech and threats. They are nervous about the cultural change they see in their societies as migration from conflict regions and troubled neighbors to their country occurs. There are few refuges to escape these fears - even online, due to state sponsored and rogue actor actions, their privacy and personal data are not safe and no one - government agencies or the tech companies they originally put their faith in - seems up to the challenge of protecting their personal information.