The recent political revolution is a major shift toward the right

And when I say recent, I mean in the last few weeks.  That is the topic of my recent Bloomberg column, here is one bit:

The populist “New Right” isn’t going away anytime soon, and the rise of the “New Left” is exaggerated.

Start with Australia, where Prime Minister Scott Morrison won a surprising victory last week. Before the election, polls had almost uniformly indicated that his Liberal-National Coalition would have to step down, but voters were of another mind. With their support of Morrison, an evangelical Christian who has expressed support for President Donald Trump, Australians also showed a relative lack of interest in doing more about climate change. And this result is no fluke of low turnout: Due to compulsory voting, most Australians do turn out for elections.

Hard Brexit is alive and well, the European Parliament elections later this week could be a disaster, and Modi seems to be on the upswing in the Indian election.  But perhaps most importantly there is this:

One scarcely noticed factor in all of this has been the rising perception of China as a threat to Western interests. The American public is very aware that the U.S. is now in a trade war with China, a conflict that is likely to provoke an increase in nationalism. That is a sentiment that has not historically been very helpful to left-wing movements. China has been one of Trump’s signature causes for years, and he seems to be delighting in having it on center stage.

The Democratic Party is not well-positioned to make China a core issue. Democrats have been criticizing Trump’s tariffs for a while now, and it may be hard for them to adjust their message from “Tariffs Are Bad” to “Tariffs Are Bad But China Tariffs Are OK.” Their lukewarm support for free trade agreements — especially the Trans Pacific Partnership, which could have served as a kind of alternative China trade policy — also complicates matters. The net result is that Republicans will probably be able to use the China issue to their advantage for years to come.

Nor did Obama stand up to China on the militarization of the South China Sea.  Do read the whole thing.


Ironically the West is breaking up into little pieces which makes it easier for China to pick off one by one with unilateral negotiations. The populist thinking is that the old order favored China too much but a fragmented West in the near future also favors China too much.

Nonsense. (I hope.) Perhaps being littler, if indeed your prognostication comes to pass, will focus their minds?

Hope is a losing strategy. Hoping that people will be smarter is even worse. Hoping that people be smarter because they are smaller is the height of stupidity. Don't paint yourself into a delusional corner when going up against a shrewd opponent.

They all hate us anyhow, so let's drop the big one now ...

So you're saying this is not recent in the "weeks" time frame but, maybe half a century? ;-)

If you're China, is it easier to negotiate with the West as one big bloc and then lock in anything you can get through negotiation with that one bloc, or deal with lots of smaller blocs that can use each others negotiating experience with China as an example?

To contain the USSR, we had NATO. For China, I imagine the same. The US should have created an equivalent in Asia decades ago with Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan(?) as founding partners. But looking back, everyone was so optimistic that communism lost as the Berlin wall fell so they mistook China's economic liberalization as some kind of historical inevitability to political liberalization, "end of history" and all that political prophecy nonsense.

"VP Chen touts security cooperation at Taiwan-US-Japan dialogue
The Republic of China (Taiwan) looks forward to strengthening its cooperation with the U.S. and Japan in promoting security and economic prosperity in the Asia-Pacific, Vice President Chen Chien-jen said Dec. 13."

" The US should have created an equivalent in Asia decades ago with Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan(?) as founding partners."

How about no? How about those countries do it themselves instead of becoming yet another set of dependents for America to throw money at like NATO is?

Well, consider if you were China. Which would you prefer, a formalized world order you had to buck, or a bunch of smaller ad hoc negotiations?

If not a lot of pushback for breaches of the WTO rules as they currently exist, and talk of reformulating them to accommodate "the world's largest economy", and China gets to be a member, probably that is a better deal that negotiating a bunch of ad hoc bilateral agreements.

Pollsters blindsided again. The story of Hillary, Brexit, Netanyahu, now Australia.

The "old order" didn't favor China. It simply gave in to everything China wanted because the old order reaped $$ billions and didn't care about screwing ordinary Americans to do it.

“In essence, the left-leaning party was running on the Green New Deal and Morrison won by pointing out that could damage the economy.”

"The left, which ran on global warming and wokeness, is having a nervous breakdown."

Related: Australian stock market soars to 11 year high on unexpected conservative election win. Go tell Krugman.

mebbe americans are actually pretty good at recognizing
virtual/fake virtue signaling
because they have seen "the view"

In fact, both Bushes, Clinton and Obama were standing when they caved to China.

the norton window was crooked!

now it is straighter.

"Related: Australian stock market soars to 11 year high on unexpected conservative election win. Go tell Krugman"

Lol! When will the woke wake up?

Brexit betting markets have not moved at all in the past few weeks, with no brexit odds as high as ever. Not a great example.

If I'm reading their track record chart correctly, they had trump at 20% in the general, so....... Not a great example??

20% is higher than most had him, so if anything this is to their credit; Trump's election is widely agreed to have been an unlikely result, but those 1/5 or 1/10 results happen from time to time.

Fivethirtyeight had him at what? 30%-ish odds? And theirs is generally regarded as the best non-betting model prediction.

Bookmakers in Australia with actual money at issue were so confident of the Liberals winning that they actually began paying pro-Liberal bets erroneously before the votes were counted. That's how much one can trust betting markets.

Other way around. A book maker started paying out on Labor winning and Liberals losing. I don't know why. Two party preferred was only slightly in Labor's favor.

Note that, of the two main parties, the Liberals are the conservatives.

I keep making that mistake. Damn me for an idiot.

That doesn't mean betting markets can't have systemic bias. So saying "you're wrong about the rise of right wing politics because betting markets say so"... Well, that same market had original brexit at 24% so they haven't proven themselves to have a good understanding of the rise right wing politics thus far..... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Labor had the edge in the polls in the Australian Federal election but it was close as these things go, so a Coalition was not expected but it was not surprising. It is fair to say they did better than expected.


Sorry Tyler, but I think reading an article about Australian politics every 3 years does not qualify you to say anything insightful about our election.

The centre-left came to the election with an uninspiring leader who was unable to effectively sell their agenda. The centre-right party did better than expected in some states and won a narrow federal majority.

The result was unexpected, sure, but this is not even remotely on the same scale as the Clinton-Trump or Brexit results.

Meanwhile, our real right-wing populists fared much worse than expected. The most notable of this group spent $60 million of his own money on a national advertising campaign and did not win a single seat in either house of parliament. The parties further to right make virtually no impression outside of a handful of seats in Queensland.

So, in summary: the centre-right will continue along their stolidly conservative path. Most of their members would sit comfortably in the right wing of the Democratic Party.

A triumph of the 'new right' this is not.

+1. The center left also took on the third rail of Australian politics: increasing tax (mix of real and perceived) on retirement savings. Economists are always talking about how perverse some of our incentives are, but it turns out that perverse incentives are still very incentivising

"Most of their members would sit comfortably in the right wing of the Democratic Party."

They might sit comfortably but currently they might sit very ... alone.

WHO exactly can we accurately place on the right in the Democratic Party?

If you are serious, you could make the case of:
Pelosi, who is pro-Iraq war, pro-wiretap, pro-bailout, anti-China, anti-impeachment, somewhat popular with RINOs and DINOs, Catholic
Buttegieg, who is pro-business, pro-military, popular with the Fox News crowd, Anglican
Gabbard, who is pro-military, somewhat isolationist, pro-populist, popular with the Ron Paul crowd, Hindu
Biden, who is basically a Democratic version of Trump, popular with the Obama-turned-Trump voters that are looking to switch again, Catholic
Sanders is in no way considered right wing of the Dems but he is popular with populists of all stripes with some overlap with Trump's base

If you are not serious, then none of them because they are evil socialists who hate America, ba dum chh

Wait... this is the Hindu Biden timeline? What butterfly made that happen? Gotta go recalibrate the slider device and redo the jump.

He listed Gabbard as Hindu and Biden as Catholic. No need to bend the laws of physics.

Thanks, I appreciate the answer. I did seriously ask who is on the right wing of the Democratic Party. I am confused because so many stories on Biden have him apologizing for his role in the Clinton era crime bill.

As for Mayor Pete, I thought the same thing as you and kind of admired him, but recently he’s been quite woke in attacking Jefferson.

Mike Bloomberg
Alan Dershowitz
Joe Lieberman
Joe Manchin

Three New York Jews in their seventies and a hillbilly. We got this!

Actually Rahm Emanuel is kind of conservative. But covering up a killing by one of his subordinates is not exactly a formula for winning.

JWatts I haven’t seen that ol cuck here in a while.

Well Australia is small, about 25M people, the size of greater LA or NYC, hence anomalous stuff can happen due to chance. You're right in that the Trump election (325+M people) and perhaps BrExit (66M) is more unexpected.

No, Australia's result defied 56 exit polls. A Liberal victory was seen as so assured that Australian bookmakers, who have actual money directly riding on the result, started *erroneously paying* on bets for the Liberals before the votes were counted. It's not just one article; every last thing written in Australia about the election from every source acknowledged the result as an utter shock. The spin that this was no big deal is simply a fake after-the-fact stance adopted by the losers to try to save face after having the rug completely pulled out from under them.

In Australia an exit poll occurs after people have voted.

You'd be more convincing if you got who won correct. The Liberals won. Labor lost.

Yes, stupid me, I got the parties reversed. It's the Australian media that reports the 56 exit polls getting the result wrong. In other words, even after the voting, the polls were still uniformly wrong.

I probably should also mention there are many seats so there are many exit polls. There would have been 56 seats polled, not 56 polls of multiple seats.

Also, what are the anomalous results from elections in LA and NYC that lead you to suggest that such things are more apt to happen in polities of that size? I can't think of any.

"So, in summary: the centre-right will continue along their stolidly conservative path....A triumph of the 'new right' this is not."

It seems like there is no set of circumstances under which the center-right will be viewed as doing well. When the center-right party loses to the center-left, it's because people are rebelling against income inequality and crave massive expansion of the welfare state. When the center-right wins, it's because income inequality has led to a nationalist backlash. Hmm...

Trump's presidency has so far been characterized primarily by a large tax cut, deregulation, and elevation of originalist judicial philosophy. Sure, one could make a case that Trump himself is not part of the center-right. But, that would mean that the overall political environment was so favorable to the center-right that it could score so many wins even without a center-right president.

What set of political outcomes could ever be interpreted as rejection of socialism and backlash against the excesses of identity politics and political correctness? Apparently, that's something that can never happen.

It can't happen even when it is happening.

"What set of political outcomes could ever be interpreted as rejection of socialism and backlash against the excesses of identity politics and political correctness? "

Socialism is about to be triumphant. When the center-right makes some gains that just means that socialism is even more likely to be triumphant in the very near future.{sarcasm}

If you think Tyler is over-interpreting one article, perhaps you could link to some articles from before the election that opined that a Liberal victory would not be surprising. The coverage seemed pretty uniform in describing the election as "unlosable" for Labor.

(I think I finally have the party names right!)

I agree the result was surprising. Anyone who paid attention to the polls expected Labor to win; anyone who says they expected the Liberals to win clearly didn't trust their hunch enough to put on a bet on.

What Tyler got wrong is trying to portray the Liberal victory as evidence of some global shift to the right. The difference between the major parties in Australia is small; there is consensus on almost every issue. There will be no significant changes as a result of this election.

Except Labor did not campaign as a centrist party and because of its leftward policy lurch of big, bad ideas (tax, more tax, regulate, and spend, climate change, feminism), it lost.

Christ on a stick. Men and women have been equal under law in Australia since the early 80s and while I think the Coalition is kind of shoddy, they are feminist. Over 50% of voters are women.

Well, there is also the actual headling, which Prof. Cowen is most likely not responsible for - 'The New Right Is Beating the New Left. Everywhere.'

In German elections, the Greens have continually gained more new voters, and topped the 'New Right' in elections. Of course, maybe the Greens are not the 'New Left,' but then, a solid 3-5% of the Germans who used to vote for old really right parties now vote AfD - those truly extreme right voters currently represent about a quarter of everyone voting AfD.

Which is an interesting to note, as previously, the Republikaner and NPD used to reliably split the German extreme right wing vote, preventing either party from actually passing the 5% hurdle (with a few minor exceptions).

'after this week’s election 35% of the chamber will be filled by anti-establishment parties'

Still wonder how the Greens count in this, actually.

'I am myself rooting for a resurgence of centrist cosmopolitanism'

Well, one can be confident that the Greens would not fit into Prof. Cowen's vision, regardless of how accurately it actually describes the Greens when they form part of government.

'I’ve seen a lot of evidence that a new political era truly is upon us.'

P nailed it - 'reading an article about Australian politics every 3 years does not qualify you to say anything insightful .....' - if one simply broadens the scope.

"as previously, the Republikaner and NPD used to reliably split the German extreme right wing vote, preventing either party from actually passing the 5% hurdle"
The Hamburger Bürgerschaftswahlen 1997 is the only election I recall for which this is actually true. In the federal election of 1998, there were about six or seven right wing parties and together they still would not have passed the 5 percent hurdle.

'is the only election I recall for which this is actually true'

Well, the point applied to the 3-5% being reliably split among right wing parties who could never agree to work together - until the AfD showed up. Which is ironic in its way - the AfD originally started out as something other than a right wing party, though everybody outside of the AfD predicted what it would turn into. Bernd Lucke is still trying to have his political vision work, rejecting what the AfD has become. One can assume that Alexander Gauland, of 'Germany should be proud of Wehrmacht soldiers' fame - is pleased with where the AfD is today, however.

Quite a few mistakes in clockwork_priors post (again):
- If you add NPD & DVU & Republikaner together, they never really got much more than 2% of the votes in 2002, 2005 and 2009. In contrast, the AfD got 12.5% in 2017; and are often polling around 15%.
- NPD & DVU merged at the end of 2010.
- The right-wing parties are still "split". You still have the far-right parties with the NPD/DVU (albeit they lost 1% of their vote from 2013 to 2019). The conservative party AFD already had two splits (ALFA from Lucke, die Die blaue Partei). In addition, another conservative party "Freie Wähler" is growing stronger. In addition, the traditional centre-right wing parties CDU/CSU and FDP do not want to work with the AfD.
- The left block (Greens, SPD, Linke) is still smaller than the right block (CDU/CSU, FDP, AFD).

The mood of the country after 8 years of Bush was war-weary and outraged at Wall Street and Detroit. Obama was elected on that basis. He did make the pivot to Asia from the Middle East and while that might not satisfy some it pointed the country in the right direction and it was certainly more than what Bush did. Clinton signed China into the WTO but Bush had the first near decade of China's rise under his watch. He could have better shaped the thinking and the behavior of Chinese leadership but his team failed. Trump is the POTUS now and it is not clear what he plans to do here even though his term is already half over. I suspect he would rather go for better trade deals rather than literally test the waters. If this is true, it would be a major strategic blunder as maintaining the Western led order is far more important than tariffs here and there. Ultimately populism will shrink the West's power. Some may say good who cares about what happens half a world away. But what happens when a country half a world away starts dictating terms to you? Geopolitics is a red queen race as they say.

"He did make the pivot to Asia from the Middle East"

Obama's "pivot" was supposed to have been from Europe to Asia and it hasn't happened. It was almost all talk but there was no reason for some empty "pivot" in the first place.

" It took the country's focus from the Middle Eastern/European sphere and began to invest heavily in East Asian countries"

I don't recall anyone on 2008 being notably outraged at Detroit beyond the usual suburban Michigan racists who would blame Detroit for the weather if they could figure out how

Outcome in Australia isn't that simple - see

That article wasn't a bad take on it. We've had Tony Abbott, he didn't last. Coalition leaders are going to play it safer. Expect no big change in the Australian status quo. The Coalition's not good for the environment, but they're not going to subsidize new coal power stations despite what Craig Kelly may want.

Exactly. As is often said, almost the entirety the left-right spectrum in Australia would sit comfortably within the Democratic Party in the US.
There is bipartisan consensus on most issues and the status quo is extremely resistant to change.

The victory of the status quo is of course a crushing defeat for the Liberals, who based their whole campaign on the need for major structural changes, particularly in immigration and energy policy. The differences between the parties were stark, hence all the reactions we saw from Labor voters declaring Australia a racist country bent on environmental destruction.

Winning the election and staying in government was a crushing defeat for the Liberals? Okay.

I haven't seen any one declaring Australia a racist country bent on environmental destruction, but I might be too close to see the big picture, what with being in Australia and all.

I think Tom T, AGAIN, reversed the parties: surely you meant crushing defeat for Labour. hehehehehe

Nothing is ever simple. You'll have to forgive our establishment's need to simplify complex situations and put our own narrative on top of it. Our media hasn't changed one bit at least since this clip from 1967, as Lee Kuan Yew put it:

"May I say what I mean in my own form of words. I think Americans have a friendly habit of trying to help a person think for himself but I'd rather do my own composition if I may"

Dear Tyler, the centre-right coalition in Australia is not like your populists. If you try to force fit an American view on to the situation here, you might end up in an intellectual pond of salt-water crocs. But it is too late, Bloomberg readers will now be misinformed which is woefully worse than underinformend.

It seems similar in that both are backlashes against aggressive and moralizing left-wingers, if the Quilette article is to be given substance

What is obvious now is that at least $20 million was funneled through Malaysia to the Obama campaign and that money bought a lot. Along with Hillary’s pay-to-play State Department, Biden’s Chinese financial entanglement, China’s employment of an impressive roster of former Democrat office holders as lobbyists, and the recent convictions of members of the US intelligence community for selling secrets to China, the people of the world are quite rightly concerned with the very real prospect of the US coming under even greater Chinese influence. The people of the world are forced now to look to their own governments for safety security. The threat is real.

Don't forget that Cindy Yang worked with the China Communist Party to funnel money and provide campaign support to Donald Trump:

The Chinese government also tried to buy favors from the Trump children:

Oh, mouse ... there you go again.

Got a bet going ... which traitor is going to sell out his co-conspiritors first? Comey? Brennan? ???

I going to make some popcorn! This is better than the OJ trial!

In India all politicians have to be populists to make a mark. Not sure Modi is right in the sense used in the column , he is probably right in reading the electorate.

I agree.

In India most politicians are pro-big-government programs. Pro-redistribution, pro-welfare etc. and most of the leading politicians frown upon market.

What about Australia's recession and ongoing deflation of the housing bubble? Please go back to economics Prof. Cowen :/

No recession in Australia, although with interest rates under 3% we are certainly in a danger zone for coping with economic shocks. Housing prices are down but our property prices don't pop like in the United States.

It certainly has been suggested Australia might be heading for more difficult economic times that will cause the Coalition to lose the next recession, but I think the lack of real economic distress is why the Coalition retained power. Unemployment is down from a year ago.

I'm no Dr. Doom, I hope it's a soft landing/deleveraging.

That's the way it's gone for the past 27 years.

Ben Phillips of the Australian National University says:

"Some potential drivers of swing to Coalition at electorate level - low income, low education, Christian religion. Age, rentals little correlation. Usual correlation caveats apply!"

Financial Review take:

Tyler's getting rightly ratioed here

He didn't do his homework. Its hard to forget that he's a insta-pundit like the rest of them. "Experts" that read a news clipping or two and ready to pontificate as though they knew all along. I blame social media and their "hot take" culture for this.

As was the case in America, the fake narrative from the Australian losers has to be hustled into place so it can harden. They have to overcome a huge media record showing the wide differences between the parties and the certainty with which a liberal victory was expected, and that level of spinning and fakery requires a lot of effort.

Hahahahahahaa!!!! Pay attention, Tom T!: Labour victory was expected, not Liberal!

Australians also showed a relative lack of interest in doing more about climate change.

Is the environment really a very left wing issue? There are various "Green Parties" which tend to be left, but sometimes to the chagrin of their vote, and it never really seems much like it's a signature issue for the mainstream left.

Not any more. My social media circles who are gutted by the liberals win are actually classic liberal voters who just demand action on the issue, but are otherwise center right. Libs would have screamed home amongst them if it just signalled that climate change was something to take seriously, instead of sucking up to the coal brigade. (I appreciate that they might have lost voters or sponsors elsewhere if they did - the overlord might have been unhappy)

Climate change was a signature issue for the Labor party in Australia, whose platform called for broad structural changes to Australian society on that basis. Queensland -- coal country -- was where labor suffered the sharpest shock. This election was very much a rejection of large-scale climate-change reform.

Guardian Australia: "This was an election in large part about the climate emergency"

Not really. In one of the wealthiest electorates in the country, the former right wing prime minister lost his seat to a candidate whose major platform is action on climate change. There is a significant constituency in favour of climate change reform.

Like Tyler, you didn't know we were having an election until this morning. Until 5 minutes ago you didn't even know the names of our political parties. Do you normally form your opinions this quickly?

Classic projection. Five minutes ago, you thought this election was unlosable for Labor and a major referendum on climate change.

Yes!! Now you got the party's name right!

The radical left took over the Labour Party in the UK, and in the US they are certainly shifting the terms of the political debate: the last time socialism was taken seriously was a century ago in the era of Eugene Debs. Everything depends on how they fare in the next election(s).

The Reagan-Thatcher realignment was hardly inevitable. Reagan trailed in the polls until the (single) presidential debate held a week before the 1980 election; Thatcher would have been a one-term prime minister if not for the serendipitous gift of the Falklands War.

With a few twists of fate, the hard left could achieve a similar, albeit temporary breakthrough. However they would have to deliver the prosperity that would make such gains sustainable, and there are sound historical reasons to be skeptical about that.

> You have to wonder at what margins the EU will become unworkable or lose legitimacy altogether.

Wishy-washy evasive equivocation.

It is just a rebound phase in the long collapse of the judeo-christian civilization. Just like fascism and communism during the last century. Old people will die and the advent of the global transhumanist civilization won't stop.

Of course, the trade war will make us and China, and all countries, poorer as a result. I suspect that Trump has convinced many Americans that trade is zero-sum (i.e., only countries with a surplus in current account are ahead). That Trump likely believes it helps him convince others: the blind leading the blind. The saber-rattling with China pales in comparison with the saber-rattling with Iran. That Americans are confused about the threat from Iran can't be blamed on Trump: Americans don't know the difference between Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims. Who attacked America on 9/11? Who killed and maimed thousands of American soldiers in Iraq? Who has been committing unspeakable acts of violence in Syria and Iraq? Sunni Muslim extremists, either from or supported by our friends in Sunni Saudi Arabia, which is encouraging Trump to attack its nemesis, Shiite Iran. Shiite Muslims make up a small percentage of Muslims worldwide, less than 15%, while Sunni Muslims make up more than 85%. Who knew? All of this saber-rattling serves a useful purpose: it's a distraction from the corruption that is endemic among white nationalists, both here and abroad. Trump isn't alone in his saber-rattling; indeed, European white nationalists are expert, having experience going back to the 1920s and 1930s. And trade wars have a long and sordid history, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 kicking off the Great Depression while placing the blame on foreigners for the nation's economic ills. When it comes to white nationalists, the past is the present: what worked in the past to stir up anger and resentment works today.

Who has denied you the ability to use paragraphs, and where should I be protesting this injustice?

Iran actually did kill and maim thousands of soldiers in Iraq. They created the EFP IED, mass produced them in factories in Iran, and built up a supply chain to ship them to Shia terrorist groups which they controlled.

They have also committed unspeakable violence in Iraq and Syria, with Shia death squads ethnically cleansing several cities by way of murder and torture.

There’s no innocent group here, with the exception of maybe the Yazidi. And the Kurds are definitely less bad.

'The populist “New Right” isn’t going away anytime soon, and the rise of the “New Left” is exaggerated.'

Well, depends on how one looks at the Greens, whose gains have been larger than that of the 'New Right.' (The Northern League, FPÖ, etc - old to very old right),

Beating the anti-China drum will not go over well with the European hard Right, most of whom (Orban, Salvini, Putin) seem eager to make as many deals with the Chinese as possible. Ironically Trump’s unpredictability/unreliability is doing quite a lot to make the EU more attractive to the average European. My guess is that if Hilary were President European far-right parties would be much stronger than they actually are.

Nobody's excited about climate change because they've managed to discover, without the help of the media, that the concept is bogus, no matter what your political inclinations might be and that in practical terms, if it is true, there's nothing that can be done, the results of which will be apparent during the lifetime of anyone now on earth.

My grandmother was ever the optimist/positivist, even at times of the grief from having outlived two of her children. Positivity may be infectious, but pessimism/negativity is deadly. I believe negativity is the natural human condition, while positivity requires effort. That's why so many are negative and are drawn to pessimists/negativists: it requires little or no effort.

James David Barber divided presidents into four psychological types: active-positive, active-negative, passive-positive, and passive-negative. Active-negative, as one would imagine, is reserved for the worst personality types to become president. Barber put FDR in the category of active-positive, Reagan in the category of passive-positive, Coolidge in the category of passive-negative, and Nixon in the category of active-negative. If Barber were alive today (he died in 2004), he no doubt would put Trump in the category of active-negative. Of course, both Nixon and Trump had highly committed supporters. Misery loves company.

Nonsense. Trump is the most strongly active-positive president since FDR. Don't let dislike for his policy choices blind you to understanding the man himself.

For some, 'Make America Great Again' would be a negative.

Utter nonsense.

There's an evolutionary reason for a negative bias. As Casey Stengel used to say, " you can look it up". ;)

"European Parliament elections later this week could be a disaster"

Tyler's a bit of a sore loser here. Plenty of Britons will consider it a delight. We will assuredly hear that it prefigures economic disaster, from all of the people who said the same thing about Trump's election.

'Plenty of Britons will consider it a delight.'

Which is hilarious - the group of people rejecting the EU are actively running to be politically active in a political body they declare irrelevant, with the UK having taken back control .

At least Sinn Fein has principles - when elected to Parliament in the UK, they have a century long unbroken tradition of not appearing, as they utterly reject the idea that Parliament in any way, shape, or form represents them and their goals.

To put it plainly - if Farage had the principles of Sinn Fein, he would make clear that he would never be flying to Strasbourg using public funds, nor participating in any EU decision making until the UK is out of the EU.

Instead, one assumes that Farage will continue to ride his gravy train as long as possible - 'Nigel Farage is facing an investigation by European parliament authorities over claims that he failed to declare nearly half a million pounds in gifts from an insurance tycoon under investigation by the National Crime Agency.

It was claimed this week that the Brexit Party leader has been given as much as £450,000 in kind by Arron Banks, including a chauffeur-driven car, rent and bills on a £4.4m Chelsea home, and lavish trips to the United States to meet with right-wing politicians.

But none of the gifts, detailed in invoices seen by Channel 4 News, were declared on Mr Farage’s register of interests with the European parliament, which is designed to prevent MEPs from keeping their conflicts of interests secret.'

Pretzel logic ("how dare the opposition win the election we forced the UK to have!") and Wikipedia dumping from the troll. I guess I scored a hit!

'how dare the opposition win the election we forced the UK to have'

You are aware that the only reason that the UK is having this election is because the UK asked the EU to remain in the EU, right?

Maybe you should read an article about it. 'British Prime Minister Theresa May has asked the European Union for another delay to the bedeviled Brexit process -- and it hasn't gone down well.
May said she wanted to extend the Brexit deadline to June 30 -- a date rejected by the EU when the UK last sought a delay -- to give more time to break the political impasse in London.

But EU ambassadors, meeting in Brussels ahead of an emergency summit of EU leaders next week, questioned the reasoning behind the short extension. There are also fears that, If granted, it could cast a cloud of uncertainty over elections to the European Parliament in May.

One diplomatic source said two possible responses to the letter were discussed at the meeting, which was the ambassadors' first opportunity to discuss May's request.

France, which has taken a firmer line over Britain's demands, floated the idea of offering only a two-week extension, in order to prepare financial markets for Britain leaving the EU without a negotiated deal.
The other option, floated by Germany, was to demand more information from May, in order to justify offering a longer extension.'

The only people keeping the UK in the EU now are the British. May could have the UK leave today if she wished, and the EU could do nothing about it. Well, they would likely applaud, but that is about it.

And odd as it sounds, considering how dismal her track record of failure, May said that if the EU gave her an extension, the UK would likely leave the EU before the elections, and definitely leave before the seating of someone like Farage back in the EU Parliament.

That's right, Farage is already a MEP, cashing his EU pay check while also taking EU funds for party political purposes. A pay check that was cut in half, admittedly - 'British Member of European Parliament Nigel Farage will be docked half of his pay over the next 10 months after auditors found he misspent the money.

The EU inquiry focused on the role of an assistant, Christopher Adams, who was engaged to work with the Member of European Parliament (MEP). But Adams was also appointed to work within the anti-EU UKIP party in Britain as national nominating officer with his salary coming from the EU funds.' If you would like, I can post a wikipedia link too.

clockwork: To put it plainly - if Farage had the principles of Sinn Fein, he would make clear that he would never be flying to Strasbourg using public funds, nor participating in any EU decision making until the UK is out of the EU.

So in your mind he *only* has the principles of the SNP at Westminster then?

Wait, the SNP was successful, and Scotland has officially left the UK, but is just waiting to straighten out the paperwork?

After all, the UK is only still a part of the EU due to requesting to remain inside (since apparently, 3 years is not long enough for the UK to actually get its act together and take back control).

Sinn Fein is a bit of a strange beast - it is a party that claims (with some justification) to represent Irish citizens, including those Irish citizens that are still found within the borders of Northern Ireland. In other words, from a Sinn Fein perspective (which one need not agree with, of course), part of Ireland is still occupied, regardless of the efforts of parties like Sinn Fein to take back control of all of Ireland. Thus, Sinn Fein rejects the very legitimacy of the UK, and though it does participate in UK elections, it rejects any role for the UK Parliament in Ireland. And thus, in contrast to someone like Farage, has rejected participating in a political institution which it feels has no right to be involved in decision making for Irish citizens (again, a position regarding Ireland that no one else needs to agree with).

One could say that the 2015 MEP Farage was like the SNP at Westminster today. That was not the Farage I was referring too in terms of a direct comparison to Sinn Fein. The current Farage, the one leading the Brexit Party (you know, representing a nation that has already officially left the EU, except for straightening up its paperwork) is being compared to Sinn Fein. Apparently, Farage does not actually want to take back control as long as long as he is being paid by the institution that he rejects as apparently illegitimate to be involved in the UK.

One hopes, after cashing his next 4000 euro paycheck, he does not grin and start talking about the oppression inherent in the EU system, while buying a delicious McDonald's milkshake in Strasbourg.

'the very legitimacy of the UK'

Oops - of a United Kingdom including Northern Ireland.

Sinn Fein probably has a fairly typical Irish opinion about the UK in general, though very likely a bit more intemperate than average.

If you're going to shift goalposts and insist that no analogy holds because Leave already won, then why bring up Sinn Fein? Their abstention from Westminster isn't due to already having won, and sitting out the process or anything like this.

I would imagine that, should the SNP ever win a referendum on Scots independence, particularly should it take more than one electoral cycle to resolve, they will continue sitting at Westminster. Indeed I think any serious separatist party would act like that.

“Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.”
― Franz Kafka

Hi, mouse!

Hey, quit stealing my fake name!

You quit. I know it's you, mouse. Still looking for your cheese.

What is far right? It seems like common sense ideas can get you labeled far right. For example, multi-ethnic democracies are at least as unstable as they are dynamic and the potential downside of civil war is much worse than the potential upside is good. Men and women are different and that will always be reflected at the societal level so differences are not ipso facto bad. It is at least plausible that abortion is a form of murder of an innocent person and, if it is, should not be allowed. Marriage only exists because human beings reproduce sexually and recognition of marriage has all kinds of positive effects. There is no reason to recognize relationship that are naturally non-procreative relationships as identical to marriage. If there are problems than need to be addressed dealing other kinds of relationships, legislatures should make appropriate laws, but the lumping together of all of these relationships as marriage is offensive to people's sanity. The increasing social pressure to call men that self mutilate women is also offensive to people's sanity. Destroying monuments and place names is at best needlessly provocative. The rise of the far is mostly a reaction against an increasingly extreme center.

"There is no reason to recognize relationship that are naturally non-procreative relationships as identical to marriage."

That is why we prevent old widows from marring again. What is the point if they can't have children?
The far-right twists itself in knocks to justify hatred.

It's a label for a kind of relationship, not a label for the subjective intentions of the actors.

You also make my point with "far-right".

This is an interesting reversal for Tyler, but I think he is arguing with his old self more than with "the left."

If I remember correctly, after the rise of Trump, certain pundits like Tyler said "oh no, watch out, the left will become just as crazy." you may recall essays in this period which focused on "the rise of socialism."

Now when Biden polls well, Tyler says "the New Left is weak!"

I'm sorry, but maybe this New Left socialist stuff was the dream of a few millennials *and* an old yard right that wanted to pretend "both sides were equal."

If the real story is that the Democrats stayed sane and want to elect the same candidates, make you focus on that.

If the pretend centrists were real centrists they would be celebrating right now.

The left did not go crazy and populist.

The rise of the right cannot be blamed on the left being pro-China when considering that in many countries, the right is more pro-China. This is the case for much of continental Europe as well as important Asian countries such as Taiwan. Far-right Philippine President Duterte is quite pro-China and also quite popular.

In the US in 2020, I doubt China will be a voting issue for more than 10% of the electorate, and many of those voters will see the issue as just further proof of Trump’s racial hostility towards non-whites (hard to blame them when Trump’s State Department official came out and said we can’t get along with China because they are “not Caucasian”). Biden’s comment on China was attacked by some pundits but doesn’t seem to have hurt his polling at all.

'I doubt China will be a voting issue for more than 10% of the electorate'

Guess it depends on how important you think the agricultural mid west is in terms of American politics, and what effect tariffs will be having in the next 12-18 months.

'and many of those voters will see the issue as just further proof of Trump’s racial hostility towards non-whites'

Those mid west agricultural voters do not care about Trump's 'racial hostility towards non-whites.' They do care, a lot, about their bank balances.

I guess we could thumbnail this as a whiplash from "oh no, AOC is the future" to "Democrats are weak, they won't listen to AOC."

In other news, Trump accuses the FBI and Democrats of treason. He then has to pause as his fans chant, "lock them up!"

Interesting that Tyler is disappointed. That he doesn't have some symmetry from the left to support "both sides, both sides, .."

Oh mouse, I feel your pain. Your cheese has been moved and you keep looking for it in the same place. Change is hard.

This might help you:

My cheese has definitely been moved. It looks like everybody who was "oh no, AOC" is going to be "Biden is same old, same old."

Democratic populism was bad, until Democrats not having populism became bad.

That's frustrating, even if it is a remarkable illustration of motivated thinking.

Oh well, humans will be humans.

Unless a country is in major crisis or war, foreign policy matters do not move voters. I don't think the China conflict is much of a driver of right-wing populism. I think, rather, high-tech disruptions and the increasing migration of non-Westerns to Western countries are driving voters, especially older white voters (50 +), to support right-wing parties that promise various forms of economic and cultural protectionism. Things are changing fast, and many people, rightly or wrongly, are insecure.

The bitter clingers will be buried. You don't get to say no to the future.

>Australians also showed a relative lack of interest in doing more about climate change.


They showed a complete lack of interest in forking over yet-more money to the statists to be squandered on pointless boondoggles.

Can you see the difference? It shouldn't be hard.

So is this new right is Dick Gephardt or Ronald Reagan. It sure doesn't seem much like Mussolini.

mebbe educated aussie womyn are actually misogynists!
that is what we told the Amerikan media to say after the
2016 American election!

What does right wing mean?

Gun control, free fertility treatments for lesbians, but no free heroin, and only carbon taxes on gasoline and diesel.*

*Note: Right wing status may only apply in Australia.

"You have to wonder at what margins the EU will become unworkable or lose legitimacy altogether."

Tyler you left out the obvious path of a reformation. The current EU structure may well be unworkable, but so was the original US structure. under the Articles of Confederation.

Hi, mouse!

I'm not a mouse, I'm a Rat! They're bigger, meaner and smarter.

He is not EdR either, he's the real mouse. He is using a fake fake name instead of his real fake name. Lol!

It wasn't so long ago that the Brexiteers - who want to honour the people's vote rather than surrender to the iron whim of the establishment - would accordingly have been classified as "left".

And people who put GDP growth at the forefront would be called "right."

According to Galbraith (1958), both the left and right claimed the mantle of "we're the higher GDP growth party". This was more than 60 years ago.

"On the importance of production as a test of performance, there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats, right and left, white and minimally prosperous black, Catholic and Protestant. It is common ground for the Chairman of Americans for Democratic Action, the President of the United States Chamber of Commerce and the President of the National Association of Manufactures."

By the way, I'm not that up on Brexit, but when I see trend graphs like these ..

I think the UK just don't know how to govern themselves. You don't overhaul your laws and economy on a slender, fickle, lead, and call that "democracy."

Which week?

Continued membership of the EU means continuous change in laws and economy towards a more pan-European integrated model. A fickle and slender lead certainly isn't justification for that.

EU membership =! the status quo; it means continuous and further integration.

As a distanced and fairly agnostic observer, I would make the *general* claim that confusion, with no clear mandate, supports the status quo.

I rather doubt your agnosticism, sorry. I mean we are talking about a referendum propsed in a manifesto by the conservatives, for an election they won, then a simple majority procedure proposed and won in parliament, then won in the actual exercise, then confirmed by an electoral win by that same party. That's sufficient, and there is no status quo to defend, either choice means massive transformation, continued membership of the EU probably more so (between migrations of Europeans, changes to law, etc) and Brexit more the status quo of British life

Proportional representation in most of Europe facilitates the emergence of very diverse political currents, some of which don't fall neatly on a left-right spectrum. For instance, some parties fuse leftish economic populism (opposing the globalist free-trade agendas of the big corporations) with rightish anti-immigration policies.

Trump himself talked that talk, and got elected. We are seeing the triumph of populism, and not of the right per se.

Interesting comments regarding China when you consider the negotiations involve making it safer for US companies to invest in China.

Instead of a Tariff on Chinese goods, you could accomplish the same thing by imposing an EMBARGO on US firms transferring technology or forming joint ventures with Chinese firms.

Tariff or embargo/prohibition on technology transfer.

Ask yourself this question: IF a US firm is aware of the likelihood of their technology being stolen if they manufacture in China, and they go anyway, what does that tell you about the value of their technology and/or the desirability of access to the market.

Let's make it safe again for US firms to invest in China.

"...the rise of the “New Left” is exaggerated."

Bingo! The fact that Biden, is leading in the polls is really all the proof you need. He is a moderate and has 4-5 fold lead over Warren and Harris, even as they get tons of press over one hair-brained scheme after anther. And this is with Democrats, not the country as a whole.

That was the real conclusion that Tyler should have drawn instead of over-extending and pretending the NuRight is going anywhere. Nonetheless, it's not over till Corbyn's over.

The US has China's grudging respect. Trump's approach is the correct one. But the Chinese want to dismantle the British Commonwealth. I realize there are sentimental and ethnic attachments to the Brits, but it's probably time to recognize the reality of a tri-polar world and allow China its sphere of influence in the Pacific.

Do Australia and New Zealand even want to exist as nation-states in their own right? I don't think they do, and it's counter-productive to fight for people who don't really believe in themselves.

(The other option is the US de-scales and concentrates on being a coherent American nation-state (sorry, Hawaii) but I don't see that happening any time soon.

Hi, mouse!

No. In all seriousness, if we're going to lay bets then China is probably the winning team. 1B+ vs. 25M, 37M and 4.8M is no contest.

Variants of which the US said before Afghanistan? I'm not counting China out, but large states don't necessarily always have the ability to bring resources to bear, and its not like China hasn't often lost wars and conflicts through history to smaller neighbours.

They don't need to do it militarily. They just send homebuyers with cash. The Commonwealth is toast.

That's a rather different case then military or trade subjugation then.

Well, they probably could do it that way. Though will be harder work in the same of China's own demographic headwinds; sending their young and capable away could be a problem with an aging population. Billions of people means billions of pensioners to support (population is strengthening not always).

But it seems like that strategy, if they employed it, is fairly fraught with the sort of "Use the Cossacks to conquer Siberia" or "Use the Virginians to conquer America" type problems. In that they won't necessarily stay loyal, particularly if they start assimilating into the democracy that doesn't exist in China.

To this guy, just having non-whites in your country equals a loss. He's safely ignored.

"The result of Saturday’s federal election in Australia is being treated as the most staggering political shocker in my country since World War II. Scott Morrison, leading the Liberal Party, looks to have won a majority government—a result that defies three years of opinion polling, bookie’s odds and media commentary."

Some posters have downplayed the results of the Australian election, but other sources seem to indicate that it was both unusual and unexpected.

I'm reminded again of how people literally staked their mental health on Trump not winning. Then he won. Not a healthy way to live. I thought Tyrion Lannister had some good insights on the liberal mind the other night.

'Some posters have downplayed the results of the Australian election'

Particularly ones who say they are Australian.

'but other sources seem to indicate that it was both unusual and unexpected.'

Oddly, the same Australians doing the 'downplaying' are also the ones confirming it was unexpected. Almost as if they actually know more about Australia and its politics than a bunch of people who are not Australian.

Right. It was extremely unexpected, and therefore unusual. And it has very big operational ramifications for someone like me who does some policy work for the government - Australia is very statist compared to USA. But it does't have the political ramifications people are claiming

"Particularly ones who say they are Australian. Almost as if they actually know more about Australia and its politics than a bunch of people who are not Australian."

LOL, The author I quoted is Australian. Perhaps you should read an article before you attempt a rebuttal.

You academics think in ideological terms.

I just wanted to note that the Australian election results were almost identical at the national level to the 2016 results:

2016 - LNP: 50.36 ALP: 49.64

2019 - LNP: 51.05 ALP: 48.95 (so far)

LNP seats went from 76/150 to 78/150.

I'd be more inclined to read this as a status quo result than a shift - the status quo being that Australia is quite open to electing centre-Right governments, and has been since the 40s.

The surprise comes from the polls being off by 3%, but even that's pretty common - happens about 1 in 4 times.

As I mentioned in the Bloomberg comments, this is not a good column by Tyler. For one thing, Spain. And the 2018 midterms. That's some cherry picking right there.

Another problem is conflation. Modi is an economic leftist (then again so is Trump). Brexit is a separate issue that has been ongoing for decades.

It's nationalists vs globalists. Trump and Modi and Orban and Salvini and the rest have some lefty bits, and some righty bits. But what binds them is the whole nationalist thing, fighting those evil elites and the people who want to live in their countries.

It might be that way in some places, but not in others. The nationalists are just cranky old retards in the US who need to die already. They have no future. They have no present or presence in Canada. Australia's government doesn't seem particularly nationalist.

The places where nationalism crops up are typically dregs that have gotten bored of voting for left-wing parties ex Spain's far right party didn't do that well but the place it did get some seats was in a formerly left-voting area. Same with France's National Front and all of Hungary.

Nationalism/populism is just a fad. It can't pay the bills anymore than the left can.

...has 'paying the bills' been the way to electoral success?

Since reality was real. Eventually, the bills catch up with you and then it goes South. The Ontario Liberals found this out the hard way. As interest rates rise the ability to push things off into the future will diminish.

LOL. Isn't your Prime Minister a Sikh nationalist whenever he needs to be?

(((Left/Right Paradigm)))

Centrists don't find quarter with the woke the radical left and are forced to the right.

"Nor did Obama stand up to China on the militarization of the South China Sea."

If the United States was a good ally of China they would want to prevent them from making this mistake and antagonizing nations in the region.

If the United States wanted to make trouble for China they would try to heighten tensions in the area mostly from behind the scenes while putting as little skin into the game as possible to create the maximum distrust of China at minimum cost.

The course the United States has taken of attracting flack and becoming an obvious scapegoat for any nation that decides they want to change course doesn't come off as either very bright if they want to keep things peaceful or very cunning if the goal is to spread discord.

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