Authoritarians with an animus against ethnic minorities are on the march across the Western world. They control governments in Hungary and Poland, and will soon take power in America. And they’re organizing across borders: Austria’s Freedom Party, founded by former Nazis, has signed an agreement with Russia’s ruling party — and met with Donald Trump’s choice for national security adviser.
I guess racism can be considered populist in the sense that it represents the views of some non-elite people. But are the other shared features of this movement — addiction to conspiracy theories, indifference to the rule of law, a penchant for punishing critics — really captured by the “populist” label?
All indications are that we’re looking at huge windfalls for billionaires combined with savage cuts in programs that serve not just the poor but also the middle class. And the white working class, which provided much of the 46 percent Trump vote share, is shaping up as the biggest loser.
True, we don’t yet have detailed policy proposals. But Mr. Trump’s cabinet choices show which way the wind is blowing.