Excerpt from National Review
By Andrew C. McCarthy
Populism? No thanks.
I am not now, nor will I ever be, a populist. Evidently, that separates me from a growing number of commentators, including some conservatives, wistfully engaged in Washington’s latest fad: over-interpreting Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election.
The normally sensible Mike Lee, Republican senator from Utah, took to our pages to plead the case of “principled populism” — which is akin to calling for a sober Bacchanalia. Not surprisingly, Senator Lee’s brief doesn’t get very far before strangling in its own illogic, as odes to populism inevitably do. The “characteristic weakness” of populism, he tells us, is the lack of “a coherent philosophy,” which inevitably makes its “proposals” (I’d have said “careenings”) “inconsistent” and “unserious.” Well, yes . . . that is because populism is inherently unprincipled, inconsistent, and unserious, such that arguing for “principled populism” is so much nonsense.