There is a new phobia which a German intellectual might suggest as existing.....Victoriae Populi. The irrational fear of populists.
I sat last week watching two different German public chat forums on state-run TV, where it was obvious that German politicians and intellectuals are quiet fearful of this new group.
The problem is....the more you examine this populist talk...you come to this weird reality. Populism mostly exists because the public wants things to occur, or gifts to be given to them. But the more you examine this definition.....you realize that most political parties (doesn't matter if they are American or German) gift their voters or vote stupid things to occur already. To say that Trump supporters are getting something special or way outside of the norm.....well....any normal party could grasp this swing of voters and the frustrations that exist.....and move toward that plateau.
The CDU, the SPD, the Green Party, the Linke Party.....are all populist-magnets in their own way. The Greens actually grasped their way to gift people or react to extreme views back thirty years ago. They were able to talk roughly 8-percent of German society into becoming solid Green voters. They made promises and stuck to them. The Green Party is about as populist as any other party (even the AfD).
So we come to intellectuals and this whole 'get-worried' concept. There is this irrational fear of populists because they just might not follow the scripted scenario that intellectuals suggest you follow. Smart people listen to them....therefore you should only go and heed the words of the wise-men. Populism is dangerous and threatens the lives of all.
On the populists scale.....Hitler, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan? All three are populists. Kohl, Merkel and Boris Johnson? All populists.
The minute you run for something and you promise something....social security reform, tax reform, or immigration reform....you've hooked your wagon onto a populist horse. It's hard to avoid saying otherwise....unless you really want to act dopey like some news journalists and pretend that only bad people can be populists.
So, if you think you've got the Victoriae Populi Phoibia? Well....is there any way of fixing this or overcoming this irrational fear? No. Not unless you've got a fifth of Jack Daniels and an evening to work on this terrible irrational fear.