Populism, Trump, and the Future of Democracy
Any compelling response to populism must begin by understanding the discontent that is roiling politics in the US and in democracies around the world. Like the triumph of Brexit in the UK, the election of Trump was an angry verdict on decades of rising inequality and a version of globalization that benefits those at the top but leaves ordinary people feeling disempowered. In this lecture, renowned philosopher Michael Sandel argues that before mainstream parties can hope to win back public support, they should learn from the populist protest that has displaced them—not by replicating its xenophobia and strident nationalism, but by taking seriously the legitimate grievances with which these ugly sentiments are entangled. These grievances are not only economic but also moral and cultural; they are not only about wages and jobs but also about social esteem.