Laura Ingraham’s phony populism

Source: The American Conservative
by Mike Lofgren

“[The thesis of Laura Ingraham’s new book is] that billionaire Donald J. Trump, in tune with the best aspects of the GOP since Reagan’s election, is a populist with a workable agenda, and that by remaining a populist he will succeed. On this, she’s an authoritative figure: while the media, along with most of the establishment, dismissed Trump as a joke candidate with no chance of going the distance, she took him seriously and divined that he could win. Does she prove her contentions? Ingraham is right that the last several decades of U.S. trade policies and the deindustrialization of large tracts of the country gave a candidate claiming to be an America First populist a strong edge. But there is something important she misses: the widespread populist hope that Trump would enact a more circumspect foreign policy, keeping America out of pointless wars abroad, has thus far proven deluded. Another truth that Ingraham doesn’t get is that Trump is a complete and painstaking construct of the Manhattan news media, the very elites that populism claims to disdain.” (10/31/17)