Voters in the West rebelling against the management of the 'system'

Bret Stephens:
Government statistics can show a drop in the unemployment rate, but they give scant indication of whether the jobs available now have the status or pay of the jobs available previously. Giving unlimited credit to a panicked patient will always have a narcotic effect; it can also have an addictive one. Near-zero (or sub-zero) interest rates will goose stock markets to the delight of sophisticated investors—and the dismay of savers. Bank bailouts may make “systemic” sense. But they divorce behavior from consequence. Pushing economic management from elected officials into the hands of unelected central bankers and regulators flatters the vanity of the intelligentsia while offending the normal person’s sense that his vote should count toward his own livelihood.

In other words, the “system,” with its high-toned rationale and its high-handed maneuvers, struck millions of people as unaccountable and unjust. It might have been a good thing that the sky didn’t fall on everybody, but shouldn’t it at least have fallen on somebody? Bernie Sanders got remarkably close to winning the Democratic nomination by calling Wall Street a fraud and demanding prosecutions. Hillary Clinton lost the White House by so perfectly typifying the system that supposedly worked so well. Donald Trump is what he is, and readers know what I think of that. But Mrs. Clinton’s unforgivable sin was her outsized—and unearned—sense of entitlement.

Look again at this year’s other big political surprises.

Colombians rejected the peace deal because they would not abide having terrorists lightly let off for their crimes. Filipinos elected Rodrigo Duterte because they wanted to exact moral justice against drug dealers, never mind the finer details of legal justice. Britons disregarded dire warnings about the consequences of leaving the EU because the powers of Brussels violated their sense of democratic sovereignty. Italians told Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to shove off because they weren’t sympathetic to plans they see as having been made in Berlin for the benefit of Germans.

The populist wave now cresting across much of the world is sometimes described as a revolt against globalization: immigrants failing to assimilate the values of their hosts, poorer countries drawing jobs from richer ones, and so on. But the root complaint is not about economics. It’s about justice. Why does the banker get the bailout while the merchant goes bankrupt? Why does the illegal immigrant get to jump the citizenship queue? What right does a foreign judge have to tell us what punishments our criminals deserve? Why do our soldiers risk their lives for the defense of wealthy allies?
The Democrats' mantra of "trust me, I am an expert" is not working anymore.  The so called experts running the EU into the ground are out of touch with the people.  They impose rules that make sense on to themselves.  Why should Brussels demand that people accept hostile immigrants and pay for sustaining them?  Why do the EU human rights wackos demand that terrorist not be extradited for fear of how the terrorist will be treated in his home country?


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