The hallmark of today’s populism, as in the past, is the belief that powerful elites—big business, the media, Wall Street, Congress, Washington insiders and bureaucrats, and the rich—are exploiting and harming the common man through a rigged political and economic system.
The United States has chosen an outsider populist president. Latin America has ample experience with such leaders. Here are four warning signs U.S. citizens, civil society and policy makers need to be on the look out for.
Populism, a resilient phenomenon in Latin America, has enabled and relied on the inclusion of politically alienated masses to legitimize the weakening of institutions. How is court empowerment and independence possible in the face of such a powerful anti-institutional force? This research argues that the answer may be found in the same mechanisms that enable populism: popularity and legitimacy.
Although it is reasonable to believe that a Donald Trump presidency in the United States would adversely affect White House policies toward Latin America, the most damaging effect of a Republican victory would be on the state of democracy on the continent.