New York Times staff editor Bari Weiss was a panelist on Real Time with Bill Maher. The panel was discussing the rot that is Donald Trump and the Right-Wing populist movement. She was not kind to Progressives.
Weiss first castigated Progressives for not seeing the severity of the populist movement.
Bari Weiss did not hold back on Progressive critique
“It is the failure of the imagination I think,” Bari Weiss said. “To see Trump as just a domestic aberration. He is the symptom of a much, much bigger trend, a wave. Which is an anti-democratic wave sweeping the West.”
She points out that it is not only Trump but Brazil’s Bolsonaro and others.
“And it is populations that are turning against things that we thought were assumed.” Weiss continued. “Things like liberalism and democracy. They are turning toward populism, ethnic nationalism, and the rest. “
She said the challenge is to find leaders and the Democratic side that can make a case for a healthy patriotism. Her response to Bill Maher asking why people are turning to the toxic populism she described, she hit the nail on the head.
“We are living through a revolution that is bigger than the Gutenberg Revolution,” Weiss said. “We are living through a moment where everything is broken.”
She went on to point out that we do not have common information given that different networks inform citizens with alternate states of reality. She even alluded to the fact that with automation, outsourcing, etc., we do not know what the future of work looks like.
Bari Weiss points out the reality that “strong men like Trump” fill the vacuum of uncertainty and take over. She said that is possible because too many Progressives are scare to touch the issues that Trump touches even as they should.
“They are scared to touch anything that will give them the whiff of xenophobia,” Weiss said. “And bigotry and all the rest of the things that they are terrified of being accused of. And they need to come up with sensible answer to those things.”
Weiss concludes that unless Progressives step out of the box, Trump and his cohort will continue to win.