Sunday, June 07, 2009
Global Populism and "Looking South"
Very interested in the analysis presented by the Christian Science Monitor about President Obama's "global populism"--his efforts to transform his popularity into policy, especially by creating new discussions.
Charles Kupchan is quoted as saying: "Obama is going over the heads of elites, attempting to establish moral legitimacy as a leader, turning popularity into policy. What we are seeing is not spin, but a sincere effort to reach out to hearts and minds, appealing to better instincts, to the reasonable nature of others. It is a revolutionary approach."
We'll see. First he needs to convince his own elites here to follow. The second is whether or not elites in other countries can counter.
The second deals with my concerns that in expending so much energy to try and expand the Euro-Atlantic world eastward, we lose the ability to consolidate the "Atlantic south"--at a time when a period of reconsolidation might be in order for the Atlantic world.
If he appeals sufficiently successfully to general populations, elites should be relieved of having to make these decisions. The question is whether he can mobilize this kind of popular support. He seems to me to have made a strong start.