The Collapse of the Political Middle

Does the rise of Donald Trump and right-wing groups across the West mean the world is experiencing a democracy crisis?

On this week’s episode of The E.R., FP’s David Rothkopf, Kori Schake, Rosa Brooks, and Financial Times Washington correspondent Ed Luce discuss whether the age of political crazy extends worldwide — signaled by more than just the success of Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential bid. The panel takes a survey of the drastic political shifts happening elsewhere in the West, with the rise of right-wing groups in countries like Austria, the U.K., France, and Hungary and the struggling leftist parties in Latin America.

There’s an anxiety in the West that the engine of democratic prosperity in these countries is grinding to a halt. And if that’s true, the panel speculates, it means we may not be able to trust that our elected leaders will follow the social, political, and economic bargains that we’ve come to rely upon.

And what, the panel wonders, will the outcome of this period of political turmoil and transition be? With the end of feudalism came the Renaissance, and through the Industrial Revolution came innovation and major progress. Will we see the benefits of this in the long run as we have following other dangerous times? And is this period of Trump and political crazy really as dangerous as many are worried it might be? Or is this just a wobbly moment of overreaction?

Rosa Brooks is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and teaches international law, national security, and constitutional law at Georgetown University. Follow her on Twitter at: @brooks_rosa.

Ed Luce is the Financial Times’s chief U.S. commentator and columnist based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at: @EdwardGLuce.

Kori Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where she focuses on military history, and is a former foreign-policy advisor to Sen. John McCain. Follow her on Twitter at: @KoriSchake.

David Rothkopf is the CEO and editor of the FP Group. Follow him on Twitter at: @djrothkopf.

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