Great, albeit somewhat depressing piece.
It is tempting to see the end of an era in the political stalemate we see in Brexit, Trump, FN, PVV, DfD, FPÖ and so on. The distrust in experts, the populism, the disconnection between sizeable portions of the population and its self-proclaimed representatives, none of it augurs well.
But have we not seen similar moments when the democratic system seemed bankrupt? The 3-day week in the UK (well before my time here, but still a vivid memory), terror attacks all over Europe from extreme left and extreme right, without the political caste seemingly being able to come up with a response?
Perhaps we shouldn’t be too despondent. Maybe things aren’t really that different, but just looking different because of the way our main channels of perceiving the world, the media and the social media, tend to amplify small signals with great ease, leaving us with a bit of a distorted view.
There is no doubt that we are in the middle (well, that would assume we’re halfway and I wouldn’t put my neck on the block for that bet!) of a political crisis: a government dominated by a single issue with not remotely a clear view of how to resolve it, and an opposition for which the term ‘dysfunctional’ would be understating the case massively. Yet somehow I think that this too may pass without some form of inevitable loss of the fundamental values of the liberal democratic system.
But then again, I’ve always been a bit of an optimist…