The claim that the United States has become “populist” and that democracy and the constitution are under threat is excessive. As the American political satirist Jon Stewart put it, “We're still the same country."
Commentators who often hold the same opinions and who read each other’s work across borders, are all currently condemning the overwhelming rise of “populism.” They are all too quick to compare today with the 1930s, and each of them heralds the coming of a civil war that will wipe out 70 years of international peace and cooperation. But prophecy is an unpredictable literary genre, especially when it comes to the future. What’s more, the future rarely resembles the past. And the more we play oracle, the more we forget the particular circumstances that — as much as grandiose generalizations — explain forms of populism, but not populism itself.
Can we really put Donald Trump’s victory, Brexit, the Italian referendum on constitutional reform and the Austrian presidential elections in the same bracket? It is true that in each of these cases, hostility towards immigration and globalization[...]