The same dynamics are splintering the left, too. One element has aligned with the right in revolt against globalization, but with business taking the place of migrants as the chief evil. They agree with the right-wing populists about elites, though for the left the elites are the wealthy, while for the right they’re the liberals.
This leftist populism is a profound error. It has no chance of matching the populist appeal of the right, and it dangerously validates some of the right’s arguments. This only fuels a cynicism that depresses support for the more progressive parts of the left’s program.
But this left tendency has gained from the seeming paralysis of the center. The parties and politicians of the center have become the managers of the status quo in an era when people want change. So, the center — in both its center-right and center-left camps — is marginalized, even despised.
Tony Blair, “How to Stop Populism’s Carnage”, The New York Times (4 March 2017), A19.