A year into Trump’s peasant rebellion

Such bottom up uprisings, usually elicit strong opposition from the established institutions. Today they span the gap from corporate liberals to establishment conservatives. For all their surface differences, these groups tend to share similar class experiences and perspectives; they both see Trump and his supporters as inveterate racists and fascist shock troops. Retiring GOP Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake even has denounced him as a new Stalin.

To be sure much of Trump’s media commentary is intemperate but its significance, to paraphrase Shakespeare, is often “a tale of an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” In contrast many believers in a free press had little problem when President Obama threw journalists in jail and abused the surveillance instruments of the state. Real Stalinism may be less of a threat today — despite Trump’s authoritarian posturing — than under his more polished predecessor.

Similarly, across Europe, informed opinion almost universally denounces, the rise of anti-EU, anti-immigration parties, some with suspiciously fascist flavor. The Brexit movement has been widely characterized as the rude attempts of provincial rubes — “old, racist and stupid” — to undermine the cosmopolitan character of “cool Britannia.”