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I am old enough to remember when the best thing about populism was that it was not popular.The most frequently cited examples are the United Kingdom's vote last year to leave the European Union and Donald Trump's presidential election victory in the United States.Putin's critics are often killed, though, if you believe Trump, the Russian security services have nothing to do with that. And, even if they do, Trump argued in a recent interview, it's nothing to condemn.Whether or not the U.S. can be called "innocent," there is no denying that the U.S. president, unlike his Russian or Chinese counterparts, has to operate within a set of constitutional arrangements and a particular value system.Trump calls any unflattering or critical reporting on his administration or policies – even the publication of a negative poll result – "fake news". He denounces journalists as the "lowest form of life". This approach is not unique to Trump.The U.S. media have not been bowing to Trump.While Britain's populist media rant about restoring parliamentary sovereignty in Britain (as though it had ever been taken away), they denounce any member of Parliament who questions the path on which the country is now set.They even savaged the rule of law, which affords them the very freedoms that they have so often abused. Trump himself recently tweeted the same comment about the U.S. media.
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