US president Donald Trump © AP

Further to Janan Ganesh’s “A defeat for Trump is not a defeat for autocracy” (August 6), if the liberal elite is concerned about the rise of autocracy they should be honest enough to acknowledge their contribution to the conditions that brought it about.

An observer from another planet would have to conclude that for the past 30 years the policies of the western nations have been more concerned with raising the standard of living for workers in China rather than with maintaining the incomes of their own lower classes.

If one grinds down one class while enriching another beyond the dreams of Croesus, the political ground has been tilled and fertilised for the autocrat. It is the genius of Donald Trump that he saw this opportunity to directly appeal to the working white people who have been left behind. He actually emulated Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan of “Hope”, although he did not use the word. Both men were elected on essentially the same idea while appealing to distinctly different segments of America.

If liberals wish to diminish the attractions of autocracy they will have to address the needs of those who have been done down by the present system. A failure to do this will only mean that the lower classes will continue to yearn for someone, anyone, who will improve their lives. In America this would begin with an acknowledgment by the liberal elite that they have benefited mightily from the Reagan/Bush/Trump tax cuts.

Guy Wroble
Denver, CO, US

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