Trump supporters Scott Olson | Getty Images

Desacreditemos la narrativa populista estadounidense

BERKELEY – No hay que ser un oyente particularmente dotado para descifrar las señales que se están usando durante la campaña electoral de este año en Estados Unidos. Si escuchas tan solo por un momento, podrás enterarte de que los mexicanos y los chinos se alían con Wall Street para implementar pésimos acuerdos comerciales que roban a los trabajadores estadounidenses los puestos de trabajo que legítimamente les corresponden; y que los musulmanes quieren volar a todo el mundo por el aire.

Toda esta siembra de miedo resulta más atemorizante que las prácticas habituales de otros años electorales. Asusta a los extranjeros, que no pueden más que concluir que los votantes en la única superpotencia del mundo están peligrosamente desequilibrados. Y asusta a los estadounidenses, quienes hasta hace poco creían —o tal vez esperaban— estar viviendo en una república basada en las tradiciones establecidas por George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, y Teddy y Franklin Roosevelt.

Pero aún más perturbadora es la realidad política que refleja esta retórica. No se puede comparar la crítica del neoliberalismo orientada a las políticas que propone el candidato presidencial demócrata Bernie Sanders con las bravuconadas incoherentes de Donald Trump o Ted Cruz del lado de los republicanos. Sin embargo, tanto desde la derecha como desde la izquierda emerge una narrativa común, que intenta explicar por qué el ingreso de los estadounidenses trabajadores y de clase media se ha estancado durante la última generación.

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