Johnson and Trump: two leaders afraid to do the hard work of running a country | Richard Wolffe

After years of feigned effort, neither of the so-called populist powers can deliver on any of their promises

They rose together and now they are falling together.

For three long years, the DoBo project a scheme to spark global mayhem spearheaded by Donald and Boris, with a few critical assists from Vladimir has afflicted most of our cultural, political and economic norms.

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At the moment of their initial triumph, we could only watch in shock and awe as they undermined some of the worlds greatest diplomatic, military and commercial alliances. Not to mention any sense of social cohesion, right or wrong, day or night.

Who can forget that high-water mark when the new president-elect gave his first British interview to one Michael Gove, the past and future Brexiter?

As he put it, so weirdly, in the third person: Trump said Brexit is going to happen and it happened. Everybody thought I was crazy.

They still do, Mr President. Especially when they remember your promise, in the same interview, of a quick trade deal with the UK that was good for both sides. It made about as much sense as your white nationalist rant about the EU forcing refugees on to a once-proud Britain.

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Back in 2016, the only way to explain the surprising success of the so-called populists was to assume that all assumptions were wrong: this was a global revolution that we somehow ignored until it was too late. Backed by the dark forces of digital disinformation and social media targeting, the project was surely unstoppable.

Until now. In this fourth year of our collective lunacy, the DoBos have facepalmed their way into the brick wall of reality. Its only surprising that it took them so long.

You can fool some of the people all of the time. But you cant really call yourself populist when a rump of hardcore nationalists is all youve got left.

After three years of what passes for effort, Boris cant deliver his beloved Brexit and Donald cant build his wacky wall. Boris cant force Europe into more concessions and Donald cant force Mexico to pay.

Boris lost his conservative majority in parliament while Donald lost the Republican majority in the House. It turns out both of them are better at finding imaginary enemies at home than finding new friends overseas. And no, the love letters from Kim Jong-un dont count.

Hes a friend of mine and hes going at it, theres no question about it, Trump told reporters on Wednesday. Boris knows how to win. Dont worry about him.

Of course Trump was speaking at almost the precise moment when his buddy was losing a House of Commons vote to stop his no-deal Brexit. If Boris knows how to win, this would be a great time to show a few of his winning ways.

This moment of reckoning is forcing us all to reassess our initial analysis of the far-right nationalism we once preferred to call populism. Boris has a 31% positive rating in the UK, while Donald can only scrape together 39% popularity across the pond. Small wonder that Trump is trailing against all the leading Democrats in national head-to-head polling in recent weeks.

At this point it is traditional to insert a few caveats. Boriss Conservatives are still 10 points ahead of the opposition Labour party in national polls on voting intentions. Trump is tying with some Democrats in Wisconsin, even as he trails them all in Michigan. We are several weeks away from the earliest British election and more than a year away from the American general election.

But we already know this about the terrible twins of Anglo-Saxon supremacy. They are both parodies of patriotism, projecting weakness to the world while they praise their own supposed strength.

Both claim to be the worlds greatest negotiators but have truly whiffed at anything close to deal-making. Trump famously bragged that trade wars are good, and easy to win but 18 months after that epic tweet, American manufacturing is in sharp decline and American farmers are miserable.

In the face of all that reality, Trump continues to delude himself about his escalating trade war with China, telling reporters on Wednesday that they want to make a deal. But Donalds assertions about Beijings desires are about as reliable as Boriss claims about Brussels.

Both leaders are demanding ransom payments by holding themselves hostage. Trumps anti-China tariffs are actually paid by American consumers. As a tactic, this is as brilliant as Boris threatening Brussels with the prospect of economic collapse in Britain.

This is the fundamental challenge of the DoBo project: government is so much harder than social media. At some point you have to deliver on something close to your promises or else the people whose will is so clearly sacrosanct will rumble you.

Real conmen know they cant stick around for too long after they sucker their victims because confidence isnt permanent. Real fascists know they cant tolerate democracy for too long after they seize power for the same reason.

So our former populists lose confidence in the evil geniuses who engineered their original victory the Steve Bannons and Dominic Cummings of the dark arts. And they ditch the big narratives about national greatness for the smallest wedge issues about plastic straws or culture wars.

In the end, Donald and Boris will implode not because of their strategists or their slogans but because of themselves.

They are both crushingly lazy men who cant be bothered to prep for questions, never mind for their real job. Donald recently congratulated Poland on getting invaded by the Nazis, while Boris recycled old jokes about his opponent as a chlorinated chicken.

There was a time, not so long ago, when pundits thought that it was a source of some great political superpower that neither Boris nor Donald had any core convictions. They were both opportunists who could turn on their own supporters if there werent enough of them to go around.

Instead, both men have shriveled like peas into an ever-smaller political space, unable to find any popular support for their supposedly populist positions.

Barack Obama used to keep a sign on his desk in the Oval Office that said: Hard Things Are Hard. It was an inside joke, dating back to his toughest days as he struggled to pass his landmark healthcare reforms.

For Boris and Donald, its the easy things like showing up for work that are hard. The hard things just never happen.

Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate Survival Food: The Lost Ways

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