Analysts and commentators continue to demonstrate a penchant for trying to couch the various conflicts that have arisen from the semi-global populist upsurge in terms that implicitly assume the antagonists (the populists) have a set of goals in mind or are otherwise aiming to secure some kind of concessions, even if they're not entirely sure what those concessions are.
I continue to think this is a mistake. If we learned anything from the Brexit experience, it's that the populist backlash in all its various manifestations rests on nebulous concepts, not concrete policy goals.
The Brexit negotiations have been nothing short of a nightmare for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that nobody knows exactly what “Brexit” means.
It’s not even clear what part of speech “Brexit” is. Is it a noun? If so, is it a proper noun, or is it just capitalized by default because the first two letters denote the name of a country? Or maybe it’s a verb. If that’s the case, how does one “Brexit”?
Whatever the case, it’s an amorphous concept that had symbolic meaning to the extent it conveyed something about public sentiment, but had little to no practical application
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