The earliest known examples of democracy came about in Ancient Athens around 2500 years ago. It had its limitations, even then; and it certainly wasn't perfect, but it had its appeal. Somehow it declined and when it made its reappearance around two hundred and fifty years ago, it was adopted by an ever increasing percentage of the world's nations and population. It isn't uniform, either in its construct or in its implementation. In fact, in many ways it has become almost like a new religion.
Like religions it has its sects. Like religions it had its proponents, both rational people and fanatics, and like religions it has a section of its supporters that are willing to fight and die in its name. Like the crusades of 2500 years ago, and the fundamentalist Islamic supporters of today, the new fight led by the USA is to 'sell' this new religion called 'democracy' to those that do not have it. To reside in a 'democratic' country today means you have to 'believe' in the idea and never question it. At least that's what it feels like.
Anybody that does, is risking a severe 'bollocking' and definitely considerable abuse on the social media. If you point to ideas like the KKK in the US or of Nazism in the late 1930's and compare them, you again you risk abuse. How can you compare politics today to Nazism or the KKK they ask ... what are you some kind of nut? But when I answer, that the only real difference is that ideas like the KKK were simply political ideas that went far too far and turned very nasty, nobody is listening.
At this point, let me say that I do believe in democracy, but like religion IT MUST MOVE WITH THE TIMES. For example even Catholic countries like Ireland are coming round to accepting the concept of abortion. All rational religions of today accept it's o.k. to have a different religious belief to your neighbour, and the more advanced thinkers have even implemented a separation of church and state, just to keep the peace. So why are so many people, and even educated scholars, so unwilling to contemplate that maybe, JUST maybe sometimes, democracy is not the answer?
Anybody that is a parent, as well as most logical, rational people acknowledge that children, when they are very young need guidance and tutoring, and irrespective of their tantrums and demands, on occasion it is necessary to control them in a dictatorial fashion.
Having now set the scene, I now claim that the politics of the UK and US have now degenerated to a point where logic and common sense is no longer applicable. It has become a football match, where each person has his team and all else is meaningless.
Similar in idea is that of populism. Once again it is claimed that the majority should rule, and therefore when the populists of the late 19th century first made their appearance, the idea was extremely popular. The many, not the elite.
To me populism today is just another specialized misapplication of democracy. It is nothing more than people with an idea in common, often mistaken, who team up together to fight for it, with no or little regard for the consequences.
The 19th Century populists had an admirable cause, the hoarding of wealth and power by an elite needed to be defeated. But with the KKK, the idea was that the white race was superior and consequently all blacks has to be subjugated. In Nazi Germany, the difficult economic conditions of the times needed its own scapegoat, for the most part, the Jewish community. And today we have the EU. Every problem of today has been laid at their door, and in this way the Brexiteers managed to convince a nation that we needed to be rid of them. Rationality no longer has a place in discussion. I leave you with one of my favorite and yet saddest songs I have ever heard. Cat Stevens, "Father and Son"