Watch: Pelosi Dismantled In Real Time In Masterclass On Populism

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, May 13, 2024 - 12:44 PM

Two weeks ago, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was thoroughly savaged during a debate at Oxford University over the question of whether populism is a "threat to democracy." In case you missed it, read on as it's making the rounds. If you have 14 minutes to spare, jump right in:

Opening the case for the left was Rachel Haddad, Secretary of the Oxford Union. She argued that populist leaders like Donald Trump and Nigel Farage pose a threat to democracy, and are not a "new generation of geniuses" who can find simple solutions to longstanding, complex problems.

Pelosi closed the debate for the proposition, defining populism as an "ethno-nationalist populism, generated by an ethnic negativity to immigrants, people who are different from them and the rest" (so, 'they're racists!').

Speaking against the motion were Union committee members Sultan Kokhar (Chair of Consultative Committee) and Oscar Whittle (Director of Research), as well as former Mumford & Sons lead guitarist, Winston Marshall - now a podcaster for The Spectator - who got into an exchange with Pelosi during parts of his speech.

Marshall started out by saying:

"Words have a tendency to change meaning when I was a boy, "woman" meant "someone who didn't have a cock."

Populism has become a word used synonymously with "racists." We've heard "ethno-nationalist," with "bigot," with "hillbilly," "redneck," with "deplorables."

Elites use it to show their contempt for ordinary people."

He then noted that Barack Obama, while still president, tried to frame he and Bernie Sanders as actual populists vs. Donald Trump, who 'doesn't care about working people.'

But then, "If you watch Obama's speeches after that point, more and more recently, he uses the word "populist" interchangeably with "strong man," with "authoritarian." The word changes meaning, it becomes a negative, a pejorative, a slur."

"To me, populism is not a dirty word. Since the 2008 crash and specifically the trillion-dollar Wall Street bailout, we are in the populist age, and for good reason. The elites have failed," Marshall continued.

He then got into it with Pelosi after drawing a parallel between January 6th and June 2020, saying: "I'm sure Congresswoman Pelosi will agree that the entire month of June 2020, when the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon was under siege, and under insurrection by radical progressives, those too were dark days for America."

To which Pelosi shot back, "You are not. There is no equivalence there," adding "It is not like what happened on January 6, which was an insurrection incited by the president of the United States."

Read on for Marshall's complete masterclass in populism (transcript courtesy of RealClear Politics).

My point, though is that all political movements are susceptible to violence, and indeed insurrection. And if we were arguing that fascism was a threat to democracy, I'd be on that side of the House.

Indeed, the current populist age is a movement against fascism. I've got quite a lot to get through.

Populism as you know, is the politics of the ordinary people against an elite, populism is not a threat to democracy. Populism is democracy, and why else have universal suffrage, if not to keep elites in check?

Ladies and gentlemen, given the success of Trump, and more recently, Javier Milei taking a chainsaw to the state behemoth of Argentina's bureaucratic monster, you'd be mistaken for thinking this was a right-wing populist age, but that would be ignoring Occupy Wall Street. That would be ignoring Jeremy Corbyn's "for the many, not the few," that would be ignoring Bernie against the billionaires, RFK Jr. against Big Pharma, and more recently, George Galloway against his better judgment. Now all of them, including Galloway, recognize genuine concerns of ordinary people being otherwise ignored by the establishment.

I'm actually rather surprised that our esteemed opposition, Congressman Pelosi, is on that side of the motion. I thought the left was supposed to be anti-elite. I thought the left was supposed to be anti-establishment today, particularly in America, the globalist left have become the establishment. I suppose for Miss Pelosi to have taken this side of the motion, she'd be arguing herself out of a job.

But it's here in Britain, where right and left populists united for the supreme act of democracy, Brexit. Polls have showed the number one reason people voted for Brexit was sovereignty, for more democracy.

What was the response of the Brussels elite? They did everything in their power to undermine the Democratic will of the British people and the Westminster elite were just as disgraceful. As we've heard, David Cameron called the voters "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists." The liberal Democrats did everything they could to overturn a democratic vote. Keir Starmer campaigned for a second referendum. Elites would have had us voting and voting and voting until we voted their way. Indeed, that's what happened in Ireland and in Denmark.

Let's look at some of the other populist movements. The Hong Konger populist revolt is literally called the Pro-Democracy Movement. In the Farmer revolts from the Netherlands to Germany, France, Greece, to Sri Lanka, farmers are taking their tractors to the road to protest ESG policy that's floated down to us from those all-knowing, infallible elites of Davos. The trucker movement in Canada became anti-elitist when petty tyrant Prime Minister Justin Trudeau froze their bank accounts, not the behavior of a democratic head of state. The Gilets Jaunes France, ULEZ in London, working people protesting policy that hurt them. And how are they treated? They're called conspiracy theorists. They're called far-right, by the mayor as well.

Ladies and gentlemen, populism is the voice of the voiceless. The real threat to democracy is from the elites. Now don't get me wrong, we need elites. If President Biden has shown us anything, we need someone to run the countries. When the president has severe dementia, it is not just America that crumbles, the whole world burns.

But let's examine the elites. European corporations spend over €1 billion a year lobbying Brussels, U.S. corporations spend over $2 billion a year lobbying in DC, and two-thirds of Congress receive funding from pharmaceutical companies. Pfizer alone spent $11 million in 2021. They made over $10 billion in profit. No wonder then that 66% of Americans think the is rigged against them for the rich and the powerful.

And by the way, we used to have a word for when big business and big government were in cahoots. And I think any students here of early 20th-century Italian history will know what I'm talking about.

What about Big Tech? Throughout the pandemic, Biden's team, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security colluded with Big Tech in censoring dissenting voices. Not kooky conspiracy theorists, people like Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, the Stanford epidemiologist, people like Harvard scientist Martin Kulldorf, people spreading true information, not misinformation, true information at odds with the government narrative.

Need I remind you, democracy without free speech is not democracy.

This was a direct breach by the way of the First Amendment. Before COVID, Intelligence services colluded with Big Tech to have Trump suspended off Twitter. Yes, the same platform which hosted the Taliban and Ayatollah "Death To Israel" Khomeini. They thought the president crossed the line when he tweeted on Jan 6 quote, "Remain peaceful. No violence! Respect the law and our great men and women in blue." That's a quote.

You may be thinking now that Trump is a populist. You are right. He didn't accept the 2020 elections and he should have. So should Hillary in 2016. So should Brussels, and so should Westminster in 2016. And so too should Congresswoman Pelosi, instead of saying the 2016 election was quote, "hijacked."

PELOSI: That doesn't mean we don't accept the results, though!

WINSTON MARSHALL: What about the mainstream media? Let me read you some mainstream media headlines. The New Yorker the day before the 2016 election, "The Case Against Democracy." The Washington Post, the day after the election, "The Problem With Our Government Is Democracy." The LA Times, June 2017, "The British Election Is A Reminder Of The Perils Of Too Much Democracy." Vox, June 2017, "Two eminent political scientists say the problem with democracy is voters." New York Times, June 2017, "The Problem With Participatory Democracy Is The Participants."

Mainstream media elites are part of a class who don't just disdain populism, they disdain the people. If the Democrats had put half their energy into delivering for the people, Trump wouldn't even have a chance in 2024. He shouldn't, he shouldn't have a chance. You've had power for four years. From the fabricated Steele dossier, to trying to take him off the ballot in both Maine and Colorado, the Democrats are the anti-Democrat party. All we need now is the Republicans to come out as the pro-Monarchist party.

Ladies and gentlemen, populism is not a threat to democracy, but I'll tell you what is. It is elites ordering social media to censor political opponents. It's police shutting down dissenters, be it anti-monarchists in this country or gender-critical voices here, or last week in Brussels, the National Conservative Movement.

I'll tell you what is a threat to democracy. It's Brussels, DC, Westminster, the mainstream media, big tech, big Pharma, corporate collusion and the Davos cronies. The threat to democracy comes from those who write off ordinary people as "deplorable." The threat to democracy comes from those who smear working people as "racists." The threat to democracy comes from those who write off working people as "populists."

And I'll say one last thing. This populist age can be brought to an end at the snap of a finger. All that needs to be done is for elites to start listening to, respecting, and God forbid, working for ordinary people. Thank you.

And of course, being Oxford, the Union voted for 'populism bad' - with 177 members voting for the motion, and 68 voting against.