Final Word from Monday, May 16, 2016



Donald Trump is increasingly being lumped together with Miloš Zeman and Andrej Babiš. To people like Karel Schwarzenberg and Tomáš Halík, all three are dangerous demagogues. Yet there's a key difference between Zeman and the other two. Zeman is much less disposed toward short-term flip-flopping. What Trump or Babiš say today on an issue such as immigration or taxes might not apply tomorrow, but Zeman is more consistent, at least over short intervals. He takes an extreme position and stands by it. In contrast, Trump and Babiš have perfected the art of attracting a large base with an extreme position and then flip-flopping at the right moment to win over some of the voters who rejected the initial position. Pulling this off without losing voters from the base isn't easy, but once it's been mastered, it's almost impossible to defend against. Trump and Babiš know how to do it. Compared to them, Zeman is just an old-fashioned populist. [Czech Republic refugees migration]

Glossary of difficult words

to lump together - to put in an indiscriminate mass or group; to treat as alike without regard for particulars;

disposed toward - inclined toward;

to flip-flop - to make an abrupt reversal of policy;

to pull something off - to succeed in achieving or winning something difficult.

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