In our current moment of global illiberalism, Ukrainians’ election of Volodymyr Zelenskyr reminds us of the possibility of swimming against the tide of xenophobic populism, according to David N. Myers, the Sady and Ludwig Kahn professor of Jewish history at UCLA, where he directs the Luskin Center for History and Policy:
On the way to his overwhelming victory, Zelensky invoked none of the stock themes from the illiberal populist playbook: no anti-immigrant rhetoric, no railing against minorities and open borders. Neither did Zuzana Caputova, the 45-year-old environmental lawyer elected Slovakia’s president last month. She campaigned and won handily on a decidedly progressive platform — pro-reproductive rights, pro-LGBT, and deeply committed to protecting all under the law.
Might Zelensky and Caputova represent a new wave of young politicians who instinctively recognize the benefits of a tolerant, multiethnic, pluralist world? Might they push back against the unabashed chauvinism that has taken root across the world? Myers asks in The Los Angeles Times. RTWT