Submitted on Wednesday, 9/18/2019, at 11:36 AM

For a piece on the possibly dwindling political fortunes of Argentina President Mauricio Macri, a reformer who faces possible defeat in October to the Peronist populists who ruled between 2003 and 2015, Bloomberg News spoke with Javier Corrales, Dwight W. Morrow 1895 professor of Political Science at Amherst about the appeal of populism in Latin America

Populism is “the perfect salt, sugar, fat combination” of modern Latin American democracies, Corrales told the news service: “Serve up a sugary concoction of slogans (the 21st Century revolution), bulk it up with endless tweets and regulations to create ‘policy density’ (the fat), and then tweak (salt) the mix with an exciting stream of insults and ad hominem attacks on enemies, all to create a political ‘bliss point’ blended to keep the faithful hooked and populists in power,” Bloomberg paraphrased.

Still, by aggravating polarization, populism’s excesses create a backlash, or “allergic reaction,” as Corrales put it.