populist movements grow out of popular discontent

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BRAVO AND BRAVA!!! The Beltway crowd has dis­cov­ered pop­ulism. Sen­ator Eliz­a­beth Warren’s surging pop­u­larity [stem­ming] from her ag­gres­sive de­fense of So­cial Se­cu­rity and de­mand for Wall Street ac­count­ability has trig­gered talk of a pop­ulist chal­lenge to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Bill De Blasio in­dicted New York’s gilded age in­equality in his stun­ning vic­tory in the New York May­oral race.

This month, Pres­i­dent Obama re­turned to his cam­paign themes, de­liv­ering a speech calling in­equality “the defining chal­lenge of our time.”

Re­pub­li­cans, pre­oc­cu­pied with their Tea Party zealots, mostly have avoided joining the de­bate, but the Wall Street wing of the De­mo­c­ratic Party [the New De­moc­rats at the Third Way ] raised the alarm.

Pop­ulism, by de­f­i­n­i­tion, doesn’t trickle down from the top. It spreads as a bottom up move­ment that chooses and el­e­vates its own leaders. It doesn’t spread be­cause Eliz­a­beth Warren is es­pousing po­lit­i­cally toxic and un­pop­ular ideas. Rather Warren is threat­ening be­cause she cham­pions at­ti­tudes and ideas that enjoy wide­spread pop­u­larity out­side the beltway, but are slighted in­side of it.

Pop­ulist move­ments grow out of pop­ular discontent.

Times have been “hard” for most people for a long time. When fam­i­lies lose ground, people tend to be­lieve that they are at fault, that their luck has been bad, that they made the wrong choices. They work harder; they take on debt; they get by.  Res­ig­na­tion and def­er­ence are normal. Move­ments start only when reality—and organizers—begin to open people’s eyes.

The above state­ments are lifted from the ar­ticle “Pop­ulism Rising?” by Robert Borosage on the Cam­paign for Amer­i­ca’s Fu­ture web­site (De­cember 23, 2013). Nee­dles to say, I en­courage my readers (both of you!) to click on over to the CFAF site and read this immediately . . .


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