Tag: Populism

The Toxic Populism of the Democrats

 

Bernie SandersAs his campaign roars into New York State, Bernie Sanders has been on a roll. He has won eight of the last nine primary contests, most recently the ones in Wisconsin and Wyoming. His impressive performance has emboldened him to take on Hillary Clinton in her adopted home.

Sanders has attracted wildly enthusiastic audiences by pushing his program of economic populism. He loudly proclaims that, unlike Clinton, he has never received support from Wall Street or corporate interests—and that his impressive financial support comes from tens of thousands of small contributors, each of whom shares his vision. If elected president, he points out, he would be held accountable to these supporters and will make good on his program that includes massive tax increases largely targeted at the super rich.

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Samuel Francis and Middle American Radicalism

 

protectionvsfreetrade-554x330In the March 1996 issue of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, the late Samuel Francis (1947-2005) published an essay titled “From Household to Nation: The Middle American Populism of Pat Buchanan.” Francis wrote about Buchanan’s then-ongoing campaign for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination, framing it within the larger historical context of American conservatism and populism. He noted that the campaign had proved, up to that point, more viable and enduring than many political prognosticators expected. Francis observed:

… the courtiers and professional partisans miss the larger victory the Buchanan campaign is on the eve of winning. If Buchanan loses the nomination, it will be because his time has not yet come, but the social and political forces on which both his campaigns [1992 and 1996] have been based will not disappear, and even if he does lose, he will have won a place in history as an architect of the victory those forces will eventually build.

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Member Post

 

The family and I saw Hamilton a few weeks’ back, and I’m happy to report it’s well-deserving of the hype. Yet for all Hamilton’s innovation and genre-crossing score, there’s another, lesser presidential musical that nails our current political zeitgeist, with lots of raunchy humor and surprising feeling. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson premiered on Broadway in […]

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Member Post

 

Is it often the case that one of our own posts on the main feed clashes so violently so immediately with someone far more important, viz. Mr. Kevin Williamson, the avenging sarcastic of the free market libertarians-conservatives? How does he loathe us, let me count the ways! All of us who worry about the sort […]

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Why Democrats Could Win in 2016

 
shutterstock_328825151
Sen. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton at Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, October 2015. Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

With the hotly contested Iowa primaries only two weeks away, the level of political polarization is higher than it’s been in decades. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are veering sharply to the populist left as they each champion a brand of democratic socialism. On the Republican side, the rise of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz reveals the rise of a muscular conservatism that appeals to the far right. By November, this political divide will become more pronounced. No one will be able to say, to quote George Wallace’s oft-repeated remark, that there is not a “dime’s worth of difference” between the two parties.

One area of huge contention is domestic policy. The two Democratic frontrunners are responding to a strong anti-market sentiment by pushing for higher taxes, more income redistribution, and more extensive regulation, targeting both large businesses and wealthier individuals. Income inequality is at the center stage. On these issues, though, the Republican candidates offer a more pro-growth agenda, but do so only in muted terms. If Republicans want to win in November, they must boldly articulate an alternative to the policies of Clinton and Sanders.

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Member Post

 

Poppopulism (noun) – “Any of various, often anti-establishment or anti-intellectual political movements or philosophies that offer unorthodox solutions or policies and appeal to the common person rather than according with traditional party or partisan ideologies.” As the title suggests, I am not a big fan of populism. Indeed, I think it is a dangerous force in politics, […]

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Pollsters, pundits and political analysts were all caught off guard yesterday as a one helluva Jane named Edith Beasley was elected to Brooklyn’s 9th congressional district in a special election yesterday. “I want the crooks out of congress and Beasley’s a good start,” said one Beasley supporter, adding “And what a figure!”, gracefully outlining an […]

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On Populism

 

logoWhat’s your definition of “Populism?”

As Daniele Albertazzi and Duncan McDonnell, editors of Twenty-First Century Populism, suggest, “Much like Dylan Thomas’s definition of an alcoholic as ‘someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you’, the epithet ‘populist’ is often used in public debate to denigrate statements and measures by parties and politicians which commentators or other politicians oppose.”

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Will Democrats’ Populist Obsession with Inequality Be Their Downfall?

 

tightrope_inequality_populism_democrats_economics_2020_500x293President Obama says America’s greatest challenge is the income gap. A 74-year-old “democratic socialist” is the Democratic Party’s hottest star. And the party’s almost certain presidential nominee hedges on whether she’s a capitalist.

The party’s leaders are hardly without popular support for these stances. In a New York Times poll last summer, 83 percent of Democrats surveyed said government should deal ASAP with the income gap, with large majorities favoring higher taxes on the rich and Wall Street.

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Member Post

 

Having never read any of her columns before I have no idea about this woman’s politics. I can only say I agree with every word of it. Salena Zito writes in The Pittsburgh Tribune: More

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Post-Democracy Finds a Fan

 

Niall Ferguson is a brilliant historian with plenty of brilliant things to say, something that makes his recent article in the Financial Times all the more startling. He’s concerned by the rise of populist parties across the EU. That’s not a problem. But his solution is to have the parties of Europe’s establishment unite against the upstarts (in fact they long have done so, but let that pass):

Populism is back; it is not about to go away. The wrong response is for mainstream parties to pander to the populists. The right response is for the centrists to join forces, hard though it is to bury their ancestral rivalries. I have long been identified with conservatism, though on many issues I am in fact a liberal. The advent of a new era of grand coalitions is good news for me. From now on, I no longer need to deny my allegiance to the extreme centre.

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