Call them ‘NeoPopulists’

How could it have happened?  The tea-baggers!  The angry white mobs at the town meetings! The Republicans!

Are these today’s “populists?”  The media loves to throw the noun “populist” on these folks, claiming they are the “common people,” or “ordinary folks.”  And the reporters use the word “angry” to describe them.

Yet, are these folks really angry?  Or is it a show?  Or, have they been pumped up by the likes of former GOP Congressional leader Dick Armey and media nuts likes Rush Limbaugh and Glenn back? Lots of evidence shows that the whole movement has been manufactured by big money funneled through the people like Armey and fueled by Fox (Fair and Unbalanced) News.  Freedom Works is Armey’s baby, and its board of directors reads like a list of corporate elite, including Steve Forbes of Forbes Magazine and onetime GOP Presidential candidate.

They’ve gathered great steam, creating a bandwagon effect that seems quite formidable and quite possibly this effort may turn the Congress around come November 2010.  The news media, including virtually ALL of the so-called liberal press, has given these folks plenty of publicity, further stoking their fire.  In comparison, the even more well-attended antiwar rallies (typically all grassrooted) never received such attention.  And, only MSNBC and a few media like the Nation and the Huffington Post have properly spotlighted the manufactured nature of this new “populist” movement.

Make no mistake about it!  This “populist” movement has indeed fooled lots of ordinary folks into believing this is the place for them.

They’ve identified the Obama Administration as the toadies of Wall Street and the rich; they’ve been misinformed that the health care reform bill would kill grandma; they’ve been told as the snows of winter fall that global warming is a plot by aliens; they blame the loss of jobs and dropping incomes on “liberals.”

Ordinary folks indeed do have lots of be angry about, and they’re easy prey for the charlatans of the rightwing.

The Democrats and the Obama Administration have done little to show that they are indeed the party of working people, of the poor, and of the disenfranchised.  So, these befuddled folks, being fooled by the tea-baggers and shouters and Dick Armeys, turn to this “populist” movement for answers.

Unless the Democrats and President Obama begin acting like traditional Democrats (like the party of FDR) the people will indeed jump onto the bandwagon of phony populists.  They will eventually learn that they made a huge mistake: the policies these “populists” support will not help ordinary folks in this time of despair.  And those who jump on this bandwagon will learn they were bamboozled, but it’ll be too late then.

The truth is: given the chance, this new movement, let’s call them Neo-Populists, would lead this nation into a greater dictatorship of the corporations and wealthy, into a nation of hate and intolerance, and into betraying the ideals and principles that made the United States great.

The Neo-populists care nothing for ordinary citizens.  It’s time that message is heard throughout the nation.


3 thoughts on “Call them ‘NeoPopulists’

  1. Ken–you nailed it!

    I’d add just one thought, and that is that REAL populists are partly responsible for the rise of the “neo-populists”. So many of us worked so hard in 2008 to elect Barack Obama President and to be sure that Democrats had solid majorities in the House and Senate. We did our job–and they won!

    But then we made the fatal mistake of assuming that our job had ended: we could go back to ordinary life and those we elected would carry out the progressive agenda most of them supported.


    We needed to stay mobilized. We should have been in the streets demanding that President Obama and the Congress fulfill their promises their first 100 days in office. We forgot the lesson FDR taught over 70 years ago. You probably know the issue (I’ve forgotten it and don’t have the time tonight to look it up), but the point is that progressives met with FDR to persuade him to act. His response was: “I agree with you. Now make me do it!” They did–and he did.

    If we don’t learn this lesson, then the tea-baggers could win and our chance to save this country, save our democracy, and move decisively toward social and economic justice may be gone for decades. We simply can’t take that chance!


  2. Right on, Ken. A couple of thoughts.

    1) While there were no exit polls to provide reliable data, it seems clear that a substantial number of Democrats, disgusted (rightfully IMHO) at the absence of a public option voiced their protest (stupidly IMHO) by voting for Brown. Thus whatever the victory proved, it was not the voice of a majority.

    2) The frightening success of the tea party movement is fueled (again IMHO) partly, maybe largely, by racism.

    Keep up the good work.

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