The real story of populism is an account of enlightenment and liberation; it is the story of American democracy itself, of its ever-widening promise of a decent life for all. Between this tradition of democratic reform and the elites who just can’t stand it there is a curious dialectical give and take. It starts in 1891, takes a turn through the early days of the New Deal, lingers over 1950s academia and the Civil Rights movement, and carries you on through the political culture of the 80s and the 90s and the present.
The People, NO is a work of history, but my hope is that you will find it surprisingly up-to-date. After all, we are living through a period of cascading elite failure almost as calamitous as the 1890s or the 1930s–and the elites have responded by insisting that the only alternative to their gracious, enlightened rule is a blustering racist fool like Trump.
My message–and the message of populism–is that there is another way.
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