Visit the Gallery of Anti-Populism

In the summer of 1896, the Democrats nominated the reformer William Jennings Bryan for the presidency and the fledgling Populist party got behind him as well. In response, the journalistic establishment (along with the academic establishment, the clerical establishment, and of course the business establishment) launched themselves into a kind of hysteria. Revolution was upon us, they convinced themselves; the lower orders were rising up against all that was good and correct and respectable. The name they gave to that anarchic menace: “populism.” What follows are images from that original Democracy Scare, with my descriptions from “The People, No“.

Visit the Gallery

What the Hell, America?

What happened to the affluent society I was born in? (2:45)
The central paradox of American politics (6:37)
A liberalism of scolding (3:05)