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Building a New Populism in the Era of Trump


Building a New Populism in the Era of Trump

Chuck Collins

Imagine you’re standing in line for the American Dream.

You work hard, sometimes in dangerous jobs. You lead a moral life. But the line is stalling, even moving backwards. Yet you see newcomers up front — some of them immigrants and people of color.

Maybe you’ve worked all your life alongside African Americans and Latinos — more than most northern liberals have — but when you complain about people cutting you, those liberals call you racist. Worse still, they seem to look down on you because of your Christianity, or your Southern culture.


Nice! Well said. It is clear they are suffering the same fate Dems are. Forgotten by their party and forgotten by the corporations. We are all in this together and the way out is together.
I encourage all of us to "reach across the isle" and make an effort to explain to our Trump voting friends that minorities haven't caused this, the 1% have.


Amen. THanks.


"Populism" refers to the people, the proverbial masses, not just the better off. Democrats have waged a hell of a war on the poor for the past 20 years. Liberals still implicitly preach that our deregulated corporate state is so successful that everyone is able to work, there are jobs for all, therefore no need for poverty relief. They are wrong.

Understand that the US had been in similar messes before, when the hard right (fascist, by definition) gained a dangerous degree of control. Each time, the proverbial masses ultimately pulled together to push back -- poor and middle class, workers and the jobless, for the common good. Years of work went into ensuring that this can't happen this time.


The US shut down/shipped out a huge number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s (TANF is a short-term job program, only for those with children.) The last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 jobless people who still have the means to pursue one (home address, phone, etc.). Liberals have been calling for jobs for decades. People can't survive on promises of eventual jobs. What do you think we should do about the jobless poor, and many of those who can't work?

The poor view the middle class the way the middle class view the rich.


Succinctly and well-stated. Thank you.


Representative government is THE SYSTEM.

Direct Democracy.


I am very aware what damage the Clinton's did in Bill's administration. He pushed the party right and we are still suffering from his decisions now. We need the social safety net and always will for those that can't work or are still looking for jobs.
We have to end the ruthless policies of the Neocon/Neoliberal groups. We should go local in businesses so they can provide more jobs. Do as much as possible with what we have while we fight to end the Oligarchy.


That's something that people has to be reminded of over and over- "not all people can work." There are a huge variety of reasons why this is so. So, what are they to do? Starve and die? I work in a public health dept and see such cases all day every day. Take for example the father of four special needs children I saw yesterday. He and his wife decided it was best if he stayed home to watch the kids while she worked since day care was not an option. Day cares don't like taking in special needs children and those that do are few and very expensive. Those children will never be able to attend a regular school. Do you really think those children will be able to hold meaningful jobs? Because of the extra medical costs of having special needs children, the family has to apply for benefits like SNAP and WIC. Medicaid is an absolute necessity for them. What would be the conservative answer for this family? Toss them out on the street to whither and die since they "deserve to be poor" for being what? Lazy and stupid? Well, that's not the case with this family and is rarely if ever the case for anyone and is a purely false talking point. The wife works as a school teacher.....


I don't like branding progressivism as liberal. It isn't always. It isn't always conservative either. I feel its better to disassociate from the two extremes and brand progressivism as what it is- forward. Anything else holds america back. I refuse to fall into the pit trap placed by conservative think tanks.


My mom is from Ketucky, and though she like myself is progressive, there will be no talking to our relatives in the south until they start to feel the economic pain of Trumpism. They are in such a bubble with their backward mindset, drummed into them by non-stop radio talk, FOX News, and Religeous rightous a-holes. Point is, there is no hope in reaching these propagandized souls as of now.


Very well said. Sanders resonated across the political spectrum because his unifying, inclusive message applied to both urban & rural poor, to left & right, to black & white. That's the message that will win. Too bad the Democratic establishment was so short-sighted. Maybe next time, but will we even have a next time? Will the critical issues for which only Bernie came even close to having the right prescription be insurmountable by the end of a Trump term?