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The Phony Populism of Donald Trump


The Phony Populism of Donald Trump

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Last week, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump suggested that “Second Amendment people”could rise up against Hillary Clinton if she wins the election and called President Obama “the founder of ISIS.” He also delivered a policy


Of course Trump's populism is phony, he's a landlord. He's not about to turn over power to his tenants. No landlord would ever want to do that.


"Backing down from Sanders inspired populist planks in her platform" IS NOT "the challenge Clinton faces"...the back down starts on November 9, come hell or high water.

Clinton's "challenge" is to make sure the GOP continues to control Congress so she can sign more regressive legislation in place during her first two years in office than any of her 43 predecessors did in two years time.


"Populism is a political ideology which holds that the virtuous citizens are being mistreated by a small circle of elites, who can be overthrown if the people recognize the danger and work together. The elites are depicted as trampling in illegitimate fashion upon the rights, values, and voice of the legitimate people." - Wikipedia

It's idiocy to associate anything Republican with populism, because it is they who are the "small circle of elites".

As for Hillary's populist prattle, we should remember that there is nothing to prevent her from changing her mind if elected - and she almost certainly will.

The most realistic base for US populism is the Green Party.


Trump's trickle down economic plan which is typical Republican economics will not hurt him with his base because his main appeal is racism and xenophobia. Basically they want a return to the days when whites had a more superior place in America. And they prefer a dictator over democracy. They want to see harsh cruel treatment of suspected terrorists and even their families. They want a police state. They associate American values with weakness. They associate a woman president with weakness. They want a president who is white and male. This is not phony populism. It is real populism. But unlike Bernie Sander's populism it is not economic populism. With regard to Clinton, events sometime overtake what a president plans to do. But assuming she wins and there is not disrupting events to sidetrack her I believe that during the first 100 days of her presidency she will focus on getting higher paying jobs for those areas of the country that have been left out of recent prosperity. It appears this will largely be focused on infrastructure projects.


"to cracking down on Wall Street" Dear vanden Heuvel: that is a joke. Might as well also refer to the "Phony Populism of Hillary Clinton"

Some good arguments in the article, but here's why Trump is more of a populist than Clinton: anti-war, anti-trade deals, and anti-austerity. He is obviously anti-establishment, and hated by the elites. Clinton is not.

Make your points vanden Heuvel, but if you don't talk abut the full picture, you're just another partisan hack (so is your magazine, from what I hear). Keep clear, Keep clean, Vote Green.


Hallelujah, Brother Austintatious1!!! You nailed it! Katrina has been a progressive poser for years, but when a true progressive challenged the power structure she wet her pants and.......now she serves her evil queen by writing talking points junk like this article. HillRod did a great job buying the capitulation of Sanders for a few worthless platform planks, then just to rub it in she is using the platform to reassure voters that she's really not so bad, using her toadie Katrina vanden Heuvel to spread the dirty word.


Can't you just picture hubby Bill coaching Hillary on the most sincere way to articulate the words, "I feel your pain..." as she signs the TPP... provided that Obama doesn't beat her to the punch. After all, he has several billion dollars in quid pro quo "loans" to make good on...and F.I.R.E. is standing in the receivers' lines and waiting.



Do you have any idea what the very rich tolerate in one another?

Trump is an idiot-savant, an enfant terrible. He's boorish, has bad manners, and is a narcissist. But his social faux pas mean nothing to the elites since he is one of them!

Do you honestly think a guy that taught his employees how to con poor people out of thousands of dollars in their pursuit of "Trump University's" promise of gaining wealth... care a whit about The Common Man?

And what's populist about telling the disgruntled blue collar Caucasian workers that their real problem is Islamists, Mexican workers, Blacks, or women?

He is one-third clown, one-third fascist, and one-third absolutely self-serving narcissist; and in today's political climate, that combination is the equivalent of a renegade spark set to ignite tons of dry wood.


I don't disagree with what you are saying, and it may be that Trump is part of a ploy to get Clinton elected, in which case he is certainly liked by the elites. But, clearly from Koch brothers on down, many 'leaders' in the republican party are denouncing Trump, at least that's the appearance, and that's what the rank and file are picking up on. Especially with his anti-war, anti-regime change and anti-trade policies. I should correct that statement in saying 'appears to be anti-establishment and hated by political elites'


KVH has become a Hill-Shill. Her own ersatz "progressive" magazine, "The Nation," has not covered the Stein/Baraka campaign or the Green Party at all. They have Joan Walsh writing a weekly column either bashing Trump or glorifying Hillary. KVH writes for WaPo, which is owned by anti-union, employee-abuser Jeff Bezos. "The Nation" must be partially funded by "Correct the Record."


And has Hillary come out in force against passing the TPP in the lame duck congressional session? Because if she doesn't, she's deliberately allowing Obama to try to ram it through. That's her "populism" for you, a hollow fake ...


How can it be that out of 340 million people, we got the worst two candidates possible?

This is a professional system rigging job. Would these pros come to work for the people and unrig the system? We could pay double.


Yawn. Katrina vanden Heuvel is a Hillary shill. Why waste space on commondreams with stuff like this? #Jill2016


If she's President she'll do the bidding of her buyers regardless of which party controls Congress. Both parties are owned by the same people. Different brands, same company.


Katrina sure didn't do much to help the Authentic Populism of Bernie.


Actually she's the editor of the 'The Nation', which endorsed Sanders, one of only three endorsements of a Presidential candidate in a primary they ever made.


'The Nation', where she's the editor, endorsed Sanders.


Sorry, I just don't remember her voice doing him that much good.
Yeah, I see that she and the Nation came out for him in January, but I don't recall her voice being on the leading edge of his backers and defenders.
Just shot from the hip, trusted my unconscious memory.
If the facts prove me wrong, then I'm wrong.


The Nation started doing the 'pivot' to Clinton before Sanders did, so you aren't entirely wrong. :slight_smile: