Tag Archives: populism

Where I stand on the Occupy movement – Roger Ebert’s Journal

7 Dec

A clear majority of Americans should be in sympathy with the Occupy Movement. That they are not is a tribute to an effective right wing propaganda machine given voice by Fox News, radio talkers like Rush Limbaugh, and financed by the Koch brothers among many others. The machine’s audience is to oppose its own self-interest and support the interests of the rich….

There was a time in the not very distant American past when it was easier to support a family and buy a home. Now many college graduates find themselves moving back in with their parents. They’re living off prosperity that was built up when the economy wasn’t stacked against them.

President Obama went to Kansas on Tuesday to make the kind of speech I’ve been waiting and hoping for. It was billed as sort of a keynote for his campaign. He said, “This country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share and when everyone plays by the same rules.” Isn’t that true? Does everyone get a fair shot? When the Republicans try to exempt the financial industry from regulation, is that playing by the same rules?

via Where I stand on the Occupy movement – Roger Ebert’s Journal.

Populism and the Silent Majority – NYTimes.com

3 Nov

The legacies of Nixon’s pursuit of the silent majority can be found across the political spectrum. In 1972, the community organizer Saul Alinsky portrayed the silent majority as “up for grabs” and promised to “show the middle class their real enemies: the corporate power elite that runs and ruins the country.” In 1980, the Religious Right televangelist Jerry Falwell proclaimed that “God is calling millions of Americans in the so-often silent majority to join in the moral-majority crusade to turn America around.” In his 1981 inaugural, Ronald Reagan updated Nixon’s formula by informing the “heroes” of America — an allegedly classless majority made up of factory workers and entrepreneurs — that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” . . .

Mr. Obama’s challenge in 2012 is not the ideological fervor of Tea Party conservatives, but rather the recognition by many working-class and middle-class voters that both parties favor Wall Street over Main Street. While activist groups on the right and left compete to portray big government or big business as the enemy, the silent majority is still out there in the volatile political center, up for grabs.

via Populism and the Silent Majority – NYTimes.com.

Missing the Populist Moment – NYTimes.com

2 Oct

This cycle of populist disappointment has probably raised the Republican Party’s odds of taking the White House in 2012, by making a swift coronation for Mitt Romney more and more likely. (So long as a certain New Jersey governor doesn’t lumber into the race, that is.) But it’s a missed opportunity for American conservatism. Republican primary voters deserve a better class of right-wing populist, and the country does as well.

In many ways, the ideological divisions between populist and establishment Republicans have narrowed since the days of Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford….

But amid the bombast and identity politics, it’s still possible to discern a serious populist critique of how the Republican establishment does business — one that links Pat Buchanan’s primary campaigns in the 1990s to figures like Palin, Huckabee, Cain and Ron Paul today.

via Missing the Populist Moment – NYTimes.com.