There was a time when people knew the intent of populism as well as they understood their own rights. Today
our world lacks a sense of history and what they do know usually is a shallow summary of a lengthy account. The significance
of American Political Populism need not be dismissed. For the future of our country may well depend upon its resurrection.
The version for our times might well be called: Virtuous Defiant Populism
So often the legacy of populism is viewed as proponents of the Democratic Left like William Jennings "Cross
of Gold" Bryan, "Fighting Bob" LaFollette and Huey "Kingfish" Long. But this restricted assessment ignores that the roots
of this political mindset dates back to Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Populism can best be understood within a non-ideological
appeal that average citizens have a common cause and must unite to obtain political influence.
Democratic principles that all men have the same and equal rights, that are best realized within a Constitutional
Republic, is the promise of our political system. Most observers confuse this goal with Democratic politics, programs and
rhetoric. Quite to the contrary, the value in populism is that the people are the true masters of their government, while
their representatives are the stewards of their laws and trust. Reforms, distrust of elites, moral character, work ethic and
love for country are all qualities that this movement has promoted.
Radical proposals of the 19th century were once viewed as progressive. They included government interventions
and often required that the state is the last resort for compelling restraints on big business like the railroads or banks.
Abuses and imbalances in the promise of economic opportunities was the condition of the day. However, the record of the next
century clearly demonstrates that the solution was often worse than the original problems. The robber baron antagonist of
yesterday has become the government bureaucratic villain of today. Populism has always built upon the legitimate resentment,
anger and outrage of abusive power. It is a activist real politick. But its goal is not the concentration of power in the
hands of an oligarchy, but culminates in a defused sharing of input to affect policy.
The appeal of populism is that it offers hope for the people. Don't confuse that genuine Populism seeks a
socialistic framework. Those who wish you to discount insurgent politics are those that command the institutions that are
the greatest abusers. Defiant attitude built America. Rebellious conflict gave birth to the American dream. And healthy disrespect
for leaders who scheme to become tyrants, keeps us all free.
What once originated as a rural movement became the focal point for mutual public interests. The entrenched
elites condemn the populism message as anti-intellectual and pandering to the masses with emotional appeals from demagogues.
As the leaders in the charge actively seek to reduce real citizen participation while they bribe, extol and lie their way
through the next election.
George Wallace was a populist and a patriot. He was viscously trashed by the same elites that he fought, because
he offered an alternative to the one party, two flavor political system. For him the public welfare was not another expansive
round in the 'Great Society'. Just ask yourselves what happens to any politician that begins to preach the traditional message
of populism? Could it be that the common sense and plain old fashion wisdom of the American experience is too dangerous to
allow the voters to hear, let alone have an option to cast a supporting ballot?
The virtuous attribute of populism is based upon moral conviction. One need not become a crusader in an orthodox
sect and 'get religion' to be a populist. But what separates advocates of this conviction, from those within the 'secular
humanism' society, is a belief in the profound integrity of tradition and national heritage. The virtue resides in the acceptance
of the truths within the Ten Commandments. It is hard to get more basic than this! But if one rejects this standard, and adopts
'situation ethics' as a substitute, there is no chance for restoring a legitimate republic. The willful consent of the people
requires not only real choices but it also means authentic possibilities that will correct abuses.
Our common economic and political plight clearly benefits the Corporate/State union. The typical tax payer
no longer can survive with personal dignity and independent dreams. What once was called civic alienation has become quiet
desperation and resignation. American have assimilated into a mutant culture of 'TC' totalitarian collectivism. Virtuous Defiant
Populism offers a way out of the swamp . . .
The difference between a functional free enterprise economy and one that is dominated by an unholy alliance
of state approved corporate monopolies, is crucial to understand real solutions from compound illicit concentration of abusive
power. Government has morphed into the problem. The populists of yesteryear looked for an honest arbitrator in government
to reduce the abuses of elites and restore the balance within the system. Today the Corporate/State is the elite and are one
in the same. But the primary motivation within populism is to organize the public in a mutual just cause. That aspect and
political attitude has not changed, and is as valid today, as it was in the last century.
Government exists to serve the people, but now operates in reverse gear. Private property no longer has the
same status under the law. It was the state that caused this dissolution. Small business has been eradicated by corporate
cartels. It was your government that became a partner with the multinational cabals. And personal liberty has been erased
in the name of the general welfare. Your political hacks condemn individual initiative, restrict personal freedom and horde
the benefits from their perverted relationships for themselves and their elite friends.
Populism offers the best opportunity for the most people to bond together in a movement that has a simple
and clearly defined message. It does not wear a party label nor does it require a specific ideology. It is broad in scope
and inclusive for all. It is an attitude that is morally founded in dissent and resistance to abuses for all elites. A republic
with legislator representation must serve the people. The best way to revive our sick nation is to cure the body politic.
Public opinion must speak with one voice and needs to attract and appeal to the populace. Time is short and the stakes grow
each day. Populism is the real American First tradition that all of us need to accept.
SARTRE - February 22, 2002