Reclaiming Populism

This is a post I have been mulling for awhile. Every-time I hear the lame-stream media refer to our new fascist president as a “populist” or to the rise of the neo-nazis in Europe as a populist uprising I have to admit I throw up in my mouth a little.
These people are NOT populists. They are hate-mongering, elitist, racist asshats!!!
Populism was a movement in the late 1800’s of small farmers against the oligarchs who controlled the railroads and the banks.  And thus had a strangle hold on the small midwest farmers who were dependent on the railway barons to get their produce to urban markets and thereby make a living.  This was a movement dedicated to opposing the very fiber of all that our predator-in-chief holds dear. Wealth in the hands of a few. Preferably his few friends. He promised to drain the swamp and instead he is importing alligators.
I have addressed this naming a couple of times. Once in June of 2015 in a post titled “Is Populism Making a Come Back” and in an article discussing why I named this blog what I did in April of 2011 titled “Why the ‘Populist Farmer.'” I recommend you look them up and reread them.
When I decided to write this particular post I first, as any diligent blogger would, went to the dictionary. From the US Random House (dictionary.com) I found two definitions that fit what I understand about populism (lowercase) “3= grass-roots democracy; working-class activism; egalitarianism and 4= representation or extolling of the common person, the working class, the underdog, etc.”   Interestingly in the UK the word has this definition (found in the Collins English Dictionary); “a political strategy based on a calculated appeal to the interests or prejudices of ordinary people.” Now that is closer to what The Donald has accomplished.
I am begging you do NOT let the oligarchs claim this word. Do NOT allow them to hang their racist, misogynistic, elitist ideas on the tree of populism. They are not populists. They are selfish, greedy, corporatists who want to reframe their wealth grabs as a movement of, by and for the people.  It is the newest form of astroturf.  Pretending that they represent the needs and desires of the working folk.   THEY DO NOT!

Stand up. Like LGBT folks who reclaimed the word “fag” and people of color who have (for their own use) reclaimed the “n” word let’s reclaim the word populist and reinstate it to it’s former glory. A populist is one who believes that the economic system should work for all people, not just the 1%.
Otherwise I might need to rename my blog and I would just hate that. Especially now that I am reclaiming it as the voice I will need over the next four years to keep my head from exploding.

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