Category Archives: populism

we need SPUD (scale, pluralism, unity, depth)

Whether you’re building a social movement, organization, network, or media platform, you should strive for SPUD: Scale: You need a lot of people. For instance, if your social movement is anti-Trump, it must include 55% of all voting Americans in … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, populism, Trump, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

social class does predict Trump support

Some say that Trump has captured the support of working-class Whites who are economically stressed or anxious. Others reply that Trump voters are relatively upscale but motivated by racial resentment alone. The former premise suggests that Democrats must do more to empower the working … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, populism, Trump | Leave a comment

it’s hard to talk about tough issues if no organization represents you

I’m back from a great meeting in Chicago in which one theme was the need to have honest, productive conversations between people who might support Donald Trump and members or supporters of movements like Black Lives Matter. I’d note a major … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, populism | Leave a comment

two kinds of populism

Last May, at a campaign rally, Donald Trump said, “the only important thing is the unification of the people – because the other people don’t mean anything.” Jan-Werner Müller quotes that phrase both in his book What is Populism? and in … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, populism, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

white working class alienation from government

In a recent long post, I argued that one reason white working class Americans are alienated from government is that they lack the productive political power that comes from organizations, such as political parties that rely on ordinary members, and unions. Moreover, because … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, populism, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

why the white working class must organize

It is inexcusable to vote for Donald Trump, a cruel and incompetent charlatan. To imply that anyone is justified in voting for him sets a patronizingly low standard. Our fellow Americans can do better than that. At the same time, Trump’s demographic base … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, populism, revitalizing the left | 1 Comment

a political defense of Hamilton

The political theorists Jason Frank and Isaac Kramnick make the political case against Hamilton, the musical. In the debates among the founders, Alexander Hamilton was the elitist, the one with the most “contemptuous attitude toward the lower classes.” He was “perfectly … Continue reading

Posted in populism, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

the library of Albert Shanker

This is part of the library of Albert Shanker (1928-77), which lines the walls of the conference room of the Albert Shanker Institute, which is inside the American Federation of Teachers’ Building in Washington. I was there earlier today. It … Continue reading

Posted in populism | Leave a comment

bottom-up struggles against corruption: a frontier of democracy

(En route to Storrs, CT) Corruption is no minor issue, nor is it mainly a concern for fastidious bourgeois reformers in rich countries. Consider, just for instance, that one quarter of India’s teachers are missing from school on any given … Continue reading

Posted in civic theory, democratic reform overseas, populism, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

St. Margaret of Cortona and medieval populism

This is highlight #3 from our recent vacation in Italy. St. Margaret of Cortona was a remarkable person–more on her in a moment. The picture is a narrative of her life painted around 1298, or just one year after she … Continue reading

Posted in fine arts, populism | Leave a comment