Voter Fraud & The Inherent Corruption in Populism

There’s nothing so democratic as a lynch mob, as concerned citizens of Ohio and Pennsylvania have recently shown. In Pennsylvania this week, a judge upheld Act 18-2012, the now-famous piece of anti-voter-fraud legislation. Voter fraud has been a huge topic of concern in the past several years, and not entirely without reason.  Since the year…

More thoughts on Lind’s Neo-Jacksonians

Image via Wikipedia I apologize in advance for the liberal use of quotes in this post, but I wanted to add a few thoughts on the Lind piece I linked to yesterday.  Lind makes the point that the reason for the pro-populist/anti-statists and the anti-populist/pro-statist alignments are a matter of the “ethno-religious” bases of each…

William Jennings Bryan, Billy Graham & the Evolution of Christian Populism in America

Will Wilkinson has a really fascinating piece up over at Democracy in America on the effects the cold-war on American Protestantism, and particularly the influence of Billy Graham thanks to President Eisenhower and news mogul William Randolph Hearst. Will draws our attention to this 1942 Time piece on the efforts of a council of American…

Revisiting Millman’s Taxonomy

Unlike Lisa, I’m hesitant to describe populism as a complete ideology. The characteristics of American populism she identifies – evangelism, a healthy skepticism towards meritocratic achievement, a reverence for the “ordinary” – are certainly distinct, but they don’t imply a coherent set of political positions. A person can be skeptical of meritocratic achievement and embrace…

Who’s Afraid of a Populist Party?

Could a populist political party be good for America? Jon Chait points to some fascinating data that suggests it would appeal to the views of many Americans: The most thorough breakdown of the electorate is Pew’s voter typology survey, last conducted in 2005, which categorizes voters into nine basic groups. The overwhelming finding of this…

Liberaltarianism is dead

“I don’t want to say that liberaltarianism is dead. But is it endangered? Sure. It deserves to be.” ~ Jason Kuznicki I think the hopes placed in the Obama administration by libertarians have been fairly well dashed at this point.  On civil-liberties issues and on economic issues, the President has not gone nearly far enough…

From Tea to Shining Tea: An Interview with Stephen Gordon

It is impossible to understand politics in the United States over the last 12 months without some in-depth discussion of the impact of the Tea Party movement.  Over the course of the last several days, I had the good fortune to engage in a dialogue with Stephen Gordon about a wide range of Tea Party-related…

Prospects for Reclaiming Intellectual Conservatism

I read Steven Hayward’s article on intellectual conservatism with some interest, mainly because I thought Hayward – as a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute and frequent contributor to The Weekly Standard – would have enough movement credibility to convincingly argue that talk radio populists aren’t conservatism’s best standard bearers. The substance of this critique…

the unintended consequences of economic populism

“POPULIST, n. A fossil patriot of the early agricultural period, found in the old red soapstone underlying Kansas; characterized by an uncommon spread of ear, which some naturalists contend gave him the power of flight, though Professors Morse and Whitney, pursuing independent lines of thought, have ingeniously pointed out that had he possessed it he…

Derbyshire and the Happy Meal Conservatives

Much as their blind loyalty discredited the Right, perhaps the worst effect of Limbaugh et al. has been their draining away of political energy from what might have been a much more worthwhile project: the fostering of a middlebrow conservatism. There is nothing wrong with lowbrow conservatism. It’s energizing and fun. What’s wrong is the…