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Intelligent Populism vs. Mindless Progressivism

Where Does This All Lead?

I don’t know, but the Republicans have not been able to explain to the country either the illiberal nature of liberalism or its hypocrisies.

To win the presidency after eight years of liberal acculturation, the Republicans are going to have to nominate a man of the people, in the Reagan fashion of the wood-chopper who talks incessantly from first-hand knowledge about the common man.

An entire array of issues is going to have to be reformulated. Take illegal immigration. It is a gift for wealthy employers and La Raza elites, but an anathema for entry-level laborers of all races whose wages are destroyed by off-the-books illegals. Strapped taxpayers, not big business, pay for the impact on schools, infrastructure, and the legal system when eleven million cross the border illegally.

More gun control is an elite musing: it does nothing to rid us of illegal weaponry, but much to aggravate the middle-class hunter and homeowner, while exempting well-armed security of the elite class.

Zero interest rates have made banks flush with cash that they pay no interest on, while hardly reducing credit card interest rates and ensuring that play-by-the-rules middle class passbook savers lose money.

Quantitative easing and the Federal Reserve have ensured a rush to the stock market that booms while unemployment remains high. The world of Larry Summers, Jack Lew, or Peter Orszag benefits -- not the retired teacher with his life savings earning nothing. The farm bill is still a giveaway to wealthy agribusiness at a time of record farm prices, predicated on the quid-pro-quo notion that 70% of the legislation’s funds will go to food stamps. But again, why let the progressive mind feed on the carcass of the old, easily caricatured Republican wealthy?

It is past time to forge a new populist approach without the theatrics of shutting down the government or playing on the same keyboards as Pajama Boy Obamacare spivs. The liberal elite runs the culture, from universities and entertainment to government bureaucracies and the media, but it nonetheless is predicated on loudly condemning in the abstract the very creed that they embrace in the concrete.

In response, we need to expose their hypocrisies and start worrying about a shrinking middle class that has been damaged by Obama-era elites.  Almost every issue from fracking, gun control, illegal immigration and quantitative easing to Obamacare and cap and trade invites a populist critique. Yet so far the Republican establishment seems uninterested in making the case that the Democratic hierarchy is of, by, and for the elite. Liberals are funded and represented by the privileged in Wall Street, universities, entertainment, the media, politics, foundations, the arts, and government, and the inherited wealthy. They all have set the agenda for the nation, called it progressive, and then sought exemption by seeking more taxpayer money for entitlements to ensure the fealty of the poor.

Liberalism is not progressivism, but instead pull-up-the-ladder-after-me regressivism -- and someone with some imagination and worldly experience needs to say that. When multimillionaire Trimalchios like Bill and Hillary Clinton, the inherited rich like John Kerry, or insider hucksters like Al Gore are called progressives, we all are in sad shape.

(Artwork created using modified Shutterstock.com images.)