Populism (as shown in *The Progressive Populist*

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Sat Jan 1 11:13:09 PST 2000

Various analyses of populism habe been offered on this list in the past, but as I was reading through this issue of *The Progressive Populist* (January 1-15, 2000) it came to me that we had perhaps overlooked yhr most characteristic attribute of its current manifestations: Profoundly Dull. Moreover, two of the dullest contributors were two writers who have been widely praised (including by themselves) for avoiding the dullness which is said to characterize leftist discourse -- Jim Hightower and Michael Moore.

>From Hightower:

The Christmas season has gotten me thinking about Jesus,

which surely must tick-off big merchandisers and advertisers,

since they've spent billions . . .

and he goes on to write the freshman theme that began to bore me to death my first semester as a teaching fellow at the University of Michigan over 40 years ago.

And from the scintillating Michael Moore (re Seattle):

This is by no means the end of Big Business. The richest

1 percent still own 90 percent of everything in this world. They

will not go down without a fight.

But they have been put on notice that people from all walks

of life have had their fill and will not let up until we have a fair,

just, and democratic economy.

I believe that rhetoric was used up (at the latest) in the first days of the Paris Commune,

I think we can define "Modern Populism in the U.S." as the mask liberal Democrats wear between elections to avoid being too embarassed in front of their radical friends.


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