The anger exploding all over this country isn't populism. It's hate and fear masquerading as democracy.
David Brooks's column in the New York Times today disputes this and calls the anti-Obama protests a populist movement. David's right that there's always been struggle between the haves and the have nots in America. But he's wrong when he says it's a conflict between "educated urban elites" against those hard working townie people. The protesters have good reason to be upset but they're channeling their righteous anger in the wrong direction. There is a huge problem in this country but it wasn't caused by President Obama.
It wasn't Barack Obama who fused the powers of Wall Street and the rich corporations with our government. That happened a long, long time ago. It got worse when Reagan called government the problem not the solution and then proceeded to weaken the unions, destroy social welfare programs and cut taxes for the rich. And got even worse when Clinton and Bush deregulated Wall Street and gave even more tax cuts to the rich.
This is about rich people sucking the life out of poor people. It's about insurance companies letting people die to make a profit. It's about Wall Street investors making huge bonuses by playing Russian roulette with our economy. It's about deregulation and globalization and free market conservatives sending our jobs overseas. Being rude to the duly elected president of the United States and denying he's a citizen and dressing him as a witch doctor in a protest poster has nothing to do with populism. It's racism.
These sycophants, like Brooks, and the screaming, scheming blowhards, like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck and Fox News, who are egging those people on, don't speak for ordinary, hardworking people. They represent the very corporations and money interests destroying the middle class and turning America into a third world nation.
If this is a populist movement, I guess, this time, I'd rather not be one of the people.