Populism is like democracy was 150 years ago. It’s scary, embarrassing, has bad breath, dirt under its fingernails. Can there be a progressive populism? Can it succeed? Should it?
Scott Lehigh’s unusually entertaining column in today’s Globe swings at populism (and Jonathan Edwards), but does he connect?
Hmmmm. From Fred Harris to Dick Gephardt to Tom Harkin to Bob Kerrey, populists, of conviction or convenience, have actually fared poorly here.
So, who is, or was, a populist? Fred Harris? Sure. Dick Gephart? No way. Tom Harkin? I’ll concede the point. Bob Kerry? Um…no.
So just what are we talking about here?