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Populism Isn’t Conservative

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James B. Weaver was the Populist Party nominee for president in the election of 1892. He won 8.5% of the vote.

For those elements of the GOP who hope to push their party in a more populist direction, there’s already a platform preamble that’s ready to go.

“We meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political and material ruin,” the document declares. “Corruption dominates the ballot-box, the Legislature, the Congress…The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled, public opinion silenced …The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind…A vast conspiracy has been organized on two continents, and it is rapidly taking possession of the world. If not met and overthrown at once, it forebodes terrible social convulsions, the destruction of civilization, or the establishment of an absolute despotism.”

Despite its distinctly Trumpian overtones (“Corruption dominates the ballot box”; “the newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled”) the melodramatic warning actually predates the 45th president by more than a century….Click here to read the full column at USAToday.com.

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