Monday, August 03, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

LPR Knows a Populist When it Sees One; President Obama is no Populist

August 15, 2013 --

A column by Gerald F. Seib, in The Wall Street Journal, July 26, carried this headline: "Obama's Speeches: Progressive, Populist."

In the column, Seib suggested that President Obama wanted to use "progressive ideas" of government program to revive middle class prosperity.
LPR is populist. LPR knows a populist when it sees one. LPR sees nothing populist about President Obama.

Indeed, as a progressive -- that is to say, leftist--President Obama cannot be interested in reviving the middle class. Traditionally, leftists loathe the middle class. Consider, please, the Soviet Union under Stalin: the middle class was not permitted to exist.

If President Obama were pro-middle class, that Keystone pipeline would now be operating. If President Obama were populist, he would not be piling a multitude of regulations on the American people.

If President Obama were a populist we would not have Obamacare. President Obama were truly populist, he would be using Federalist 57 as a guidebook for governance -- promoting the common good of the society and staying close to the people, rather than promoting the prosperity of political cronies and staying aloof from the people.

A populist does not hobnob with the top 1% seeking big bucks political contributions from them. But rather than being close to the middle class, the President adopts programs and policies aimed at the "ambitious sacrifice of the many, to the aggrandizement of the few." There is nothing populist about that. Seems aristocratic to LPR. Mr. Seib probably strains to see populism in the president's current outlook, because Mr. Seib hasn't a clue about middle class reality, much less what a populist leader is all about.

LPR recommends that Mr. Seib study the first half of Federalist No. 57 before he comments further on the president's economic mindset.