It’s an idealistic vision of government and an utterly disdainful one of the free-market our success has been built upon. In other words, populism has been defined as standing up for the little guy by spending trillions of their income on whatever program the politicos think works best.
In the South, we have a phrase for that; it’s called pissing down someone’s back and telling them it’s raining.
Their rhetoric speaks to ‘protecting’ the middle-class, but the realities of a four year regulatory deluge revolve around little but jobs lost, developments stifled and ever-increasing healthcare costs.
To boot, their leaders in the Senate can’t even manage to propose a budget, but somehow giving increasing credence to government is going to advance more Americans than merely the ‘few’ President Obama spoke of in his inaugural?
Truth is, President Obama’s attempts at achieving a liberal crescendo have been, and will continue to be, anything but populist.
Still, populism carries weight as a word. It stokes a vision of happy warriors standing up for a forward-moving people. Idealism to the fullest, but couldn’t Republicans use a ‘happier’ mindset these days?
We’ve seen some in the GOP dance around the crux of the term. Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Ron Paul and others have been deemed ‘populist’ in nature by some in the media. But Jindal is the first this armchair quarterback can recall applying it to the Republican Party at-large.
Real populism doesn’t come from Washington; it comes from the 10th Amendment. It’s telling Americans that government, a necessary evil, is going to spend as few of their earned dollars as possible and then get out of the way.
Not that it’s better for you to hand off more to an infinite circle of bureaucrats in Washington telling bureaucrats in state capitols telling bureaucrats locally how to use what’s not theirs.
Conservatives and Republicans should embrace populism as a term that doesn’t promise equal outcomes, but equal opportunity through protection from an intrusive government.
Given the results of more government, which succinctly amount to massive debt and promises of more deficits that’ll make the pain go away, doesn’t the idea that less from Washington means more for Americans add up to really understanding the plight of the little guy?
Call it the Calvin Coolidge Doctrine, if you will.
To date it’s backed by 30 Republican governors, representing over 58 percent of our population and boasting average unemployment that’s 1.2 percent lower than the Democrats following the Left’s model.
This populism is the real populism, and it’s something Republicans should welcome with open arms.
Howell is an account director at Hynes Communications and a contributor to the Peach State blog Georgia Tipsheet.