Archive for January, 2010

Can Obama’s “Bully Pulpit” Sway Populists?

January 27, 2010

     Tonight President Obama will give his first state-of-the-union address, reporting on his first year in office and – I am certain – focusing on the future as he and his Progressive Liberal Democrats try to regain the momentum they have lost. They spent 2009 trying to sell his far-left healthcare and cap-and-trade initiatives, and largely ignoring the sputtering economy and unemployment that seems stuck above 10 percent. He has used his office of President as a “bully pulpit” – to use a historic term coined by Teddy Roosevelt – to give more than 200 major speeches last year. He had a cheerleading media that gave him full coverage of every speech, and since he uses a teleprompter, it is obvious he has a full team of very talented speech writers. And, if one could look at the log for Air Force One, it would be obvious it has put on enough miles to go around the world several times. The speculation is that President Obama will attempt to claim he is a Populist – a person of and for the people – rather than a Progressive Liberal  Democrat. This Populist revolt, led by the Tea Party folks and further fueled by independent voters who elected Scott Brown in Massachusetts, does not belong to the elite, left-leaning Democrats. Neither does the tea party belong to the Republicans, although their stated beliefs are very similar. The President again has a “bully pulpit” tonight, and it will be interesting to see if his speech writers are good enough to overcome this Populist revolt lifting up from we-the-people. This is Gordon Sawyer, and may the wind always be at your back.

A Chronicle For The American Populist Uprising

January 25, 2010

     Okay … I have started a new blog.  It is called Populist Chronicles, a spin off of my Common Sense Chronicles which my radio listeners will identify with the sign-off that says “and may the wind always be at your back.” From the standpoint of a local history nut, let me tell you why this is happening. From the end of the War Between The States until about 1930 there were two great political  “reform” movements in America. First, the POPULISTS which probably reached its peak about 1900 and was led by farmers, then the dominant economic engine in the United States. Then, beginning about 1900 and overlapping with, and usually opposed to, the Populists, came the PROGRESSIVES. The Progressives believed in a dominant, centralized government. Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, was the first Progressive with any power, followed by Woodrow Wilson, and then the Patron Saint of Progressive Democrats, Franklin D. Roosevelt. LBJ was a Progressive liberal, as was Jimmy Carter. The Obama administration is Progressive liberalism on steroids. On the opposing side, the modern day Populist movement started with Barry Goldwater, got conservative wings with Ronald Reagan, and made some real headway with Newt Gingrich. Populist politics got a new grass roots kick-start with Sara Palin, but it is the Tea Party group, and now the election of Scott Brown, that offers the possibility of a true, national Populist uprising. If you want to keep up with it, the way I see it from down here where we-the-people live and work, tune in, or follow my Populist Chronicle blog.