Here’s a question for y’all… how would you define populism? I think for years I’ve just had a vague sort of idea about it, but not a well-defined one. I was reading this article <http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/07/12/5-key-takeaways-about-populism-and-the-political-landscape-in-western-europe/>, which led to this <http://www.pewglobal.org/2018/07/12/in-western-europe-populist-parties-tap-anti-establishment-frustration-but-have-little-appeal-across-ideological-divide/> and this (admittedly general) criteria for it:
The measure of populist views primarily focuses on anti-establishment attitudes – whether respondents believe that ordinary people would do a better job than elected officials at solving the country’s problems, and whether most elected officials care what people like them think. Anti-establishment attitudes constitute a core component of many definitions of populism.
I think because I have generally heard of it (in this country) in the same breath as progressive (an equally ill-defined position, IMO) I tend to think of it as a leftist sort of thing. Also, with lots of caveats because party positions in Europe are quite different than in the US with our (establishment) “left” being considered rather “right” in Europe, so many of the rightwing populist parties listed may well be considered leftist here.
ANYWAY… my actual question/item for discussion is… what do you consider to be populist? And what would you define as a left-populist versus right-populist position. And if you’re not from the U.S. please feel free to dive in anyway (maybe mention where you’re from, to lend context)!
I mean by this definition, I suppose Bundy and his ilk, survivalists, etc, would be on the right end of the populist spectrum (tho I have a hard time thinking of them as populist) and for the left end of the spectrum…I suppose some of the democratic socialist parties? Hmmm…Teddy Roosevelt seems to me to be frequently described as progressive and populist, for example.
Does populist necessarily mean anti-establishment? Because to me, efforts to replace corrupt, wealthy politicians with regular people counts as populist but is not necessarily anti-establishment (since it’s not trying to tear down the structure).
Ideology remains a powerful factor in how Europeans view key policy questions In Western Europe, populist parties and movements have disrupted the region’s political landscape by making significant gains at the ballot box – from the Brexit referendum to national elections in Italy.