What Populism Is And Isn’t

Here we go again.
Franklin Roosevelt infamously redefined the meaning of the wordliberalism in the 1930s to mean more and more government control of the economy. This was in complete contradiction to what the word had meant for centuries, as defined by people like Jefferson: less government control of the economy.
Now advocates of more government control over the economy want to redefine populism as Trumpism. I hope they don’t get away with it this time. My definition of a populist is someone who wants what is best for the poor, the middle class, and ultimately all Americans ( the Latin root of the word means the people). By definition, a populist is someone who is not working on behalf himself or herself or other special interests. Since most government officials are closely allied with special interests, this leaves out most government officials.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on DECEMBER 31, 2015.


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