I have a brief post on New Deal 2.0 this morning, partly reviewing ideas in my far longer Boston Review piece on the 19th-century war between liberalism and populism, but partly tying that story back to the founding story I tell in Declaration:
… Every time liberal commentators open their mouths, no matter what they say, they make the populist-right case: Liberalism is elitism. … Some may protest that during the New Deal an alliance did prevail between liberalism and populism. Braintrust meritocrats and salt-of-the-earth laborers got together, struggled out of the Depression, beat fascism, and elected a president multiple times. Yet the New Deal was a period of astonishing change. It may have been exceptional, but it blocks our longer view — maybe because that view is grimmer than we want to know. … the war between liberalism and populism goes back even farther than that. It goes all the way back to our beginnings. More
Please feel free to comment on the post over at New Deal 2.0. I’m pleased to be on that site — vigorous, nuanced liberal debate (with much more newsy items than mine!) goes on there every day.
I have loads of questions, but I’ll save them for after I’ve finished Declaration. I think you may confirm some things I’ve said which I’ve assumed may have happened in it.
The main point is that you have put your finger on the uneasy relationship between the popular (the mob) and its manipulation by politicians in the US.
I will say that I find it interesting that Samuel Adams was not a populist, yet had no problem with raising popular sentiments.