A Tale of Two Populisms

… Trump’s populism surely played a role in the surge of white working-class voters to the GOP ticket in 2016. But Trump’s brand of populism—and more importantly, that of working-class whites—differs in important ways from the populism of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. I don’t mean only that Trump’s populism incorporates racial grievance and crude nationalism, though that is clearly a critical distinction both morally and politically. Even setting aside Trump’s ethnonationalism, these two populisms have less in common than it may appear.

Sanders and Warren are the champions of what we can call economic populism, a worldview centered on contrasting the interests of working people with those of economic elites. …

Trump’s political populism is, fundamentally, a story about the failure of government. And unfortunately, there is good reason to believe it deeply resonates with white working-class voters. CONT.

Guy Molyneux, American Prospect