It may be hard to remember but, once upon a time, populism belonged to progressives. Rallies on the steps of state houses and in D.C. were designed to give a voice to the working class in our country with the explicit purpose of moving the nation forward both economically and socially. They were rallies for and by the middle class as a way to keep the government aware that there is a populist in the country that has a voice and will turn out to ensure that the average person’s rights are counted.
Then came 2008. Fresh off the high of electing Barak Obama, the Progressives took a breather and inadvertently opened a brief window in time that allowed the GOP to swoop in and steal populism from the Democrats. It was quick, easy and accomplished before the Left knew what hit them. From a few Town Hall meetings to major rallies in DC, the GOP took control of the populist movement on the backs of an ignorant electorate who were susceptible to the fear mongering perpetuated by the talking heads of the Right. And the Tea Party was born.
Now, predictably, the Tea Party has spun out of the control and turned into a giant Conservative Frankenstein. With this, Progressives are finally seizing the opportunity to take back populism for the common man. With his union busting goals and blatant disregard for any compromise, Gov. Walker has opened a window and the Left is rushing in. Unions are one of the few things that Liberals hold unequivocally sacred and when a governor tries to abolish collective bargaining, the Left will not sit in silence.In the coming weeks we will see rallies at state capitals across the country as Democrats begin to take back their voice and drown out the proxy voices of the Chamber of Commerce that is the Tea Party.
Regardless of what happens in Wisconsin, the real story here has already been told: The GOP has lost control of the populist movement.