Elizabeth Warren on the new populism

The senator from Massachusetts is hosting a conference on The New Populism tomorrow in Washington, DC that seeks to promote the following agenda:

The New Populism Conference is an all-day event focused on strategies for educating, energizing and mobilizing around an agenda for economic change that strong majorities of Americans already support, including:

  • Investing in good jobs to achieve full employment
  • Ensuring that anyone who works full time should not be in poverty
  • Breaking up the banks that are “too big to fail”
  • Increasing, not cutting, Social Security benefits
  • Recognizing that America is not broke; the rich and big corporations are not paying their fair share.
  • Rejecting the Supreme Court’s view that corporations are people, and refusing to let big money buy our democracy.

The event will also be livestreamed. She was featured on The Colbert Report on Monday.

Later in the show, Colbert interviewed her.

(These clips aired on May 19, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)


  1. colnago80 says

    Re #1

    I don’t think the public is quite ready for 2 women on the ticket.

  2. Mano Singham says


    Trouble is that Clinton is not a populist. Now a Warren/Clinton ticket I could live with.

  3. Lassi Hippeläinen says

    So “populist” is now a good thing in America? It wouldn’t be the first time that Europeans and Americans have opposite meanings for a political term. Think about “welfare state”.

    Here in Europe populists are mostly right wing extremists. The nearest thing in the USA is the Tea Party. At the coming elections of the EU Parliament (next Sunday) the populists are expected to win, which worries the intelligentsia.

    One of the first populists was Mussolini, who knew how to manipulate the people with empty promises and grand parades. He even charmed (and inspired) an unemployed Austrian painter called Hitler.

  4. Mano Singham says

    The word ‘populism’ usually just means something that is contrasted to elitism and so it is defined by how the elites are perceived. But in the US, it has had a more fixed and concrete meaning, since there actually was a Populist Party in the 19th century consisting of an alliance of agrarian and working people joining forces against the industrialist and financial ruling classes. Ever since then, the word populist in the US has come to represent broadly the economic interests of ordinary working people and has not been associated that much with social views.

  5. astrosmash says

    I’d MUCH rather see Warren in Holder’s job, determining which cases came before the supremes and what position the U.S would take on those cases…Too big to fail would fail BIG!

  6. hyphenman says

    Good morning Mano,

    I like Elizabeth Warren, a lot, but I’m not sure I can in good faith vote for another Democratic Party presidential candidate. There something to the rule that repeating an action in expectation of a different outcome is not quite sane.

    Could Elizabeth Warren effectively change the country? Possibly, but my view is that thinking outside the two-party-(far-right vs. right-center)-system box is necessary. Maybe this new progressivism, built on the late 19th and early 20th century model, could be the ticket.

    I would have also have liked to have seen something on the agenda about security, the NSA and restoring the full health and vigor of the 4th Amendment, but that may have been asking too much in a single day.

    Do all you can to make today a good day,

    Have Coffee Will Write

  7. lpetrich says

    There’s a certain problem with that, and it’s called Duverger’s law. Sociologist Maurice Duverger showed some decades back that the form of voting influences the party content. First past the post results in only two major parties, while proportional representation easily permits several parties. So one ought to consider multiparty-friendly alternatives to FPTP.

  8. doublereed says

    Man, Colbert didn’t pull punches in that interview. Warren handled herself quite well.

  9. hyphenman says


    That’s true, you’re absolutely correct and that is one reason why I have voted for the Democrat all but two times in my life — Carter, Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Nader, Gore, Kerry, Obama and Stein.

    We all can see how well that has worked out for our fellow citizens, our Constitution and the United States.

    I simply no longer trust the right-center party the Democrats, at the national level, have become.

    Following the 2008 election of President Barack Hussein Obama, I wrote that unless he stayed true to his stated principles, he would be the last Democrat I ever voted for. In 2012 I went Green and voted for Jill Stein.


  10. doublereed says

    Just because you made a promise to yourself or you don’t trust the democratic party is not a good reason to not vote optimally.

    Shrug. Jill Stein was pretty awesome.

  11. hyphenman says


    From where I write, holding to well-considered principles is voting optimally.


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