Populism is the fastest growing political force comprised of an expanding number of people that are completely unorganized, but who are suspicious and angry of organized hierarchies. The common core of populism is they are fed up with the radical left wing elitists who think they are smarter than everyone else, and allow no one else to express their viewpoint.  Further, populists distrust the established political parties who make up the swamp in Washington, D.C., which can best be described as a failed, corrupt big government. It is amazing how thousands of populists attend President Trump’s rallies to hear him go after fake news generated by a media with stupid beliefs. Generally, populists are tolerant of President Trump’s ability to characterize his opponents in rough and demeaning terms, with coarse humor. Populists are part of the real world made up of hard working people in tough enterprises.  They understand that business is the golden goose that creates wealth for those who have the guts to go after the rewards.  Who they do not like are pompous white-collar leaders who invent scams to cheat the public.

Populism is also gaining strength in Europe.  President Trump knows how to label nations that are wrong-doers and threaten the peace with their constant bluffs to shakedown the world’s community. It is almost humorous to hear our President identify the North Korean trouble-maker as the “rocket man.” The real tactic may be that perhaps some of the military leaders in North Korea may come to realize that if the “rocket man” provokes a war, they would get wiped off the map. Miracles can happen with a self-generated coup that removes the “rocket man,” dismantles the nuclear-laden missiles and leads to a peaceful unity with South Korea.  In the past, our involvement in organizing a coup almost always ends up with us supporting another evil leader, and this must be avoided on any future U.S. involvement. As with our American Revolution, it was self-generated and resulted in a great nation being born.

Here at home, I understand our President is a real purgative on a mission to clean out rotten, constipated government. The old saying, “shit happens” is the myth that populists wish to expose. They know that to improve our government, they have to expose a media that needs to be cleaned up.

I believe President Trump is a success–driven man who earned his wealth in building huge top-of-the-line hotels and resorts. He would not submit or give in to any form of corruption on big city building projects and achieved completion on projects ahead of schedule and under budget, based on good business practice principles.  Sure, Trump talks rough with no nonsense. It is interesting how those with practically no accomplishments cannot stand Trump and try to boost their ego by proclaiming how Trump should behave. The fake news media is quick to interview and publish these stupid anti-Trump advocates who are easily ridiculed by populous as incompetent fools. Regions composing Middle America, i.e., the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain west are the breeding grounds for populism, while the big cities with their welfare economy is the feeding ground of cesspools for the radical left wing elitists who just want the votes of the poor.

David V MacCollum

What is populism? Populism is all about the hard working middle class people with true grit and spunk, and is successful because populous leaders and followers like President Trump who want to provide opportunity for the middle class. Who are the populous middle class supporters? It is the small subcontractors and local service businesses that are air conditioning, roofers, plumbers, electricians and all sorts of specialists who are the heart of our great American work force. They know one thing – that their success in business is to provide the stepping stone to a good life for their employees. Populists are those who stand at attention with their right hand over their hearts when the National Anthem is played, or when our flag is displayed.  It seems like those millionaire football players who kneel in disrespect of our National Anthem do so because they assume race does not matter. They could start with a haircut and shave. What sets the populists apart from the welfare herd is that they really want to make something of themselves and are willing to take risks to improve themselves.

It is populists, real and fictional, who have helped working people that are part of our great American ethic like Davy Crockett from Western Tennessee, who as a U.S. Congressman who wore his deer skin frontier clothes in Washington and drafted a bill so people could acquire land. His son, who later became a Congressman, finally got it passed into law. In the 1930’s, a populist radio show idolized the masked Lone Ranger, and his trusty side-kick, Indian brave, Tonto.  After doing a heroic deed for someone, it was “hi-ho Silver” as he sped away on his white horse. In recent times, it was John Wayne, a cowboy movie star in the image of a populist. History will likely label President Trump as the greatest President because of his populist ideals.  Populism thrives on the dream that there is always someone out there who is aiding the down-trodden, common people.

About David V. MacCollum 64 Articles
David V. MacCollum is a past president of the American Society of Safety Engineers and was a member of the first U.S. Secretary of Labor's Construction Safety Advisory Committee [1969-1972]. He is the author of: Construction Safety Planning (Jun 16, 1995) Crane Hazards and Their Prevention (Jan 1, 1991) Construction Safety Engineering Principles (McGraw-Hill Construction Series): Designing and Managing Safer Job Sites Jan 8, 2007) Building Design and Construction Hazards (May 15, 2005)


  1. For those cold hearted assholes that made comments on the article about the car accident on river last month that took a life. That life was MY SON. SHAME ON YOU all for your B’S comments. You knew nothing about him. Reading your comments broke my heart as if this tragedy wasn’t enough. You all tho k you must post something witty, judgemental. He was a beloved SON, brother and friend.

  2. If populism, as stated in the definition above, wants “government control of monopolies,” isn’t that the kind of “radical left-wing elitism” you are railing against, Mr. MacCollum? I do think that government has a role in controlling unbridled crony capitalism, and I don’t see the President doing much about it; that’s our problem — government and the Robber Barons are cronies. Including Trump.

    I’ve been re-reading Carl Sandburg’s poems lately, and he speaks to a progressive populism, one that doesn’t dismiss the “welfare herd” that the system has cast aside:

    The people will live on,
    The learning and blundering people will live on.
    They will be tricked and sold and again sold
    And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds,
    The people so peculiar in renewal and comeback,
    You can’t laugh off their capacity to take it….

    …In the darkness with a great bundle of grief
    The people march.
    In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for
    keeps, the people march:
    “Where to? what next?”

    (from “The People, Yes,” by Carl Sandburg)

    My brand of populism says the Pledge of Allegiance with a word added: ….with liberty and justice for all, someday!

    • Your example of labeling government control of monopolies as radical left-wing elitism misses the point. Populists understand we need government to make laws to regulate life, including economic life. By your definition wouldn`t all laws qualify as radical left-wing elitism, which I suspect even you do not believe to be the case? What do you think of Walt Whitman`s:”The democratic wisdom underneath, like solid ground for all” as a way of understanding populism?

      • I’ve always liked Walt Whitman — hadn’t seen that quote before, but I like it. I guess I get a bit confused when people who want the government out of pretty much everything call themselves populists. I tend philosophically more towards anarchism — distrust government and most institutions — but realize its impracticality in this world we live in.

        I’ve learned in life that movements, when successful, become institutions, which have needs of their own, often in opposition to the movements which created them. Its just the way of it.

  3. Name Tonto was from the Potawatomi Nation, and means the Wild One. Jay Silverheels used it on the radio, movies and TV show. NPR says it was picked up for the shows after they heard the name of Tonto Basin, AZ., and found the Potawatomi meaning. He was also dressed in part as a Potawatomi on the shows/movies.

  4. shave and haircut two bits – it’s what’s in the heart not the hairline… and the “Lone Ranger” was accompanied by “Tonto” which translated means “Stupid” which is something a revered as Populism could be does not need anymore of.. there’s already plenty of ‘common stupid’ to go around.

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