As the show points out, it didn't matter what Jackson believed so long as he pitted himself against those more educated and serious politicians who actually believed the federal government could do some good.
America is not just increasingly anti-intellectual, it's often just dumb. The rise of populism is, in part, an unwillingness to engage in the complexity of the society that we've created and mistrust of those attempting to do so.
Obama has insisted that the Bush era tax cuts, which expire this year, be extended for "only" about 98 percent of Americans, but not for households making over $250,000 a year. Hard to argue with that, but watch the GOP try.
The way populism wins is to be angry at what the elites have done to this country and smart about how to fix it at the same time. It is the only thing that will save the Democrats politically and rebuild our country again.
It is one of Russia's oldest traditions to write directly to the Tsar when something goes wrong. Putin did not create this mentality. It is just a symptom of an authoritarian state that rests upon a giant, immovable bureaucracy.
Is the "only potent grassroots" populist movement on the right? Is populism for Democrats a dead strategy? Being a student of history, and an active participant in movement politics right now, I think it is important to make a few points here.
The New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections. The Massachusetts special election. The Utah Republican party conventions. The Mollohan party upset in West Virginia. Yesterday's results. How many wake-up calls do politicians need?
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat contends that in this seemingly "populist moment" -- where public discontent appears to be in full flower -- behind the scenes, all of the existing power structures are retrenching.