07/24/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Lou Dobbs & the Double-Edged Sword of Populism

This is an ongoing series from the national tour for THE UPRISING. You can order The Uprising at or through your local independent bookstore.

DENVER -- Last week, I appeared on CNN's Lou Dobbs tonight to discuss the economic meltdown and the political fallout that will come from it. You can watch the clip here:

This clip shows the good side of Dobbs -- the side where he's the only person on cable television consistently talking about major economic issues and questioning the corruption of both political parties. For doing that, he should be applauded.

Of course, there's a bad side of Dobbs: the side that comes out when he talks about -- and takes extremist positions on -- cultural issues like immigration. This is not admirable, to say the least.

I've been on Dobbs' radio show to argue with him about his stance on immigration (which I, of course, disagree with). In my book, I got a behind-the-scenes look at his show, analyzing how the CNN anchor has deliberately tried to create Uprising TV, and how in doing so, he really personifies the double-edged quality of political populism.

Some have said that progressives shouldn't go on shows like Dobbs or networks like Fox News, and if they do, they should loyally defend the Democratic Party at all costs. I vehemently disagree. We have to fight for our issues in any venue offered to us, knowing that if we fight effectively we will win the war of ideas. We also have to adopt a movement psychology, reject Partisan War Syndrome, and fight for issues in these arenas regardless of party. I, for one, am willing to appear in almost any venue to push the progressive uprising.

That reminds me: I'll be on Fox News today right around 5pm EST to talk politics on their newsroom segment. Tune in.