What the “I’m Mad-As-Hell” Party could do

Former Sec. of Labor Robert Reich

A third political party is emerging in America. Call it the I’m-Mad-As-Hell party

It’s a mistake to see the Mad-As-Hell party as just a right-wing phenomenon – the so-called Tea Partiers now storming the gates of the Republican Party. There are plenty of mad-as-hellers on the left as well – furious at Wall Street, health insurers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and establishment Democrats.

Absolutely, It’s not just on the right, something I’ve saying for months. Plus, the Tea Partiers are a genuine phenomenon, not a right-wing construct as some liberal blogs want to think.

I think we’re seeing a rebirth of populism.

At their peak, the Populist Party of the 1890’s controlled a few state legislatures and had one Senator. They had a real effect for a while and were a genuine political force. Mostly farmers, they were angry at how the banks were screwing them. Sound familiar?

Mad-as-hellers don’t trust big government. But they don’t trust big business and Wall Street, either. They especially hate it when big government gets together with big business and Wall Street – while at the same time Main Street is in shambles and millions of people are losing their jobs and homes.

Mad-as-hell cuts across all political lines. Imagine what we could do if we joined together into one big populist coalition.


1. A political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against the privileged elite.

2. The movement organized around this philosophy.

That’s what populism is. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Cartoon via Start A Third Party Now, a fine blog I just discovered.

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