Populist, Progressive, Liberal - and when populist progressives succeeded

I was inspired by Michael Collins' wonderful article, Where are the Populists?  to make this contribution. I have been spending much time this winter peering through the kaleidoscope of American history at what happened in the early 1900s, when progressives were able to ride a rapidly rising wave of populism to political power, and institute some major reforms that still redound to our advantage today. These progressive populists were able to achieve a number of specific goals, such as direct primaries (to break the rule of state and city political bosses), direct popular election of U.S. Senators (to break the stranglehold large business and financial interests had acquired over the selection process in state legislatures), and some reforms within the U.S. Congress that curtailed the power of entrenched interests by curbing some of the administrative power of House Speaker Joseph Cannon.

Where are the Populists?

Where are the Populists?

Michael Collins

"There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon it.William Jennings Bryan, 1896