Posted on Oct 16, 2021

I learned about something new today from three separate podcasts I listened to, and a New York Times article I stumbled upon: popularism. It’s an idea that David Shor wrote about that apparently boils down to this: To win voters, Democrats should talk about what is popular rather than focus on racial tensions, identity politics, and calls to dramatically alter government and social systems (“defund the police,” for example, would be out).

What I wondered about this idea is this: Who determines what is popular? What if what is popular is not good? Plenty of popular ideas are amoral and destructive. Isn’t having principles, and now bowing to public pressure, valued in American politics, too? Or is that just posturing?