Bill Moyers: Well, if populism is thriving today, it seems to be thriving on the right. I mean Sarah Palin, for example. And the tea parties. Some– one conservative writer recently in The Weekly Standard even said that Sarah Palin could be the William Jennings Bryan of this new conservative era because she is giving voice to millions of people who feel angry at what the government is doing, who feel that they’re being cheated out of a prosperous way of life by forces beyond their control. What do you think about that idea?
Howard Zinn: Well, I guess William Jennings Bryan would turn over in his grave if he heard. William Jennings Bryan was antiwar, and she is not antiwar, she is very militaristic, and so on. But it’s true that she represents a certain angry part of the population. And I think it’s true that when people are — feel beleaguered and people feel they are being overlooked, they will turn to whoever seems to represent them. Some of them will turn to her. And some of them will turn to the right-wingers, and you might say that’s how fascism develops in countries, because they play upon the anger and the frustration of people. But on the other hand, that anger, that frustration can also lead to people’s movements that are progressive. You can go the way traditionally of the Populists, and of the labor movement of the 30’s, of the Civil Rights movement, of the women’s movement to bring about change in this country.
So what are we to make of this screed other than to agree that Zinn really likes the word people?
To make it easier for those of us in the proletariat to follow along, I have highlighted a few select words:
That would be us, the “right-wingers”.
That’s what happens when conservatives ascend to power.
That of course is pedagogue Zinn and company.
So really the professor only means the following when it applies to a Republican President and strident Leftist demonstrators:
“We didn’t want to hear the words of the people in the White House, we wanted to hear the words of the people who were picketing the White House.”
Tea Party Nazis need not apply.