Posts From Bruce Ashford

An Evangelical Guide to Populism (6): Make Democracy Great Again

The past decade in American politics and public life has felt like the combination of a war, a carnival, and a Hollywood movie. We’ve experienced not only the injustices pointed out by populists, such as the corruption of Wall Street bankers whose irresponsibility crashed our economy and devastated innumerable ordinary citizens, and the overbearing, self-serving, [ Read More ]

An Evangelical Guide to Populism (5) Populism and Political Power

If economic frustration is the shared experience that catalyzes populist movements, and if questions of identity form the underlying concern, then questions of rule provide the context for why questions about identity are so powerful. In response to the question, “Who should rule?” populism provides a clear answer: “The people.” On the face of it, [ Read More ]

An Evangelical Guide to Populism (4): Populism, Ethnicity, and Cultural Identity

Despite the attention given to economic frustrations, today’s American populism is as much or more about culture and identity. Populist wrath toward corporate and political power-brokers often stems from cultural disorientation, dislocation, and tension. And for some populists, it stems from prejudice toward people who are ethnically or culturally different. Whereas economic frustrations highlight the [ Read More ]

An Evangelical Guide to Populism (3): Populism and Economics

It should be unsurprising that economic considerations play a significant role in today’s American populism. Historically, populist movements world-wide have arisen most frequently as a response to economic frustrations. Consider the “populare” politicians of ancient Rome. As historian Barry Strauss notes, the populares were a series of Roman politicians—such as Tiberius Gracchus, Gaius, Gracchus, Saturninus, [ Read More ]