At its birth, American populism was about economic fairness: The average citizen demanding power over his or her own life against the un-American economic royalist political influence of the rich and powerful. But that was then. Populism today is cultural: a variant of McCarthyism, nativists against “The Others.” Uneducated becoming equally valuable to experts with education. Our guest on this show Kevin Mattson who teaches American history at Ohio University says that today’s populist anti-intellectualism can be traced back to LBJs Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, an intellectual who showed he was not to be trusted about the Vietnam War. Mattson looks at how much of a threat to our republic is today’s racist, nationalist cultural populism.

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