Is Donald Trump's candidacy an aberration? Not if you look at recent political history. The Republican primary voters who helped Mr. Trump win the party's US presidential nomination have many antecedents in American and European politics. Tom's guest today has written a book that traces the history of populism as a political movement, from Huey Long in Louisiana in the 1930s, through George Wallace’s run for President in 1968, through Donald Trump’s persistent candidacy -- which appears to have a base of support larger than almost anyone imagined when he began his run for the White House in the summer of 2015.
The author suggests that the ground Trump is tilling became fertile during the financial crisis of 2008-2009, and that the populism of the left, with figures such as Bernie Sanders, grew out of this same soil. The book is called The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics. The author is John Judis, who lives in Silver Spring, and who joins Tom this afternoon in Studio A.