Ralph Benko

Who will prove the champion of the little guy and gal? Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — on deck for her party’s presidential nomination should Hillary Rodham Clinton bow out — has become the political leader of choice for those who advocate Big Government as that champion.

This columnist is skeptical about Big Government improving the lives of the citizens. Yet … there is a case to be made for Warren. She is, at very least, a magnificently worthy adversary for advocates of limited government and deserves to be taken seriously.

America has had a decade of lousy job creation and wage stagnation … under both parties. Since President Nixon ended the Bretton Woods international gold-exchange standard, America has struggled through 40+ years of middle income households treading water and workers losing ground. Compounding wage stagnation, now, is a rising cost of living (masked by artifacts of the CPI algorithm yet nonetheless real).

In a recent poll conducted by the national polling firm QEV 41% of Ohio voters said that the greatest impact on them and their families is the rising cost of living. That’s more than the combined total of those who considered the lack of job opportunity (24%) or wages not going up (13%). These sentiments are consistent with other poll results and are representative of widespread sentiment.

Call it “the middle class squeeze.” As a result of the middle class squeeze, we natives are restless.

We little guys and gals really would welcome someone in the capital championing our interests. Who might that be?

Enter Elizabeth Warren, advocate of increasing the minimum wage, paycheck fairness, cutting student loan interest, and other proposals to address income inequality.

In the New York Review of Books, March 6, 2104, Michael Tomasky’s insightful column, A New Populism?, extolled Warren, Populist.


Warren possesses a knack for earthy articulation of the liberal-populist worldview watched by no one else in American public life today. Videos of her speaking to supporters and donors, or decimating slow-witted cable hosts, go “viral” and get millions of views from liberals who’ve been desperate for years to hear a prominent Democrat talk the way she does.

Tomasky points out that Warren-style populism — championship of the interests of us little guys and gals — is beginning to sweep the left.

Ralph Benko

Ralph Benko, author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to use the Web to transform the world. He serves as an advisor to and editor of the Lehrman Institute's thegoldstandardnow.org and senior advisor to the American Principles Project.