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Donald Trump, George Wallace, And The Politics Of Demagoguery09:47
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FILE - In this March 19, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Fountain Hills, Ariz. Donald Trump promises to “Make America Great Again.” George Wallace said he would “Stand up for America.” The 2016 Republican presidential front-runner doesn’t say he’s following the 1960s playbook of the Alabama segregationist, a four-time presidential hopeful.(AP Photo/Matt York, File)
FILE - In this March 19, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Fountain Hills, Ariz. Donald Trump promises to “Make America Great Again.” George Wallace said he would “Stand up for America.” The 2016 Republican presidential front-runner doesn’t say he’s following the 1960s playbook of the Alabama segregationist, a four-time presidential hopeful.(AP Photo/Matt York, File)
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Let's talk about a populist, anti-government presidential candidate who challenged the political establishment, and marshaled the anger of frustrated, disaffected white voters to draw huge crowds to his rallies — which sometimes teetered on the edge of real violence.

That might sound like Donald Trump. But it also describes former Alabama Governor George Wallace, who ran as a third party candidate in 1968 — and won 13 percent of the popular vote.

Guest

Michael Cohen, columnist for the Boston Globe and former speechwriter for the U.S. Department of State. He tweets @speechboy71.

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The Boston Globe: The Genealogy Of American Demagoguery

  • "On the most surface level, Trump, a billionaire who brags of his business acumen and his wealthy friends, could not be more different from Wallace, who regularly described himself as 'a former truck driver married to a dime-store cashier and the son of a dirt farmer.' The parallels are not in the men’s personal stories, but rather in the divisive, angry, fearful, anti-elitist, and resentment-laden politics that they used to spark their presidential aspirations. George Wallace won just 13 percent of the popular vote in 1968, but he birthed to this nation the idiomatic language of antigovernment populism — a language that would be utilized by countless Republican politicians over the next four decades."

This segment aired on March 24, 2016.

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