September 06, 2018
Room for (real) populism in West Virginia
Earlier this week, WV MetroNews and the Dominion Post released a poll about the attitudes of West Virginians towards big business. It might surprise some people. Among the findings:
*58 percent of respondents believed that government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public. Guess that means we haven't forgotten all the for-profit disasters that have killed or maimed so many state residents over the years;
*88 percent believed that too much power was concentrated in the hands of a few corporations;
*72 percent believed that corporations were making too much in profit.
All of these numbers are up significantly from a similar 2014 poll. The poll surveyed 404 West Virginians from all counties and has a 4.9 percent margin of error.
The upshot seems to me to be that people here are open to a real populist message and agenda if there's a willingness to put one forward.
If we don't, to paraphrase Shakespeare, the fault is not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings.