Kamala Harris: 'A Rise in Populism Is Working to Undercut Democracies Everywhere'

By Craig Bannister | March 8, 2021 | 12:34pm EST
V.P. Kamala Harris
(Getty Images/Sean Rayford)

Democrat Vice President Kamala Harris condemned “populism” as a threat to democracy on Monday, including it, along with coronavirus and climate change as the three greatest crises threatening the world today.

In an International Women’s Day address to the European Parliament, Harris warned that the popularity of populism is growing:

“Today, we face crises on almost every front. A pandemic that has taken the lives of more than two and a half million people worldwide. A changing climate threatens the future of our Earth.

“A rise in populism is working to undercut democracies everywhere. Neither the United States nor Europe is immune from these threats.”

However, populism is actually more of a component, rather than a threat, to democracy, since it is dedicated to the best interests of the common people, not the elitists, according to Merriam-Webster’s definition of “populist”:

1.      “a member of a political party claiming to represent the common people especially, often capitalized : a member of a U.S. political party formed in 1891 primarily to represent agrarian interests and to advocate the free coinage of silver and government control of monopolies

2.      “a believer in the rights, wisdom, or virtues of the common people”

Antonyms for populist include "snob" and "snoot," and antonyms for "populism" include "elitism," "repression" and "exclusivity."

To combat the threat to democracy of populism, Harris even invokes “the strength of all people”:

“Today, it is essential that we work together to advance those principles that strengthen democracies: accountability and transparency, the rule of law and human rights.

“And, let us not overlook the opportunities right in front of us to do that. We know that the strength of our democracies and the strength of every nation on Earth depends on the strength of all people.”

“Finally, we must give women equal voice in decision-making, for this is essential to free and fair democracies,” Harris concludes.

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