Working-class populism in America has always taken two forms: The first–let’s call it left-wing populism–has typically been directed at speculators who make money from people who work in factories and offices and who don’t seem to contribute to the actual wealth of society. The second form–let’s call it right-wing populism–has targeted immigrants, black sharecroppers, the unemployed, and other out groups who are seen as trying to deprive those who work of their rightful earnings. These two strains often appear together, as they did in the original American populist movement. And these sentiments are most concentrated among the embattled classes–those that see themselves threatened from above and below.
Obama has provoked both left-wing and right-wing populism.