Of course, no populist is truly for the people, generally speaking. They are for their people. Therefore, no populist can be an effective populist without identifying and attacking the enemies of their people. Trump has his enemies; they consist primarily of the people and institutions who fail to flatter him to his satisfaction, but not entirely. Trump also spent 2016 upbraiding an ill-defined set of political and cultural elites who had supposedly sold out the country to feather their own nests.
Progressive populists have enemies, too. According to Warren, they are the “folks who like having the power and the riches they have” and who need only to “tweak their pinkie” to compel politicians to see to their economic interests. “They’re the ones who want to take advantage of this country,” Warren told CNBC’s Harwood. “They’re the ones who want to cheat.” Who is the “they” here? That depends on who you hate today.