The schmopulism filter
Everyone’s a populism specialist right now. Unfortunately, not everyone is really all that on top of the literature, so the term often gets used pretty indiscriminately to describe “parties or movements I’m not ever so keen on”. This approach has been dubbed “schmopulism” by populism specialist and king of ironic exasperation, Duncan McDonnell. In the wake of one of Duncan’s periodic rounds of social-media schmopulism-quashing, I decided to create a simple flowchart, or “schmopulism filter”, based on the conceptual literature on populism that understands it in broadly ideological terms. If you think a party might be populist, pass it through the filter. If you get from top left to bottom right, you’re talking about a populist party. If you don’t, other terminological alternatives are available.