Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
Approval. Acceptance. Attention. This trifecta is the outcome to the exaggeration of the not so complex approach of persuading like-minded individuals to adhere to their political concerns that likely go blatantly unnoticed by elitists and is a more commonly used tactic than you may think, especially for the political climate of Virginia.
Termed "populism", this colloquial expression does not have an exact definition, but is an ideology within the realm of politics that seeks to undermine society by any means in efforts to meet a particular political agenda. Deriving from the prefix term of popular, populism is exactly what you may be thinking, except less covert with its intentions.
From the frequent phrase of "fake news", actively used by number 45 to mask rhetoric that may not have been in his favor, has essentially displayed a glimpse into what the concept of populism is: a crutching domino effect of reflection and perception through media and politicians for the public eye.
Paired with the ideologies of the socialist or conservative, populism has evidently worked its way into the White House and has further trickled down into Virginia politics.
According to the Washington Post, "In a district where Trump won 48 percent of the vote---four points better than he fared in Virginia--- Bob Gray, whose campaign slogan was "America First, Conservative Always," won only 11 percent in the primary, which had 11 republicans on the ballot. Overall in that race, the more a candidate aligned with Trump, the worse he did."
Unknowingly supporting the objective of the concept, people tend to associate certain individuals with certain policies due to their affiliation with a particular party, which may or may not be that beneficial or keen to the masses.
Inadvertently, populism works for the general welfare of others but at the expense of corruptive elitists. Considered the People's party, populism has further stretched itself into this upcoming 2020 Presidential Election.
With the likes of the remaining 15 candidates running, five Democratic Presidential candidates have created a name and platform for themselves solely based on a four-letter word. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Yang, ring a bell yet?
These candidates have maneuvered through the concept of populism by allowing their name to speak for themselves and essentially to the public.
Entailed, with reinforcing conversations via left-wing ideals ranging from strengthening economic stability and free college tuition to accessible Medicare and dismantling political corruption, yet in the same token curtail the influence of "the billionaires", is very interesting.
While these candidates are utilizing this attractive strategy to appeal to their audience as personable, it's ultimately disingenuous.
Therefore, the question arises over time of whether these candidates are aware that the policies they are in opposition of actually happen to be what they benefit from. The idea of populism has become a more frequent tactic used either against or for the public, and quite frankly, people have become desensitized to it.