Reprinted with permission from Creators.
My father, W.F. “High” Hightower, was a populist. Only, he didn’t know it — didn’t know the word, much less the history or anything about populism’s rich democratic ethos.
But he knew about bankers who regularly squeezed small-business families like ours with usurious interest rates. He knew how rough it was for a local business to fight off deep-pocketed chain stores that use predatory pricing and sledgehammer advertising budgets to seize local markets. And he saw with his very own eyes that the governor and legislature in faraway Austin operated as subsidiaries of Big Oil, the utility monopolies, and the other giants that were allowed to profit by picking the pockets of the general public.…