May 16 • 2M

What? Progress in Mississippi? Seriously?

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Author, agitator and activist Jim Hightower spreads the good word of true populism, under the simple notion that "everybody does better, when everybody does better."
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There’s a common political refrain among Texas Progressives: “Thank God for Mississippi.”

Our own state government, run by corporate lobbyists and right-wing nutballs, is a notorious hellhole for efforts to provide even a little more fairness for the poor, the working class, and the environment. So, Lone Star progressives need some straw to grasp to keep from tumbling into the ditch of total despair. Mississippi has been that straw – no matter how mingy our state officials are, Texans can count on the Magnolia State to be one digit worse.

But – Have Mercy! – Texans are suddenly in danger of losing our reputational buffer, for Mississippi is close to making a momentous upgrade this election year. An unabashed working-class Democrat with a program of For-The-People reforms and an anti-plutocrat campaign for governor has already pulled even with the right-wing incumbent!

Brandon Presley is the upstart’s name. A “little-d” democratic populist elected at 23-years-old to be mayor of his small hometown (where he still lives), he’s now in his fourth term as a highly effective, widely popular member of the state utility commission. There, he has successfully battled the electric power giants and telecom profiteers on behalf of everyday ratepayers, workers, and the environment.

Presley (who actually is an Elvis cousin!) is not a pure liberal – he’s pro-gun and anti-choice. But this is Mississippi, and while it’s essential to strive for the pure light of liberalism, a multi-racial, majority of workaday Mississippians see Presley as a pure champion of basics they’ve long been denied – from health care to voting rights. So, they’re rallying for change – after all, even a dog knows the difference between being stumbled over and being kicked!

The people of Mississippi know they’re being kicked by the moneyed powers, and Brandon Presley is saying, “Let’s kick back.” To learn more, go to

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