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Explore our coverage of government and politics.

Populist, Or Just Popular?

The label "populist" has been applied to several presidential candidates, including a few whose politics have little in common, such as Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and Republican candidate Ted Cruz.  Garnering the support of a majority while casting out an entitled elite is the hallmark of populist movements throughout U. S. history.

But the specific ideas espoused by various populist leaders contrast greatly, and historic populist movements have included darker themes of racism and xenophobia. What does all that mean in modern politics when we talk about candidates with a populist message? We explore the politics and history of populism with Dean Lacy, professor of government and director of the Program in Politics and Law at Dartmouth College; and with Jim Kloppenberg, professor of American history at Harvard University.

Also in the program, space weather. Energetic particles and magnetic fields coming off of the sun form currents that can have a big impact here on earth. Dr. Carrie Black, a scientist at the Space Weather Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, explains more. She's speaking in Stowe on Wednesday.

And, we visit one of the few cherry orchards in Vermont where pick-your-own cherries are available. The season is short but sweet at Douglas Orchard & Cider Mill in Shoreham.