Take the Rich Off Welfare

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"Take the rich off welfare," is a campaign slogan for former Oklahoma Senator (1964-1973), Fred Harris. In 1976, Harris led a grassroots effort to gain the democratic nomination for President, eventually losing to Jimmy Carter. His platform pushed for the United States to redistribute its wealth by “getting the rich off welfare.” Harris frequently championed issues of human rights and income equality. During his term as Senator, he worked toward creating the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission and helped pressure President Lyndon B. Johnson into forming the National Advisory Committee on Civil Disorders. He is credited as being the “Godfather of Populism” by Jesse Jackson and was interviewed by Rolling Stone Magazine in 1975 in an article titled, Fred Harris: A populist with a prayer, The Senator responsible for “a new populism.” After his political career ended, Harris went on to teach political science at the University of New Mexico and penned 6 books, including 2 novels and a memoir.


Farmer, R. (2013, November 8). Fred Harris: American politician, educator, and writer. Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Fred-Harris Linnett, R. (2016, December 31). What the ‘Godfather of Populism’ Thinks of Donald Trump. Politico Magazine. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/populist-trump-fred-har… McDonald, M. (1975, December 3). How is Fred Harris? Ann Arbor District Library. https://aadl.org/node/200390 Oklahoma State University. (n.d.). Take the Rich Off Welfare: Fair Taxes Now. Edna Mae Phelps Political Collection. Retrieved August 21, 2020, from https://dc.library.okstate.edu/digital/collection/p17279coll7/id/3600

Catalog ID CA0519