"We meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political, and material ruin. Corruption dominates the ballot box, the legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench. The people are demoralized; ... The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled; public opinion silenced; business prostrated; our homes covered with mortgages; labor impoverished; and the land concentrating in the hands of the capitalists. The urban workmen are denied the right of organization for self-protection; imported pauperized labor beats down their wages; ... and they are rapidly degenerating into European conditions." --Populist Party platform, 1892
The Populist Party was formed primarily by angry farmers who were being robbed in the late 1800s by the railroads with the collusion of the government. Among their leaders was the Governor of Colorado, David H. Waite, who was called the "Abraham Lincoln of the Rockies" by his admirers and "Bloody Bridles Waite" by his critics because he had said it was better "that blood should flow to the horses' bridles rather than our national liberties should be destroyed."