Sunday, July 25, 2010

What Liberal Elite?

What is it with all this "liberal elite" crap? Ever since Roosevelt, Democrats have been the party of the poor in America, Republicans the party of the rich. Take 2004, when Kerry won 63% of the vote among people with incomes under $15,000, while Bush won 63% of the vote among those with incomes over $200,000. Right down the line, the more money people have, the more likely they were to support Bush. Even in the rout of 2008, McCain/Palin won a slight majority of voters with incomes over $100,000. Ross Douthat makes what I suppose he thinks is a keen insight when he says the elite is "center-left and Clintonian rather than deeply left-wing," but in 1996 Bob Dole won all the income categories over $50,000, including 54% of those with incomes over $100,000. (You can get all these numbers off wikipedia and lots of other places. They aren't exactly secret.)

The "liberal elite" is a big lie. True, musicians and movie stars are probably more liberal than the rest of the population, but although they draw a lot of attention there aren't very many of them and their money is paltry compared to the wealth of the business elite. The real American elite sits in corporate offices, and they are overwhelmingly Republican.


Thomas said...

Maybe I'm a bit cynical, but I suspect what they really mean is "Jewish" rather than "elite."

The "elite" control the new media, Hollywood, etc, and don't share "our" values.

Thomas said...

Mind you, I don't think that's all they mean by it, but it is one of the undercurrents of the usage of "liberal elites."

It covers a lot of ground, but it doesn't necessarily mean rich liberals. It includes intellectuals, for example. Atheists, evolutionists, geologists, etc.

John said...

I agree.

I have also wondered, since I wrote this, how people who earn a million dollars a year vote, but I can't find out.

David said...

I'm reminded of Rush Limbaugh's comment that the only people who support Obama are blacks and "rich academics."

Rich academics?

It is a strange but true fact that, since the 19th century, right-wing populism has tended to identify the political left with "international [i. e., Jewish] finance capital." I don't know why.