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Thursday, December 21, 2006
Yep, I'm talking to you.
We're six weeks past the 2006 elections, and any brief warm glow I was feeling has long since passed. The jubilation seen among those supporting Democrats is all too similar to an analogy I've often used to describe George W. Bush:
He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.
Same for the Democrats this time around. You didn't win anything. You now control the House and the Senate, but you didn't win it. The Republicans lost it, nothing more. Nothing at all has changed since 2004, except that Iraq is so bad that everyone can see it now. Everything that counted then, counts today. The Democrats hold on power will last only as long as the president insists on letting Americans die in Iraq with no apparent goal.
Sorry, Poindexter. The bad news is that America still hates you and your liberal ways.
The days of average Americans voting against their own self-interests are still with us, and that's not going to change. What's truly sad is that you fail to understand why.
Just before the election, the media and the Republicans jumped all over a comment by John Kerry, in which he meant to zing the president, but really inadvertently made a remark that seemed insulting to the men and women in Iraq. No one with an IQ over 50 who heard the comments in context or knows Kerry's military record could possibly believe that he was actually insulting the troops. But the Neocons, grasping at straws as they saw their own poll numbers nosediving, made a game effort of it. Alas, in the end, it made no difference. Americans of all stripes dislike John Kerry, and that was really the end of it.
But why do we so dislike John Kerry?
Well, he's a member of the intelligentsia. People hate that.
You can call them intellectuals, liberal elite, whatever, just don't confuse them with the GWB-style Andover/Yale/Harvard Business School conservative elites. To the untrained eye, there's no difference of course. Child of privilege, Ivy League, country club, roots back to the Mayflower. Yep, they're rich, always have been, always will be.
Liberals still think that people who work for a living resent the rich, and can't understand why (again this phrase) they continue to cast votes for people whose sole purpose in life appears to be to stick it to the middle and working classes.
In one of my earliest commentaries, I speculated that the problem with America can be summarized in one word: Hope.
The old dynamic of working hard so that you can improve your life and give your kid a better standard of living than you had, is largely dead. Most people are now acutely aware of this fact. However, you still look at your TV, and there's some nobody winning American Idol, or the lottery. So you think, "I'm next, because I'm wonderful, too."
And I suppose you are.
Even Time Magazine thinks you're special. Total cop-out, by the way...
But it's just more evidence that we really are convinced that our time is coming, and we'll be rich, fat and happy.
The thing of it is, I'll admit, I missed an important part of the equation.
Most of the old Work Hard, Study Hard, Go To College, Get A Good Job Deal that America thrived so well on in the last half of the 20th century has evaporated into a vague memory for most citizens. College costs have skyrocketed, financial aid has dried up, and there just isn't much room at the educational inn for social climbers when there are so many sons and daughters of privilege claiming their legacy at our nation's universities.
Don't take my word for it either, working class Americans understand what is happening to them. So you cry again "Why do these people keep voting for the people that are screwing them?"
There are two types of politicians in this country (as far as we're concerned), and those are rich Republicans, and intellectual Democrats.
The light bulb is starting to come on, yes?
"Are you trying to say that Americans still hate intellectuals more than they resent the rich?"
Well, no. But you're getting closer.
Conservatives didn't invent human distaste for one's intellectual betters. You can go right back to grade school where the smart, precocious kids (obnoxious bastards) got singled out for abuse. It's human nature. But most people with kids want their children to get as much education as they can ingest, because even the dullest among us understand that the more education you have, the better your life turns out.
"So why do they hate us then?"
Because they have begun to understand that they aren't going to be able to join you.
It's not that you're such a snob, either. You have the good sensibility to appreciate your educated fellow citizens, and understand that a better educated populace generally makes for a better country to live in. It's still the smart people that run things after all. Everyone knows this.
The working and middle classes aren't going to be sending their kids to college. They won't be going back for continuing education for themselves. They have been phased out of that particular dream. They are not going to be joining the intelligentsia. But, there is still the infinitesimal chance that they might get rich. Who do you think they're going to hate? The only club they can still luck into, or those insular eggheads who they perceive as holding the education monopoly all to themselves?
They don't care how brilliant you are. People have rent to make, and they can't sell your precious IQ points and buy food with them. If the intellectual elite can't help the rest of us, I suppose we'll continue to beg for scraps from the people who have shown that they can beat the system and profit handsomely.
A classic co-dependent relationship.
posted at 4:05 PM
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