Sep 29 2010
Progressive rhetoric and vision is so tired, lame and fanciful it is amazing the movement has any support outside kindergarten. I was listening last night to the latest, desperate spin from the flailing Democrats and it was all about how the tax cuts for people making over $250,000 a year is for multinational CEOs and ignores the average Americans.
Talk about being out of touch with America. First off, multinational CEOs make a helluva lot more than $250K, none make under $1 million a year. The problem with the latest Democrat lie is the fact that no one who makes $251,000 a year is a multinational CEO. The bulk of those people are upper middle class people, just now attaining their rewards from a life of hard work and dedication. Most of those people are like me, trying to get a small business off the ground while the Democrat extended recession destroy years of previous work and progress. This is the army of people trying to build this generation’s version of the American dream, and the Democrats are throwing mud at our efforts and our successes!
All this may just be salary envy on the part of the inept members of Congress, who not only voted themselves a huge raise during the recession but also only make $170,000 a year.
In the simple mind of the progressive left there are millions of poor people and a few multinational fat cats, and in between there is only the do-good left. As usual, it is a self centered and delusional world view. The strongest, brightest and best of the middle class are at or reaching for that $250K per year mark. They are NOT greedy, uncaring, ‘screw the poor’ types. It is insulting to claim small business people are evil and uncaring. The fact we work to cover not just ourselves but to make sure everyone working for us is financially secure should never be misrepresented or ignored.
When the Democrats wake up from their little Walter Mitty delusions about being the savior of humanity they might look around and find a lot of Americans work hard each day doing their part in making this country a better place. It is not just the left, the poor and the multinational CEOs roaming this Earth.
Which brings me to Tony Blankley’s great article on where this lost swath of America now resides politically.
Not long after the tea party sprang into being in the spring of 2009, America’s elites started vilifying the movement. In an article worthy of a class-action libel suit, The New York Review of Books depicted the first march on Washington as a parade of bigots.
Ex-president Jimmy Carter spit venom at tea partiers by saying they resented an African-American president — a baseless charge of racism willingly echoed by the media.
When they weren’t being defamed as racists, tea party supporters were described as irrational, enraged, seething, and livid. Constituents at town hall meetings who rejected the superficial Democratic Party talking points and demanded answers instead of political spin were portrayed as mobs on the verge of riot.
The answer was given to us in a remarkably prescient book, Christopher Lasch’s “The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy,” posthumously published in 1995. The noted historian, whose intellectual journey carried him from the left in the ’60s to the populist right by the ’90s, would have been giddy over the tea party.
Lasch believed the only hope for American democracy lay in a revival of the middle class, particularly what were once known as middle-class virtues. The book title is an explicit ironic commentary on Jose Ortega y Gasset’s 1932 (first English translation) classic: “The Revolt of the Masses.”
Those of us who have gone out and experienced the Tea Party rallies know first hand that this is the great silent majority Ronald Reagan was able to tap into. It is middle class America, who are also very much centrist and not hyper partisan. It is why the Glenn Beck rally on the mall was more large community or church picnic than a raucous political mob. Most Tea Party participants are for the first time entering the political debate, engaging in where their country is headed.
This awakening of the governed to be active in deciding how to be governed should be welcomed. Unless you are an elitist know-it-all who wants to manipulate the governed through big government, but never let them be empowered to make decisions. Then I can see how the awakening of the middle class can cause anger and panic. The bosses are here and they are shaking things up and doing it themselves. No more elitist speakers for the middle class, they are here in person.
Finally, the irony of ironies here is that the Democrats and DC elites have been focused on saving the Wall Street fat cats. They bailed out Insurance bigwigs, financial bigwigs, Chrysler, GM and mortgages giants. They blew trillions on CEOs, and now they will barely lift a finger for the upper middle class. Do the Dems really think we don’t see this?
Addendum: Whoever this Lasch guy was who wrote that book in the early 1990’s, he was incredibly prescient:
Lasch described the emergence of elites who “…control the international flow of money and information, preside over philanthropic foundations and institutions of higher learning, manage the instruments of cultural production and thus set the terms of public debate.” These elites would undermine American democracy in order to fulfill their insatiable desire for wealth and power and to perpetuate their social and political advantages. Middle-class values, Lasch warned, would be hollowed out by a value-neutral educational system preaching multiculturalism. Their replacement would be narcissistic values based on self-gratification and worshipful of fame and celebrity as the ultimate values in a world devoid of deeper meaning. Sound familiar, Paris Hilton?
Against this relativistic tide, Lasch found the middle class’s antiquated values — hard work, family, faith, community — a possible bulwark.
If Lasch were alive, he could write a new book, “The Revolt of the Middle Class and the Rebirth of Democracy.” Among its observations might be this: The Obama presidency is both the high watermark, and the beginning of the end, for elite multicultural materialism in America.
If you wanted a laundry list of what middle America despises about the new ‘value’ system being imposed by bureaucrats, this is it. Celebrity verses achievement. Facade over tangible results. Feel good over accomplishment. Geez, LJStrata and I have been fighting this mindless crap for decades while raising our kids. The guy definitely nailed it.