The Dictatorship of the Proletariat
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Living Poor, Voting Rich
[W]hether John Kerry's supporters are now celebrating or seeking asylum abroad, they should be feeling wretched about the millions of farmers, factory workers and waitresses who ended up voting - utterly against their own interests - for Republican candidates...In the summer, I was home - too briefly - in Yamhill, Ore., a rural, working-class area where most people would benefit from Democratic policies on taxes and health care. But many of those people disdain Democrats as elitists who empathize with spotted owls rather than loggers.
One problem is the yuppification of the Democratic Party. Thomas Frank, author of the best political book of the year, "What's the Matter With Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America," says that Democratic leaders have been so eager to win over suburban professionals that they have lost touch with blue-collar America. "There is a very upper-middle-class flavor to liberalism, and that's just bound to rub average people the wrong way,"
So, Bush has been re-elected, and now has a clear mandate to promote his ultra-right policies for the next four years and, likely, to make at least 3 Supreme Court appointments. We have become the first civilized nation on earth to establish the Dictatorship of the Proletariat--those farmers, factory workers and waitresses who voted him in.
Conservative Republicans exploited the cultural divide but it was we who created it decades ago when, as spoiled rich kids, we made over the Democratic Party in our own image. It was we who first politicized "lifestyle issues" and reconstructed liberalism as a program in support of our preoccupations and hobbies. It was we who imagined that our tastes and aesthetic preferences were moral imperatives and condemned hoi poloi for living in little boxes made of ticky-tacky, eating junk food and owning guns. We ushered in the Age of Aquarius but made it quite clear that people who lived in little boxes weren't invited.
After rushing to the center, abandoning the economic policies that benefitted the working class, and setting up as the party of gay rights and abortion on demand, cultural sensitivity and environmental concern, fruits, nuts and little herbal teas, the Democratic Party could not run any candidate--least of all a billionaire Brahmin--who could convince the proles that he was on their side.