Matthew Yglesias and the Fate of the Left
Published on: January 23, 2010
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  • You might also have mentioned that left-environmentalists successfully opposed the Green Revolution in Africa, the one continent that has failed to make progress.

    Greg Easterbrook wrote the story back: http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/97jan/borlaug/borlaug.htm

  • By the way, and for what it is worth, I really am a “horny-handed son of toil.” I didn’t plan it but that’s the way it worked out.

  • fahznab

    Not a bad set of wheels for an anglophile…

  • Joe

    I think you’re most of the way to some real understanding of what this voter anger is all about. It looks almost a revolt against the upper-middle class, but that’s not quite what’s happening. We are actually in the midst of a revolt against people who want to tell others how they can live. It just so happens, that many of those are in the upper middle class. There are plenty of upper middle class producers (who make or produce something for a living) who are mad as hell too.

    Americans are tired of being told what kind of car we should drive, what seer number our air conditioner has to be, what our kids have to learn, or (on a more local level) how often we can water our lawns. The average person is sick and tired of having someone else tell them what they can’t do.

    The real revolt is no the lower and middle classes against the upper middle class. The real revolt is against people who spend more time telling others how to live than actually producing something that their fellow citizens want (ideas, products, entertainment, etc..).

    The average American is sick of all politicians because, for all of the waste and silliness that we see from Washington, we really want a system that seems fair. When politicians let banks game the system and force a bailout, it’s as much a fault of the politicians as it is of the banks. When unions, or certain states, or particular senators get a special deal, we get the idea that we’re not getting a fair shot. When big business get a tax break or a incentive to relocate, we see our friends and neighbors with small businesses and don’t think they are getting a fair shot.

    The politician who pledges to (a) set up a fair system and (b) stop telling everyone else what to do will ride this wave of voter anger. Everyone else will get dumped along the way.

  • Walter,

    My comment in response to Yglesias:

    “The most Democratic district in the country is full of working-class families— 35 percent are under 18 and per capita income is $19,311 a year. It’s just that only 20 percent of the people living there are white.”

    Your final quote here is perfectly consistent with Mead’s point. The reason this predominantly African American district is Democrat is because for years they have been voting for the white,educated,liberal elite class who’s primary message is that you need us to protect and defend you against the evil,greedy powers that be. The tragedy is that they have accepted this arrangement for decades and this provides a good deal of the explanation as for why they continue to be stuck there. They are not, for the most part, among those who as Mead says have rejected this arrangement and long for autonomy and personal liberty. Better that they were.

  • Prof Mead… You’ve got the right stuff and you’re way above the fray. Don;t worry about obscure leftist bloggers. 🙂

  • Pingback: American Challenges: Health Care Blues - Walter Russell Mead's Blog - The American Interest()

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