April 18, 2010

"The natural constituency for the culture of dependence"

Michael Barone, Tea parties fight Obama's culture of dependence:

...And, invoking the language of the Founding Fathers, they [Tea Partiers] believe that this will destroy the culture of independence that has enabled Americans over the past two centuries to make this the most productive and prosperous -- and the most charitably generous -- nation in the world. Seeing our political divisions as a battle between the culture of dependence and the culture of independence helps to make sense of the divisions seen in the 2008 election.

Barack Obama carried voters with incomes under $50,000 and those with incomes over $200,000 and lost those with incomes in between. He won large margins from those who never graduated from high school and from those with graduate school degrees and barely exceeded 50 percent among those in between. The top-and-bottom Obama coalition was in effect a coalition of those dependent on government transfers and benefits and those in what David Brooks calls "the educated class" who administer or believe that their kind of people administer those transactions. They are the natural constituency for the culture of dependence.

Interestingly, in the Massachusetts special Senate election the purported beneficiaries of the culture of dependence -- low-income and low-education voters -- did not turn out in large numbers. In contrast, the administrators of that culture -- affluent secular professionals, public employees, university personnel -- were the one group that turned out in force and voted for the hapless Democratic candidate. The in-between people on the income and education ladders, it turns out, are a constituency for the culture of independence. ...

This is a bit of a video I took when Charlene and I were at the recent SF Tea Party. Philosophically speaking I'm not precisely a Tea Partier myself, but close enough, and it's the sort of effort we like to lend support to (among other reasons, there will never be a rally of people like me, so I take what I can get)...

Posted by John Weidner at April 18, 2010 10:08 PM
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