Americans are divided from those in charge. A great analogy was used by my Salem Radio/KVOI colleague Hugh Hewitt when he described India as about the most religious country in the world and Sweden about the least. His analogy was that we are a nation of Indians governed by Swedes.
Elitism isn't just a monopoly of today's neo-liberals. Far too many libertarians fall into the same trap. Many libertarians saw the Tea Party movement as a projection of themselves and now whine that it has been "taken over" by conservatives and Republicans. They fail to notice that most Tea Party folks are conservatives and Republicans, followed by independents and a smattering of old-line Democrats.
Those screaming GOP and Tea Parties are "extremists" don't recognize exactly how far the nation's political structures, from school boards to the federal courts, have moved to the extreme left and scoff if some rube dares mention "socialism," but there's a reasonable indicator for how socialist we've actually become.
We have a real one in the U.S. Senate, Bernie Sanders of Vermont. He caucuses with the Democrats and votes about the same as the rest of them. Give you a hint?
Neo-liberals are intellectually isolated in the sense that all ruling classes are. Those Russian nobles at the court of the Czar probably never heard of Lenin up to the moment he had them shot.
Neo-liberal isolation partially derives from a basic epistemology that rejects individualism and places everyone in a group – race, union, sexual orientation. Had a good Democrat friend ask me how we planned to get a big turn-out when there is nothing on the ballot for our "values voters," failing to recognize that they too are taxpayers and care about lots of things beyond social issues.
Narrow pigeonholing of people ignores the many pigeon holes they flit between. Try gun owning, right to life Catholic, war supporting, death penalty believing union members for openers. Intellectually the pigeonholing descends from Marx and other 19th century philosophers, something neo-liberals are hyper-sensitive about being reminded of.
Ironically, what isolates the neo-liberal most is the overwhelming re-enforcement given their mindset by everything from the mainstream media to the educational establishment. Conservatives are way ahead of knowing more about them because they won't let us stop being told how wonderful they are. All we have is Fox News, Talk Radio, and the NY Times Best Seller list to counter it – none of which they pay attention to or grasp and all of which they regularly trash. It has given conservatives the leg up. We can't avoid knowing what they think. They are clueless about us.
There are some fine local examples. The hard left has suddenly noticed that the leader of the House Progressive Caucus, Raul Grijalva, may finally have a real race in a good GOP year and are e-mail blasting money for him. One blog claims developer Don Diamond is putting in millions of dollars to defeat Grijalva and another identifies his opponent as the 28-year-old Joe Sweeney. Homework is not their long suit.
How about all those "Vote No on all Ballot Prop" signs, paid for by a committee built around a major Democrat fund-raiser and an AFL-CIO union official trying to fake being a conservative taxpayer group to kill Prop 113 and the secret ballot? Besides being sleazy and obvious, makes you wonder how the folks with the Marijuana Initiative feel about their supposed allies on the left?
Cluelessness is kind of like stupidity. It really doesn't have a cure. We'll find how deep it runs this November.
Hear Emil Franzi and Tom Danehy Saturdays 1-4 p.m. on KVOI 103OAM.