The left is shocked that the right has now stopped caring about the old rules, since for so long the left relied on the right to subordinate its human instincts and conform to those rules even when the left ignored them. We refused to stoop to their level, and for a long time, we were “better than that.” But you can only have one side being “better than that” for so long before people get sick of being the butt of the hypocrisy.That's a Complex Proposition. On the one hand, yes, the proper Tory could not stand up for bourgeois convention whilst disregarding it when it was expedient: that's precisely why Saul Alinsky advised protestors to Make The Establishment Play By Its Rules. On the other hand, the left didn't necessarily perceive the Tories as gentlemanly, yet misguided. Thus "Neanderthal" and "Racist" and latterly "Deplorable." Thus does the cold civil war heat up.
We should not be happy that our society is heading toward the lowest common denominator, which itself is in freefall. But the alternative is worse. Should we allow ourselves to continue to be figuratively and literally beaten up while smiling at our own purity, secure in the knowledge that even though our dignity and freedom are stripped from us, we have not fought back? Not happening. Letting these bastards play by their own rules, and thereby crush us, seems a pretty high price to pay just to gain the approval of the smug and sanctimonious David Frums and John Kasichs of the world.The good news is Joan Williams is exhorting New York Times readers to cool it. The Dumb Politics of Elite Condescension.
Too often in otherwise polite society, elites (progressives emphatically included) unselfconsciously belittle working-class whites. We hear talk of “trailer trash” in “flyover states” afflicted by “plumber’s butt” — open class insults that pass for wit. This condescension affects political campaigns, as in Hillary Clinton’s comment about “deplorables” and Barack Obama’s about people who “cling to guns or religion.”I'm reminded of a conversation a recently-captured German had with a G. I. The prisoner asked his guard why the United States was fighting. "To free you from the fantastic delusion that you are a master race." If the coastal gentry gives up its delusion that they, and they alone, are the masters, without it coming to fisticuffs or gunplay, that's likely to be good.
Democrats should stop insulting people. The high cost of doing so is dramatized by “I’m deplorable” T-shirts and Inaugural DeploraBalls. There’s no need to accept racism, sexism or homophobia from working-class whites or anyone else. Just live up to our progressive ideals by acknowledging social disadvantage more consistently. If class-based insults were as politically incorrect as racial or homophobic slurs, Rush Limbaugh’s rants against P.C. elites might hold less appeal. Mr. Limbaugh, like Mr. Trump, feeds off class resentment. Let’s stop making their jobs easier.It's not so much about making college more accessible, which too often is about admitting unprepared people, as it is about equipping young people with life-management skills, something that the Democrat-friendly government schools and the Democrat-voting vulgar culture are failing to do.
That’s the first step. The second is for Democrats to advocate an agenda attractive to low-income and working-class Americans of all races: creating good jobs for high school graduates. The college-for-all experiment did not work. Two-thirds of Americans are not college graduates. We need to continue to make college more accessible, but we also need to improve the economic prospects of Americans without college degrees.