Today is

   "A word to the wise ain't necessary --  
          it's the stupid ones that need the advice."
					-Bill Cosby

Friday, January 20, 2006

What's the matter with Democrats?

Ross Douthat comments on an American Prospect article by Garance Franke-Ruta which suggests why and how "heartland" voters, who are presumably sympathetic to at least some of the Democrat's economic policies, pull the lever for Republicans. As Douthat says, "it's the culture, stupid." In a way, Franke-Ruta's position, and Douthat's analysis of it, reach the same conclusion that Theodore Dalrymple and others have reached with regard to the rampant libertarianism -- sexual, social, moral -- that was unleashed in my favorite decade: it was a disaster for the underclass and those on its margins. Those who are better educated and financially better off talk a good game about "liberation" of most kinds -- some of them aren't so keen on free markets -- but when it comes down to it, they tend to settle into more traditional arrangements, especially when it occurs to them to have children. Heartland voters have gone Republican, according to Douthat, because of "cultural aspirations," which is an aspect of self-interest that some on the left have failed to come to terms with. They want what the other guy's got, but they aren't primarily thinking about money; they want to live in communites which promote values and ideals that they see as beneficial to themselves and their families, and they respond to Republicans because they are at least willing to pay lip service to those ideals (and some of them, of course, actually believe in those ideals).

There's a slight rift on the right about this issue, because Republican libertarianism is also implicated in Douthat's and Franke-Ruta's analysis. I'm siding more and more with the Cruncy Cons in my old age.


Blogger stewdog said...

This post has be remembering a comment that I think was posted by Jeff a while back. Voters don't necessarily pull the lever for Republicans because they embrace the candidate or his or her platform so much as the alternative is just so repulsive, time and again.

January 20, 2006 2:11 PM  
Blogger Conservative in Virginia said...

shopping at agriculture co-ops and rejecting suburban sprawl

Ugh. If that's crunchy, make mine smooth and creamy. Give me Costco and give me a big yard.

January 20, 2006 5:41 PM  
Blogger Conservative in Virginia said...

This is off topic, but necessary:

Scotty, the riddle's "submit" button just returned a "Proxy Error." Also, please check the Rumpus mailbag. Thanks.

January 21, 2006 10:59 AM  
Blogger Wonderdog said...

CIV, per Scotty, she got the email. We're gonna post that on the blog. Thanks!

She's gonna fix the Rumpus Riddle glitch but...why on earth are you submitting an answer to that riddle that's been there many a blue moon?

January 21, 2006 4:50 PM  
Blogger Conservative in Virginia said...

Hey, WD, I like to win!

Actually, I sometimes use that riddle space to secretly contact the elusive Scotty. Oops. That was our secret.

Say "hey" to Scotty for me. Hope she and the pups are doing well.

January 22, 2006 9:42 AM  

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