Thursday, August 21, 2008

McSame: The Audacity of Counting Residences

I wasn't going to post on this latest gaffe in the presidential campaign, but judging from the way it is circulating via e-mail, it seems to have seized people's attention and interest more than the typical meme of the day, and, well, a blogger has certain responsibilities:

When asked, the humble, salt-of-the-earth, man-of-the-people John McCain can't seem to state how many residences he owns.



All's fair in pig-wrestling, I suppose, but there's something exceedingly phony about millionaire elites squabbling with one another over which of them is the more convincing pauper. I gather they would correct that to say which of them is the more convincing champion of paupers. That said, if we must have class-based populism, it's nice to see it center on class, not cultural affinities.

3 comments:

Laura said...

I wonder if it's not so much that he doesn't know but that he'd rather not say. Either way, I prefer not having McCain running my country.

D.R.M. said...

I find it quite depressing that the spin doctors of the right managed to turn upper middle class college towns into “culturally elitist” enemies of the common man, yet allow billionaires, many of whom are indifferent to the conditions of their employees, to get by with a free pass. Economic populism, while still encouraging an “us versus them” mentality, at least has the benefit of bringing about tangible results. The cultural populism present in the United States since at least the 1980s hasn’t lead to any real progress for blue collar, working class people except increasingly worse working conditions.

It’s also resulted in poorer relations between middle class social progressives and working class economic interventionists. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that perception of the working class economic left is a modest amount of University educated; young upper middle class Americans are libertarians.

In countries where the working class left isn’t distracted by cultural anxieties, results are obtained. In countries like Canada (where the labour movement has had success compared to the US) and Sweden (where labour is successful by even the highest standards) you don’t notice any working class anxieties over social progressivism. Heck, the Canadian Labour Congress welcomes gay and lesbian workers, and supported same-sex marriage.

Same sex marriage is a lot more "culturally liberal" than anything Obama supports (Obama and all mainstream Democratic contenders share the distinction of being unanimously against same-sex marriage). Yet still he gets backlass for being on "the left side" of the culture wars.

All of this regional variation makes one think.

D.R.M. said...

*It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that perception of the working class economic left is a modest amount of University educated; young upper middle class Americans are libertarians.*

I should have said

"It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say that the perception of the working class left as socially conservative is why at least a modest amount of University educated, young upper middle class Americans are libertarians."