The Ruling Class Creates its Own Demise

In his recent American Spectator article "America's Ruling Class- and the Perils of Revolution" (July/ August 2010), Professor Angelo Cordevilla observed that most of the voters who identify themselves as Democrats are reasonably satisfied that the Democratic Party represents them well, but only a fourth of the voters who call themselves Republican feel they are well represented by the Republican Party.  While the Democrats may voice opposition to their elected leaders on select issues, they are more likely to overcome their stands on individual issues and vote the party line at election time.  Many Democrats think their party sold out by not including a single payer system in the health care bill, but that will not make them vote Republican.

On the other hand a lot of  Republicans have litmus tests.  For one group it is abortion, for another it is immigration, for another it is taxes.  There are so many that it becomes nearly impossible for any Republican candidate not to piss off some significant part of its constituency.  And unlike the Democrats, the Republicans are more likely to cross party lines, or simply not vote: a way of supposedly registering their dissatisfaction with their own party and still not being held accountable for helping to seat the worse of two bad options.

But that other three fourths of the Republicans who have far less party loyalty combined with the independents make a majority.  It was relatively easy for the Democrats to attract disaffected Republicans and independents in the wake of an unpopular war and a dramatic financial collapse.  It will also be easy for the Democrats to lose them in the wake of their extremely unpopular legislation.

Nixon coined the term ‘Silent Majority'; those who went about their business and made little noise as long as their lives stayed in a fairly normal range. (He used the term in reference to the Americans who were not publicly protesting the Viet Nam War). It was insinuated that only the extremes were heard from by most media outlets. That ‘majority' is far less silent today. Aided by new information and social networks and motivated by extremist policies that impact them directly, they intend to be heard. There are a lot of fresh new faces in the political scene seeking to unseat entrenched incumbents and it is becoming clear that many will succeed.

The Ruling Class is today represented by the Democratic Party and they hold power with political favoritism.  The majority are in the Country Class, to use the term from Professor Cordevilla.  The Country Class speaks with many voices and is thus more difficult to organize into a potent political voice. The most significant unifying factor is their preference to rule themselves rather than by an elitist other who claim a false sense of intellectual superiority. They oppose favoritism and special treatment whether to corporations, unions, or social groups.

Nothing unites like a common threat and that is what is bringing the current cohesiveness to the Country Class.  The Tea Party movement is only a part of it.  The disaffected Republicans, Libertarians,  and the Independents are the rest of it.  The fact they do not have a strong single unifying set of beliefs would be  a very limiting factor if the Democrats had not strayed so far from the center, and if the economy was not having such an adverse impact on their lives.

It is a mistake to assume that America will tolerate elitist solutions and systems long ingrained and accepted in European political culture.  The Country Class are more interested in managing their private lives and daily affairs as long as their leaders do not threaten their values and their way of life.  When they are thus threatened we can expect a seismic shift at the polls.


Henry Oliner