If anything, class divisions should be wider in the blue states because the upper classes in those regions are generally wealthier, and there’s also a larger upper middle class. In Vermont, for example, disparity between social classes is growing at as fast a rate as any other state. In California, you’ve got the Bay Area, Silicon Valley, Orange County, Beverly Hills, and Malibu, and then you’ve got regions where poverty matches what you find in the Congo.
This piece has been adapted from Thomas Frank’s new book, Listen, Liberal, or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (Metropolitan Books).
When you press Democrats on their uninspiring deeds—their lousy free trade deals, for example, or their flaccid response to Wall Street misbehavior—when you press them on any of these things, they automatically reply that this is the best anyone could have done.
After all, they had to deal with those awful Republicans, and those awful Republicans wouldn’t let the really good stuff get through. They filibustered in the Senate. They gerrymandered the congressional districts. And besides, change takes a long time. Surely you don’t think the tepid-to-lukewarm things Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have done in Washington really represent the fiery Democratic soul.
So let’s go to a place that does. Let’s choose a locale where Democratic rule is virtually unopposed, a place where Republican obstruction and sabotage can’t taint the experiment.