Thanks to a tweet by dear Charlie Martin over at The Tattler at Pajamas Media, calling attention to Stacy McCain writing at his finest on Leftist blogger Joe Bageant’s proper place in intellectual history on the occasion of his passing, I give you this morsel and bid you go read the whole thing:
Far from being a blighted backwater inhabited by the downtrodden offscourings of benighted humanity, as Bageant would have his progressive readers believe, Winchester is in fact a thriving community where the population has more than doubled in the past three decades.
So if residents of Frederick County, Va., voted Republican by a 2-to-1 margin in 2004 (Bush 68%, Kerry 31%) why shouldn’t they? The pro-growth economic policies of the GOP have been very good for their community. If you want to seek out a “false consciousness” in need of explanation, you’d be much more obligated to look at ultra-affluent D.C. suburbs like Alexandria and Arlington, which in 2004 went for John Kerry by 2-to-1 margins.
But progressives are never required to defend their class-warfare theories against evidence that a whole lot of rich people vote Democrat. No, it is only working-class votes for the GOP which agitate the Left into declaring that the proletariat is somehow being hoodwinked and bamboozled. And this was the task to which Joe Bageant applied himself….
Probably worth pointing out in this context: I used to be a Democrat, having been raised up on the same weird political stew of an old-fashioned Protestant work ethic and class-warfare resentment of “The Rich” that seems to have congealed into Bageant’s progressive populism.
Such a worldview, based on the once-ubiquitous idea of Democrats as the party of the “little guy,” evaporates on first contact with actual facts about (a) how the market economy really works, and (b) what Democratic policies really do to the “little guy.”
Ah, yes, facts — it was my first contact with those facts in the fall of 2008 that made me a former Democrat, too.