December 21, 2007
Mike Huckabee is right, but don't listen too closely
Via Volunteer Voters:
There is a level of elitism that has existed, the chattering class if you will who lives in that corridor between Washington and Wall Street [...who] were more than happy for us to come to the rallies and stand in lines for hours to cheer on the candidates, appreciated us putting up the yard signs, going out and putting out the cards on peoples doors and making phone calls to the phone banks and really appreciated all of our votes. But when they got elected, behind closed doors, they would laugh at us and speak with scorn and derision that we were, as one article I think once said the easily led.
This is pure, golden truth, although I think the speaker just a bit disingenuous, simply by his being a former governor of one of the fifty states. You think he's not in some elite circles? (UPDATE: it turns out he may have been reacting to, of all people, Ann Coulter.)
However, I posit* that there is yet a third class a middle class, if you will (though I speak not of economics) one that is not easily led, but neither do its members have access to the secret places behind those closed doors. We are observers, and we see the sheep, and we see the shepherds; and we are neither. Are we the sheepdogs in this metaphor? I'm not, because I don't necessarily help get the sheep to do the shepherds' bidding. (Come to think of it, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Jane Fonda, Randi Rhodes, et al. could be considered the sheepdogs.) I am searching, however, for what my real role might be.
I sometimes harbor a nagging fear that I am really just one of the sheep, and I merely imagine otherwise, like Christopher Lloyd's character in The Dream Team. Yet I comfort myself with whatever solidity there is in being able to sense a difference.
Tim Price wrote a letter that I find similar enough to link here, although his is pro-Ron Paul, rather than pro-Huckabee, and is less about patricians and plebeians than about what he considers true conservatism and the "RINO" quality he sees in mainstream Republicanism. (Is that a paradox? How can mainstream Republicans be "Republicans In Name Only"?)
Another perspective along this same vein, more or less, is the frustration felt by many grassroots Democrats (like 10,000 Monkeys) over their seeming betrayal this year by their counterparts in Congress. All across the political spectrum, and on any given issue, the masses are disconnected from the powerful, even as the former continue to enable the latter. But should they and, for that matter, could they do something about that?
I used to, even until recently, fancy a revolution of the American political underclass. I'm not so sure now. I'm not asking for anyone's pity here, but I am embedded in a very thin layer between the rulers and the ruled. Those of us in this category maintain a dicey existence on the tightrope of tension between the other two groups. History has shown, too, that when the balance shifts the other way, such as in a Marxist or Maoist upheaval (this is in no way to suggest that that is what Huckabee's about; again, we're not talking economics per se), this paper-thin third class is among the first to be slaughtered or otherwise marginalized. We owe our (relative) good fortune to the time-honored status quo.
*I'm not the author of this thought. A good friend and I have discussed it many times, but I credit him with its origin.
Politics is Personal | By joe lance | 09:38 AM
How depressing. I will add something to your conclusions - the most involved and informed voters in politics are the most irrelevant by virtue of not being sheep.
Posted by: Adam Groves at December 21, 2007 12:45 PM