Why does the Left so hate the poor? For all its pious intonations of compassion, its consistent project has been to make their lives immeasurably harder.
We could start, of course, with Johnson’s “War on Poverty” that not only ended in abject defeat -- the same percentage of Americans are in poverty now as were in 1967, when the “war” was initiated -- but stripped the poor of their one consistent network of support: the family. That sad and completely predictable result would be enough to prove the point. But the complex ramifications of the many bad decisions and ill-considered legislative “fixes” are too numerous to recount in a single column and could not be remedied without a wholesale repeal that undid damage to the poor that has played out over 40 years. It would take another 40 years to remedy it. But we need not go back that far. The Left’s war on the poor and working classes continues and is accelerating.
Liberal elites have always maintained a sneering disdain for the cultural preferences of the great middle class, of course. Take, for example, Norman Rockwell, perhaps the best loved artist of the American middle class. Elite critics dismissed his work for what they referred to as his “mawkish sentimentalism” and criticized it as an “unending cliché.” Rockwell was never, in his lifetime, regarded as a “serious” artist by the liberal art establishment. The liberal elite’s critique of popular novels, television reality shows and the middle class’ embrace of sporting events from football to Nascar follows the same disdainful path.
It doesn’t stop there, of course. Everything is fair game, from popular architectural tastes to clothing to fast food. Liberal elites have been at war with McDonalds for years, warning the poor and working classes that they risk themselves and their children’s lives by eating -- much less liking -- fast food hamburgers even as it ignores the fact that fast food is all many can consistently afford. Recall the hosannas with which the producer of “Supersize Me” was greeted by academic and elite critics. They are easy cultural targets and a proxy for elite scorn for the poor and working classes who, we are told, do not enjoy the superior, rarified tastes of their betters.
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