Two or three generations ago political parties were primarily divided by ideology. The Episcopalian Church was described as the “Republican Party at prayer” because of the supposedly urbane composition of the party and the Democrats were the alleged champions of the working class.
There were anomalies, like Republican farmers and successful Democrats of the Jewish faith. But generally the clichés held true. As Thomas Sowell once remarked, “clichés are cultural patterns we prefer not to think about.”
But after the late 60s and the migration of the working classes to the Republicans over cultural and law and order issues, and the attendant ascension of young left wing Democrats into the chattering classes who vote Democrat to keep their toast buttered, the tables were turned. That is, except for recalcitrants like me who remained true to a WFB Republican outlook and who look upon the rise of emetic mobs in the GOP as a serious misfortune.
Then a funny thing happened in the DC area and spread to the rest of the country. Associations and lifestyles took on an ideological flavor whereas before politics and social intercourse had been somewhat separated. No more. Now, people consider themselves of a certain social class/political party and have distinctive social views of people of opposing viewpoints.
No? Oh c’mon. You know it’s true. If you read this publication you are likely conservative, perhaps even populist. Thus you see you and your ilk as anti-intellecual God-fearing patriots holding back the encroaching Bolshevik hordes. You see yourself and associates as of normal appetites, down to earth lifestyle, and you hold a profound respect for traditional family, flag, and the heartland.
You see the opposition as effete deviants who hate America, worship raw power, and who will do anything to destroy what you hold dear. Spot on. But, what does your opposition think of you?
First of all, you’re dumb. I mean really mephitic low brow cretins. Because of the aforementioned trek into the chattering classes, Democrats and left can be very highly educated…by Marxists. Thus those without college degrees and even advanced degrees are considered lower than slime and not fit to associate with. Hence, my headline regarding social cachet.
Along with your outrageous ignorance, Democrats and the left find you actually evil. Not just politically wrong, but morally bankrupt. Some conservatives can socially reach across the aisle. I have friends and family who are at least center left.
But most Democrats are not capable of this because their emotional attitude towards social associations, and much else, are tinged with a hysteria that precludes any ideological moderation on their part. There are other canards they throw your way, but you get the drift. For in politics and society these days it’s not so much what you think, as much as it is who thinks it along with you.