Why Democrats hate the American middle class.
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The story of The Graduate revolved around young Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman), a newly-minted college graduate who wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life. The son of upper-middle class parents, young Ben is seduced by the wife of one his parents’ friends — Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft.) The big problem for Ben is that he falls in love — with Mrs. Robinson’s daughter, Elaine (Katharine Ross.)
In the day, The Graduate was seen as a startling — nay, shocking — swipe at the values of middle class America. If Middle Class America saw itself as patriotic, entrepreneurial, and grounded in religious values, The Graduate presented the middle class as greedy, its religious values a phony — and the whole ugly was wrapped up in the scam that was American patriotism.
Bear with me here and take a look at three clips from The Graduate. Each touching on one of the three values the Left has now spent decades hating about the American Middle Class.
• Patriotism: The film’s trailer opens with a shot of the American flag flying over Ben’s college campus, symbolizing America and the American way of life.
• Capitalism: In the second clip Ben is taken aside at a graduation party in his honor by another of his parents’ friends, Mr. McGuire. Mr. McGuire is presented as a capitalist, and as the two stand by an icon of American success, the backyard swimming pool, he says to Ben: “I just want to say one word to you… just… one word. Are you listening? Plastics.”
• Religion: In the movie’s finale Ben has learned from Mrs. Robinson, to his horror, that Elaine is to be married to someone else. Obviously, the Robinsons have pushed her away from Ben. He races to the church, on foot when his car runs out of gas. Notice the cross on the front of the church as Ben frantically tries the front door — which is locked. He races up a side stairway and finds himself in a glassed-in balcony, looking down as Elaine and her new husband kiss. Ben begins pounding on the glass, shrieking her name. The camera shows him, from a distance, resembling Christ on the cross — as in being crucified. Crucified by all those patriotic, capitalistic, and religious (upper) middle class values embodied by the Robinsons and their clique. Elaine, after hesitating, runs to Ben while her parents and the groom are seen silently spewing. Hatred writ large over their supposedly God-loving faces. With everyone angrily and physically charging Elaine and Ben, Mrs. Robinson grabs at Elaine and hisses “It’s too late!” Elaine looks her middle-class mother in the eye and says: “Not for me!” With that, Ben grabs a cross and starts swinging wildly at his antagonists, opens the door, and shuts it — jamming the cross through the door handles. The American middle class as blood-sucking, hate-filled vampires. Ben and Elaine run away, free from the world of the hated middle class at last.
Make no mistake. The Graduate wasn’t responsible for the hatred of the middle class that so permeates the American Left today. What it did was express that hatred, capture it in a popular film as it began to appear for real in American society. Illustrating the surging contempt for the middle class, its values, and institutions that have in fact been roiling the American Left from that day to this.
This image has been expanded from contempt of religion — God — capitalism and patriotism to accuse the middle class of being hot beds of racism and, in today’s world, homophobia. Here are but a few examples from across the decades. Not counting, of course, all those endless liberal attacks on middle class American values designed to take God out of classrooms, high school football games, and graduations. Did I mention the various Wars on Christmas, the Ten Commandments, and this or that war memorial?
Here’s footage of the 1967 Detroit riots, going after middle class Americans — many of them black — with looting and arson. Interesting, the reference to “Governor Romney” is Mitt Romney’s father George Romney, then the Governor of Michigan.
Here’s the anti-middle class values set rioting at the Democratic National Convention in 1968.
Here’s Bill Ayers — the man in whose living room Barack Obama began his political career — explaining the strategy of 1969 Chicago’s “Days of Rage” in which there were three days of violence attacking banks and business — the middle class value of capitalism. One lawyer in the clip — on the streets to advise the Chicago police — was paralyzed for life as a result of all this anti-middle class rage.
Here’s footage of the November, 1969 march on Washington to protest the Vietnam War — deliberately yanking the chains of middle class American patriotism by flying the U.S. flag upside down — and waving the North Vietnamese flag.
Here’s an audio of actress Jane Fonda applauding the fact that B-52’s in the Vietnam War — piloted by middle-class American kids — are being shot down. This “speaks well for socialism” she says. And who can forget the famous still picture, seen at the beginning of the clip, of Ms. Fonda with those North Vietnamese gunners whose job it was to kill those middle-class American kids?
Lest there be any doubt, this kind of vitriolic anti-middle class behavior from the Left continues through today. Here’s the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” — a group of gays masquerading as nuns with names like “Sister Porn Again” — lining up to mock Catholics a while back by taking communion from an unsuspecting Catholic Archbishop in a Catholic church in San Francisco. The Archbishop was embarrassed — the goal. The mocked middle class parishioners enraged.
Here’s a video from Sean Hannity’s TV show in which the discussion focuses on Obama Education Department appointee Kevin Jennings. Jennings (now departed) had professed his admiration for the late Harry Hay, a supporter of NAMBLA — the North American Man Boy Love Association. Interestingly, exactly what Harry Hay advocated — “man boy love” — is the reason Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky is now doing prison time. As mentioned in this space, Harry Hay was honored in 2001 for his lifetime assault on American middle class values — with Hay serving as the grand marshal for the San Francisco Gay Pride parade. In the parade, marching happily behind Hay was — yes indeed — Nancy Pelosi.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?