Political Hay

It’s God’s Fault

Why Democrats hate the American middle class.

By 9.11.12

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It's God's fault.

God and plastics. And don't forget the American flag.

Which is another way of explaining just why it is today's Democrats -- the very embodiment of the American Left -- literally hate the American middle class.

Hate that middle class with a visceral contempt. A contempt that has been repeatedly and vividly documented over the course of the last five decades in venues as varied as movies, music, politics and culture.

It is a contempt so powerful that the backlash from the American middle class has provided not only huge and repeated election majorities for conservatives and Republicans over the decades. The backlash to this vitriol has powered one of the biggest revolutions in American communications history -- providing an enthusiastic audience for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin not to mention an entire talk radio industry. And, of course, Fox News.

Mr. Limbaugh himself emphatically agrees that his audience is composed of the American middle class that is so disdained by liberals, telling The American Spectator that "My audience is comprised of the people who make this country work."

The very fact of the perpetual assault by the Left on Rush Limbaugh is a case study all by itself. It perfectly highlights the dilemma the Democrats found themselves in during their convention last week.

Why?

Because liberals don't just hate Rush Limbaugh. The dirty little secret here is that liberals hate Rush Limbaugh's 20 million member middle-class audience! While at the same time desperately needing a portion of that very same middle-class to win elections.

Which is what makes the already vitriolic hatred from liberals towards the American middle class all the more poisonous -- for liberals. Without the middle class, Democrats cannot possibly win a presidential election. Or, for that matter, most elections. Which means in turn that it is critical, in a political sense, for Democrats to always be seen as courteously if not warmly and lovingly, courting the middle class.

Thus, under no circumstances can the mask that hides that very real contempt towards the middle class ever be allowed to drop. 

Yet for one-heart stopping moment in Charlotte last week -- that mask did drop. And it was panic city.

God was removed from the Democrats' platform.

Followed within 24 hours by a defiant majority refusing to restore Him to the platform yet being overruled as seen here in this now famous video of Convention chair and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa doing the dirty deed. "Tony Two-Thirds," as we dubbed the mayor after his performance, simply overrode the "no" vote on God and made it a pretend "yes" vote of the required two-thirds. With that "opinion of the chair", the deed was done. God was back in.

To see just how hair-trigger sensitive party leaders were when they realized what had happened, one need go no further than this contentious interview with Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the Democrats' Senate Majority Whip. Hours after God's initial failure to make the platform cut, Durbin was questioned by Fox anchor Bret Baier. Durbin had a meltdown, accusing Baier and Fox of trying to make Democrats look "Godless."

But why? Why were Democrats suddenly in such a panic because their own delegates wanted God out of the platform?

There is a reason -- and it's a big reason. A very big reason.

God -- which is to say religion -- is forever associated in American culture with arguably the largest, most influential voting bloc in the country: the American middle-class.

Middle class Americans may be Catholic. They may be Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans or Jews. They may be Evangelicals. Or fundamentalists. They may be… hmmmm… Mormon. Yes they may even be Islamic non-fundamentalists. But whatever their faith may be -- and we've only touched the surface by naming the above faiths -- what they all have in common besides their middle-class status is God. Not to mention a belief system, a value hierarchy of morals, hard work and patriotism that revolves around God.

So it was no accident last week that President Obama and former President Bill Clinton took pains to say some version of exactly the same thing: Democrats just luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuvvvvvvv the American middle class. Really. Honest. No kidding. Democrats have all these exciting, especially-designed-for-the-middle-class programs old and new, you see, and…

Stop. Stop.

Politely put, this is not just another round of your average political snowjob. The inevitable wooing and mooing by one group of partisans designed to win an election.

This is grimacing, clenched-teeth-with-a-forced-smile political BS. BS designed to get must-have votes from a group of Americans today's Democrats -- the embodiment of the American Left -- hate.

Yes, hate. Viscerally hate. Hate every bit as much as they hate Rush or Hannity or Levin or Fox.

Why do they hate the American middle-class, whether lower, middle-middle or upper?

They hate the American middle class -- hate it passionately and precisely because it embodies the three values of religion, capitalism and, oh yes, love of country -- patriotism.

EXAMPLES OF HOW the Left so disdains the middle class would fill three Internets. This special contempt, which began spreading like a virus in the 1960s, now permeates not only the nation's politics but its culture -- its movies, music, books, television and now the Internet.

Let's begin with just one example -- a famous movie from the 1960s. A film where this visceral hatred of the American middle class and its values first began to appear.

The film? The Graduate.

If you want to know why the Democrats and the American Left hate the American middle class, look no further than The Graduate. The famous 1967 movie based on the Charles Webb novel. The film, which won seven Oscar nominations from Hollywood and won an Oscar for director Mike Nichols (now the husband of ABC anchor Diane Sawyer) is (adjusted for inflation) one of the highest grossing films in the U.S. and Canada.

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. 

And just the other day, as previously noted in this space, there was NBC's Chris Matthews attacking the middle class with this play of the race card:

"[T]hey keep saying Chicago, by the way. Have you noticed? That sends that message: This guy's helping the poor people in the bad neighborhoods and screwing us in the 'burbs."

Screwing who in the 'burbs?

That's right. Matthews means the middle class. He is saying the American middle class is racist.

Has there been an electoral backlash to all of this constant assault by liberals on the values of middle class Americans?

Are you kidding?

By 1968 the reaction by middle class Americans to this constant assault by the political and cultural left was already evident. Suffice to say, the middle class was both horrified and furious. And the instant place to register middle class fury was at the ballot box.

The assault on middle class values made Richard Nixon president, not Democrat Hubert Humphrey.

Here's Ronald Reagan as a candidate for governor of California delivering a blistering attack on the law-breaking anti-middle class crowd at the University of California at Berkeley. This particular assault at Berkeley on middle class values made Reagan governor -- and launched him eventually into the White House.

The attack on the American middle class brought to life what was called in Nixon's day the "Silent Majority" (or as ex-Nixon aide Kevin Phillips wrote it up in book form The Emerging Republican Majority. Around the same time, Richard Scammon and Ben Wattenberg, the first an ex-Director of the U.S. Census Bureau for JFK, the second an aide to LBJ, wrote The Real Majority: An Extraordinary Examination of the American Electorate.

What was discovered and measured in the Scammon/Wattenberg book was the precise fashion in which what might be called the middle class revolt was taking place. The numbers, the how and why and where of it all.

What relevance does all of this have to the next two-months of the 2012 election?

Plenty.

Every time you hear Barack Obama or Joe Biden or Bill Clinton sing the praises of the middle class it's because they are scared witless there are millions of that American middle class who are long on to the Democrats' game. 

Americans who understand in detail that when God is booted from the Democrats' platform it is not just an attack on God.

It is yet another liberal attack in a five decades-long liberal war on the values of an American middle class that believes in God, country, and capitalism.

A war on the very people, in Rush Limbaugh's words, "who make this country work."

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About the Author
Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com.