Elite Populism

Victor Davis Hanson:

I was watching on television last week both Barack Obama and his wife Michelle speak about the supposedly depression-like conditions in the US, and a people strapped by students loans, near hungry, and without hope of betterment. Neither said anything of substance, though both were engaging, effective speakers. Still, never has so much talent been invested in saying so little.

If you were to believe them, we are in a sort of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” Frank Capra-era housing depression, not a boom-and-bust cycle where for the last five years, rival television shows proliferate on “flipping” houses (in which strapped investors and rookies borrow against rising equity to put in granite counters and stainless steel appliances for quick flip sales).

… the middle class that Obama assures us is bankrupt seems to have been able to afford optional consumer goods as never before. Don’t buy a snow mobile and you can put a kid at a public college for a year. Don’t buy a racing boat, and you can put one there for four years. There seems to be plenty enough disposable income, it’s just that it is going to video games, big-screen TVs, and gas-powered toys.

4 thoughts on “Elite Populism

  1. I love Victor Davis Hansen’s writings. This is an interesting time to be watching politics. I think many of Obama’s people are stuck in the 60s. I remember being all ga ga eyed as a youth and falling for every “new” candidates “new” line. There is nothing new here except for gender and race. Unfortunately the two new “types” of politicians have old ideas. I have a great post on this subject at: http://riggword.wordpress.com/.
    Check it out and leave me a message telling me what you think.


  2. I hope you’re right that the whole phenomenon is headed for a cliff– and I hope it’s BEFORE November rather than after!

  3. Regulusred,

    I agree. I’m baffled the success that Obama is having with this rhetoric. I notice that it’s primarily among blacks and higher-income voters, and I wonder whether the explanation is that lower- and middle-income voters realize that it has nothing to do with their lives. Higher-income voters are concerned by what they *imagine* as the plight of the less fortunate, and Obama’s rhetoric pertains to that imagined state, not to anything in reality.

    I’m not denying that there is poverty, etc., but it bears little similarity to Obama’s description of it.

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