Skip to comments.What's the Matter With Manhattan?
Posted on 05/28/2012 8:43:26 AM PDT by Kaslin
Back in 2004, Thomas Frank wrote a famous book, "What's the Matter with Kansas?", in which he lamented working class white people's choices to vote their "values" rather than what -- in his not-so-humble opinion -- was in their "genuine" economic interests. Why didn't they identify as liberals and vote Democratic?
Frank's book was the midwife of President Obama's infamous "clinging to guns and God" remark on April 11, 2008:
The last few years have not been kind to Frank's or Obama's dogmatic assumptions that economic liberalism is in the interest of Kansas -- i.e., the working people of America.
The presumed tension between Kansans' economic interests and their social values appears increasingly fake.
But in the meantime, as Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker's dramatic heresy on Bain capital last weekend shows, the inverse divide is opening up in the Democratic base that could be called "What's the Matter with Manhattan?"
Liberals live in rich social enclaves with artistic, progressive values that are underwritten largely by the wealth that Wall Street and capitalism create.
A 2009 Quinnipiac poll notes that socially liberal values rise with income -- "support for same-sex marriage also rises with income, as those making less than $50,000 per year oppose it 54 to 39 percent, while voters making more than $100,000 per year support it 58 to 36 percent."
The very rich are disproportionately strong social liberals, whom Bill Clinton persuaded could safely vote for Democrats. Obama's attacks on private equity and the 1 percent are making them think anew: Why should Manhattan vote their values against their pocketbooks?
Manhattan (metaphorically speaking) is thinking hard about that:
In 2008 Obama carried the majority of the rather rich -- those making $200,000 or more per year -- earning 52 percent of the vote, which was 17 points more than John Kerry in 2004. The latest Quinnipiac poll shows Obama trailing among the more modestly affluent -- those making $100,000 or more -- 49 percent to 43 percent.
Raul Fernandez, part owner of the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards, donated $30,000 to Obama in 2008. He told The Washington Post last month to count him into the "anybody but Obama" camp. "They paint (wealth creation) with one big brush," Fernandez told the paper. "They are truly trying to make it evil."
And it's not just as donors that these people count.
According to the National Journal, more than one-third of Virginia voters make more than $100,000 per year, and 7 percent make more than $200,000 a year -- more than the coveted Latino voters in that state. In Colorado, another swing state, 8 percent of voters make $200,000 a year or more. Obama carried them last time around by double digits (compared to Bush's 66 percent of this vote in 2004).
If Manhattan -- or more to the point Aspen, Colo. -- votes its economic interests instead of its social values, Obama loses. "What's the matter with Aspen?" could become Thomas Frank's new rallying crime.
Meanwhile "Kansas," metaphorically speaking, is ever more unified against Obama:
Obama won just 40 percent of non-college-educated whites in 2008. Last week's Quinnipiac poll showed him winning just 32 percent of them against Romney.
In another swing state, Florida, a poll released this week shows Obama's deficit among white voters is growing, especially among those without a college degree; Obama now trails Romney 57 percent to 30 percent among less educated whites.
In Florida, the social issues are clearly helping Romney. Twenty-two percent of voters say gay marriage will be "very" or "extremely" important to their vote. They are breaking for Romney 2-1.
Liberals such as Frank thought that working class white voters were so dumb they were being fooled by Republicans into voting against their economic interests by "ginned up" social issues campaigns. Kansans knew better.
Obama is trying to borrow that model, to get affluent white voters to vote against their economic interests by ginning up social issue campaigns like the war on women or endorsing gay marriage.
Will Manhattan be as smart as Kansas?
Was that picture taken Friday a week ago? I was in NY and saw that ship against the Manhattan skyline.
I mention NYC a lot as it is hard to believe that this high plains hayseed stuck in the Ozarks would be in NYC and not be overwhelmed by it.
This hayseed from the suburbs of Boston visits NYC pretty regularly and I,too,am "overwhelmed" by it...in the same way I'm overwhelmed by episodes of the Jerry Springer Show.
A Manhattan should not be ginned up, but whiskeyed up.
No, I don't call them Dummycrats for nothing.
This guy would have a stroke if he encountered me.
I’m all for a good many things that I’m sure will harm me in the short run.
No, I don't call them Dummycrats for nothing.
Thomas Frank and the adjacent scum think the proletariat are merely economic units with no souls; souls that can recognize interests above the economic. They make this mistake because they themselves are soulless economic units and cannot imagine another state of being. That’s what’s wrong with Manhattan.
Maggie Gallagher appears to have awaken from her long Obama slumber.
Maggie Gallagher appears to have awakened from her long Obama slumber.
They have become altruists and collectivists because they have allowed themselves to be motivated by emotions such as guilt and pity rather than reason and their personal individual true interests.
I am in Kansas and we live a lot better than the New Yorkers or those in California. We have space, we keep our big houses maintained, we have large parks and green grass, few traffic jams. In the Bay area, the people let their houses decay around them. In New York, only the rich even have a house. Believe it or not, we are not pressing our noses against the glass watching Hollywood or New York and wishing we were there. In fact, we are glad we are not there and live in beauty in the flyover zone. Oh, by the way, our Kansas doctors are far and away superior to the New York doctors. We have it made here and yes, we know the difference between right and wrong.
Kansas and tornados...that would be a problem for me...I’d rather dodge hurricanes here in Tampa.
Just got back from Captiva.........love it in Florida.
Is that Truman Lake?
He has had a ball going to shows and gawking at the tourist attractions between duties. His attested highlights were The Hard Rock Cafe and a Trace Atkins concert.
I was a little worried, considering liberals' antipathy to the military, but he says most NYC people have welcomed them. They travel in groups for safety, for which I am glad.
No, is Truman lake in Michigan?
While visiting in Philly, a friend of a relative and I were comparing retina surgeries and ophthalmologists. His vision was destroyed with diagonal lines across it; mine was completely restored better than ever. Of course you have to wait for my ophthalmologist, but people come from across several states to see him. He never rushes, but takes as much time as it takes. Just one example of many, but when I offered to give him the name of my ophthalmologist, of course the old prejudice sprang up “Why would I come to Kansas when I can go to NY? I said because our physicians are better? Because they haven’t been ruined by kidding themselves?”
Missouri lol of course
———The presumed tension between Kansans’ economic interests and their social values appears increasingly fake.-——
There aren’t fake.... They are prioritized...
My Economic interests will never supersede my social values
As in I will never take a nickel from another man thru government mandate
I will never vote for a pro abortion candidate even if my Ecomonic interest will suffer
I will never give up my liberty for security
BTW, if you click on a poster’s SCREENNAME (where it says ‘posted by ......’) it will take you to their home page (if they bothered to make one) and that USUALLY tells you what state they are from.
Besides, a person earning $60k a year in KS has at least as much lifestyle opportunities as a person living on $200K in Manhattan. They almost certainly live in a larger home and pay less in taxes fees and entertainment expenses.
Not a thing, thank you.
It is not called “liberal guilt” for nothing.
ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES..
(some are worse than others)
Exactly. The original presupposition was that collectivism "was in their 'genuine' economic interests". That is a collectivist fallacy. Smaller government and less government interference results in more economic opportunity. The ONLY economic system proven to increase wealth is democratic capitalism.
Collectivism is like putting saw dust in your transmission to quiet it down. The immediate effect seems positive, but eventually the whole thing clogs up and breaks down.
Hey, I just invented a metaphor!
You have expressed my feelings as well. Whatever goes on in NY or California is of absolutely no interest to me.
California is a good comparison, since so many from NY moved there in the 70's and ruined it. No wonder the similarity..........
To be honest, I lifted that second sentence from a Stephen Coonts book that I felt was very apt. Observation about the degradation of Californian was my first hand observation after living there since 1947..
The word “merely” in my first sentence implies more than one value to the decision. I never suggested there may not be an economic interest coincident with the moral values.
I see nothing but a landslide defeat for Obambi this time
There is NO ONE who voted for McCain who will switch to vote vote him, but there are MILLIONS who gave the clean,articulate black man a chance last time who will NOT vote for him again.
Even black people I have met are talking stuff about him. They can see why all blacks voted for him the first time, but they can’t see it hapening again because all black people are not stupid. (their charaterization not mine)
and there area lot of union people, white people, and especially indendant voters who NEVER expected him to cram health care down their throats.