December 30, 2004

What's the Matter with Kansas?

I recently finished the rather prophetic What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America by Thomas Frank. There are several good reviews out there, but I can't help adding my mediocre comments to the mix. Frank describes a backlash driven by conservative, blue collar, "Middle Americans," who turned away from the Democratic Party primarily over the issue of abortion. However, they are the suckers in a bait-and-switch scam, which harnesses their political power to accomplish things that are detrimental to them. Poor, conservative Republicans do the heavy lifting, while rich, moderate Republicans reap the rewards:

The trick never ages; the illusion never wears off. Vote to stop abortion; receive a rollback in capital gains taxes. Vote to make your country strong again; receive deindustrialization. Vote to screw those politically correct college professors; receive electricity deregulation. Vote to get government off our backs; receive conglomeration and monopoly everywhere from media to meatpacking. Vote to stand tall against terrorists; receive Social Security privatization. Vote to strike a blow against elitism; receive a social order in which wealth is more concentrated than ever before in our lifetimes, in which workers have been stripped of power and CEOs are rewarded in a manner beyond imagining.

Terry Neal mentions the book in a Washington Post article, GOP Corporate Donors Cash In on Smut, that kinda pokes a needle in the red-states-morality balloon.

Posted December 30, 2004 11:13 AM