Superior Lefties Are Often Surprised That Other People Besides Themselves Might Have Non-Self-Centered Principles
April 20, 2008 1 Comment
A favorite theme of the left in politics is to bemoan the fact of a large faction of the ‘working class’ that (says the left) ‘doesn’t vote their own self-interest’. I suppose this is what Obama was getting at with his ‘bitter’ comment’.
The point is understandable enough. Obviously the left believes their policies are better for the ‘working class’, which is debatable, but let’s stipulate that they are right. What I find interesting is the premise behind the whole concept, which seems to be that lower/middle-class people should pick who they vote for ENTIRELY based on which candidate will help them, personally, the most economically.
Let’s flip things around and examine how upper-middle-class lefties vote. Do they vote ENTIRELY based on ‘economic self-interest’? Certainly not! Indeed, the entire sales pitch of Mr. Kerry, Mr. Edwards, Mrs. Clinton, Mrs. Boxer et al is that they will enact policies that will specifically not benefit people who are as wealthy as they are.
But it’s good to vote for them, says the left. I think I’ll vote for them!, says a huge swathe of upper-middle-class lefties.
So, wait. Why don’t upper-middle-class, politically-correct lefties vote their ‘economic self-interest’? “Oh, we’re voting based on principles, you see. Principles such as equality, and fairness”, they might say. “Stuff we believe in. We’re certainly not only thinking about ourselves.”
Which is perfectly fine. But so then why isn’t it just as understandable and nonremarkable that a lower-class person might vote based on – well, you know – principles, and not be thinking only about themselves, in spite of their ‘economic self-interest’? The left finds this so incomprehensible that they can only stammer nonsense (“clinging to guns and God”) by way of explanation.
Because only the anointed, selfless, upper-middle-class left are allowed to have principles. Everyone else is a pig at a trough trying to stuff his face as much as possible. This is what the left seems to be thinking, at least, when they express amazement and dismay that people besides themselves might have higher principles guiding their political leanings than money-maximization.
Another explanation, perhaps, is that wealthy lefty people imagine that if they were poor, they would only be thinking about themselves and their poorness and maximizing their ‘economic self-interest’ with everything they do. Being perplexed that someone else has principles might, in a sense, be another way of saying “if I were in your position, I’d discard all principles”.
Either way the ramifications are fascinating.