All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment – professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists –
Edsall goes on to say that the whereas the Dems have now given up on the white workers, they are still eager to get all the non-white workers to vote for them.
One of the ways to understand the libertarian movement, it seems to me, is that it is an attempt to convert from their present foolishness all those “professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists” whom Edsall so takes for granted. It gives them the “social libertarianism” that they are so wedded to (even if they often don’t get what this actually means), but it insists on the necessity of at least some – and in the current circumstances of economic crisis – a lot more – libertarianism in economic matters. Okay, libertarianism will never conquer these groups completely, but it threatens to at least divide them, into quite a few libertarians or libertarian-inclined folks and not quite so many idiots.
Also, demography is not destiny, when it comes to voting. People’s “interests” are not necessarily what many party political strategists assume them to be.
The thing is, it is entirely rational to vote for more government jobs and more government hand-outs (a) if you are at the front of the queue for such things, and (b) if the supply of such things is potentially abundant, or not, depending on how you and everyone else votes. But, if the world changes, and you find yourself at the top of the list to have your job or your hand-outs taken away from you, in a world which is going to take these things away from a lot of people no matter how anybody votes, it makes sense to ask yourself different questions, and to consider voting for entirely different things. Like: lots of government cuts, so that you aren’t the only one who suffers them, and so that the economy has a chance of getting back into shape in the future, soon enough for you to enjoy it.
The far side of the Laffer Curve is a rather strange place. Different rules apply.
Quite a lot of unemployed British people voted for Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, because they reckoned that Thatcher was a better bet to create the kind of country that might give them – and their children and their grandchildren – jobs in the future and a better life generally. (Whether or not they were right to vote for Thatcher is a different argument. My point is, this is what they did, and they were not being irrational.)
There is also the fact that how you vote in such circumstances of national and global crisis will be influenced, far more than in kinder and gentler times, by how you think. For a start, how bad do you think that the national or global crisis actually is? If you think it’s bad, what policies do you think will get that economy back motoring again, in a way which has a decent chance of lasting? How you vote depends on how you think the world works. And how you think can change.