Friday, November 5, 2010

Midwest at dusk

Read David Brooks' column with that headline in today's New York Times. In articulating an explanation of the mid-term election outcomes, he references the working class (but what does that term mean anymore?), and he suggests the relevance of geography to the political conundrum of our time. That is, he suggests --by reference the midwest (oddly defined, I might add, as Pennsylvania down to Arkansas)--that the Democrats' difficulty in connecting to the working class is as much a function of geography (the fly-over states versus the coasts) as it is class.

Referring to the "region of America that starts in central New York and Pennsylvania and then stretches out through Ohio and Indiana before spreading out to include Wisconsin and Arkansas," Brooks writes:
[T]his is the beating center of American life — the place where the trajectory of American politics is being determined. If America can figure out how to build a decent future for the working-class people in this region, then the U.S. will remain a predominant power. If it can’t, it won’t.
Hmmm. Can it be that the working class--what Joan Williams calls the "missing middle" is really so important to American politics? And can Brooks be right that the working class in the "midwest" is different to the working class elsewhere in America?

Finally, read a story here about Obama's (and the Democrats') alleged elitism, which arguably alienates the working class as the Democrats' fail to meet the group's needs.

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