Dep’t of Debunking: Democrats and Disrespect for the Working Class

Clive Crook over at the Atlantic is making a familiar point: Democrats don’t win heartland votes because, despite advocating policies that would help middle-class voters in the middle of the country, they fundamentally do not respect the people in this demographic.

Every time a conservative makes this argument, there are two mandatory responses. First, Republicans kowtow to this demographic every four years only to win elections. When in office, they push policies that beat the daylights out of the middle class: tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations, anti-labor measures, free trade agreements, etc. And they oppose ideas that would benefit the middle class: expanded health care, more affordable higher education, green jobs programs, etc.

Using the middle class to gain power and then governing at the behest of the rich and powerful. Does that sound like respect to you?

And second, Crook’s argument, like all others in this vein, are based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence. Writes Crook:

Obviously I am moving in the wrong circles, but the metropolitan liberal, in my experience, regards overt religious identity as vulgar, and evangelical Christianity as an infallible marker of mental retardation. Flag-waving patriotism is seen as a joke and an embarrassment.

Oh yeah? Well, the liberals I happen to know either share or respect an overt sense of religious identity and love this country in a glee-filled, flag-waving sort of way.

See how easy that was?


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn’t fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation so we can keep on doing the type of journalism that 2018 demands.

Donate Now