The smug party

In my distant youth I was taught to associate smugness with Republicans, not Democrats.  As Tucker Carleton hilariously put it earlier this year, Republicans always denied they were the party of the rich.  "We denied by the poolside, at the club.  'Boy, another bourbon, please!'"  I instinctively associated the Democrats with individual rights, dignity, and freedom as well.  Somewhere in the 90s all that changed for me.

A Quillette article ruminating on the existential shock of the Australian election included this chart showing the realignment of conservatives and liberals according to educational attainment, which tells us a lot about educational trends in the last few decades:

What the election actually shows us is that the so-called quiet Australians, whether they are tradies (to use the Australian term) in Penrith, retirees in Bundaberg, or small business owners in Newcastle, are tired of incessant scolding from their purported superiors. Condescension isn’t a good look for a political movement.
Combine this scolding with the demented balderdash emanating from ivory towers, and you've got a good recipe for people shaking their heads at the Church Lady and switching to another station.


Gringo said...

I first associated the Democrats with the Smug Party when Reagan was President, when I was voting Third Party. In listening to NPR announce a Reagan electoral victory, the announcer's sneering attitude towards Reagan was rather obvious, even to this Third Party voter. Another anecdote from that era was a bumper sticker that haughtily proclaimed, "Vote Republican. It's Better than Thinking."

In subsequent research on the Sandinistas, I concluded that Reagan was the knowledgeable one, while the liberals were ignoramuses who didn't realize that from the start the Sandinistas had proclaimed themselves to be supporters of Soviet imperialism. One might even say, puppets, though I doubt Bernie would appreciate that word being applied to his beloved Sandinistas.

In retrospect, the smug side of the Democrats has a much longer history. Consider this Adlai Stevenson quote.
A popular story is told about Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965) when he was running for president in 1952 (or in 1956). Someone heard Stevenson’s impressive speech and said, “Every thinking person in America will be voting for you.” Stevenson replied, “I’m afraid that won’t do—I need a majority.”

While there is doubt that Adlai Stevenson (II) actually said this, the sentiment accurately described a subset of Stevenson supporters- the "intellectuals" that were for Adlai.

Christopher B said...

People know which side their bread is buttered on. As the middle and upper middle class has been filled more and more with people whose livelihood ultimately hinges on government action (e.g. all those people in the health care industry who depend on Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare), the party that champions active government intervention has followed them up the economic food chain.

douglas said...

That graph is frightening, frankly. What it's showing is the degree of success the left has had in turning institutions of higher learning into ideological seminaries of leftist 'thought'. Rather than sneer at the remains of once great institutions, maybe we should focus on revealing them to be the ruling class who has no clothes, and start the long effort to retake those institutions. Perhaps we are beginning to.

ymarsakar said...

Demoncrats are not much smugger than other humans.

After all, humanity lives rent free on Earth, while charging rent on their lessers and poorer denizens.

The idea that humans own any land when they never created the Earth or any part of it, is disharmonious. They may own the buildings on the land, but owning the land itself... that's out of their place and standing.