Sunday, February 28, 2016

Someone to Watch Over Me, Part Two

Another mainstream pundit starts to figure it. This time, it's Peggy Noonan (unfortunately, link behind a paywall). Here's the nut of it (via Instapundit):
There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.

The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful — those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created. Again, they make public policy and have for some time.

I want to call them the elite to load the rhetorical dice, but let’s stick with the protected.

They are figures in government, politics and media. They live in nice neighborhoods, safe ones. Their families function, their kids go to good schools, they’ve got some money. All of these things tend to isolate them, or provide buffers. Some of them — in Washington it is important officials in the executive branch or on the Hill; in Brussels, significant figures in the European Union — literally have their own security details.

Because they are protected they feel they can do pretty much anything, impose any reality. They’re insulated from many of the effects of their own decisions.
They also control the culture:

In Hollywood, as we still call it, where they make our rough culture, they are careful to protect their own children from its ill effects. In places with failing schools, they choose not to help them through the school liberation movement — charter schools, choice, etc.— because they fear to go up against the most reactionary professional group in America, the teachers unions. They let the public schools flounder. But their children go to the best private schools.

This is a terrible feature of our age—that we are governed by protected people who don’t seem to care that much about their unprotected fellow citizens.
And the lessons have been pretty clear:
If you are an unprotected American — one with limited resources and negligible access to power — you have absorbed some lessons from the past 20 years’ experience of illegal immigration. You know the Democrats won’t protect you and the Republicans won’t help you. Both parties refused to control the border. The Republicans were afraid of being called illiberal, racist, of losing a demographic for a generation. The Democrats wanted to keep the issue alive to use it as a wedge against the Republicans and to establish themselves as owners of the Hispanic vote.

Many Americans suffered from illegal immigration — its impact on labor markets, financial costs, crime, the sense that the rule of law was collapsing. But the protected did fine — more workers at lower wages. No effect of illegal immigration was likely to hurt them personally.

It was good for the protected. But the unprotected watched and saw. They realized the protected were not looking out for them, and they inferred that they were not looking out for the country, either.
Personally, I'm not 100% protected from the depredations of the age. But I do have advantages. I have a college education and a skill set that gives me options, should I need to exercise them, in an economy that's based more on exchanges of ideas and information than on physical labor. We aren't going to get the immediate post-World War II era back; it was an unprecedented time in history. But it won't do to ignore the concerns of so many of our fellow citizens.

Since the time of FDR, the Democrats have used the song "Happy Days Are Here Again" as part of their symbolism. The Democrats have held the White House for 15 of the last 23 years. Things haven't been happier for a lot of those years. The Democrats have also made the claim that they are the party of the working man, even before the days of FDR. A significant group of working men and women left the party, at least temporarily, when Ronald Reagan came to power. These voters, and more often their children and grandchildren, are now looking at a corrupt technocrat as the likely standard-bearer for the Democratic Party. What enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton there is comes from the protected and their enablers. Donald Trump is seeking a different audience, speaking to a different group of voters. The question becomes, at this point, which group is larger? I'm beginning to believe we're going to get an answer to that question in November.


Gino said...

one of the most insulting things i've ever heard from a politician was from George Bush, trying to push his amnesty with no intent of securing the border... claiming: they do jobs americans wont do. which is bullshit on its face to anybody who's seen a construction crew building tract homes today... or who the janitor was in my grade school 40yrs ago.

of course, his kids never had to worry about the quality of their public schools, the TB outbreaks, and the gangs that werent in his neighborhood 10yrs ago.

Gino said...

from a recent Pat Buchanan column:

According to a 2009 Wall Street Journal report, under George W. Bush’s presidency, the U.S. created three million new jobs. Yet at the same time, under Bush’s presidency, 10.5 million new immigrants (legal and illegal) settled in the United States — meaning that Bush brought in three immigrants for every one job he created. During that time, the number of working-age, native-born Americans not working exploded. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ current population survey, the number of working-age Americans without a job increased by 10.6 million between the fourth quarter of 2000, right before Bush took office, compared to the fourth quarter of 2008, right before he left office.

this will have long term repercussions for the nation. Millions of younger generation people living at home, not even developing the skills to work a job... and millions of middle-agers, taking early retirement because they cant find work (and often times pulling disability checks, when 20 yrs ago they would keep working)