Friday, November 10, 2017

1869 The Revolt of the (Suburban) Masses

1869 The Revolt of the (Suburban) Masses

(With apologies to Jose Ortega y Gasset who wrote the original in 1929.)
Let’s not get carried away by the results of this week’s election. It is not necessarily a foreshadow of things to come though many hope it will be.  But it proves one thing:  The American Suburbs have discovered their clout at long last.

Why hadn’t this happened earlier? Well, it’s hard to stay focused on today’s plug ugly politics when you have a lawn to mow, an SUV to wash and a barbecue to clean up post-season.

And the kids! Gotta get the kids to soccer practice, gymnastics, scouts, Little League, tutoring for the SAT exams even though they’re in third and fifth grade and won’t be taking them for years.

Someone awakened the suburbanites this year.  Reminded them they had brains.  Remind them they were about to lose their health care, that their taxes were going to rise, that their incomes were going to fall and that their investments were a bubble that in the best of conditions will develop a slow leak if they haven’t popped first.

Suburbanites elected the new governors of Virginia and New Jersey.  Democratic party members won in a walk in places that had never or rarely had a Democrat in office.

Here’s a common internal American population shift. It starts in rural areas as farm kids move to the cities. City people move to suburbs. Suburban kids move back to the cities. (And few, if any, return to the farm.)

Right now there are enough suburbanites to swing the mid term elections… But the democrats are going to have to find a way to stitch their own wounds.  They can’t rely on trump and the Congress of Stunted Growth and Self Delusion to keep being so bad no sane person could vote for them or what they stand for.

Their own Mister Purity, Bernie Sanders, will have to come to terms with the “establishment” democrats who continue to sit out the revolution because others have already taken a step or two they think of as radical enough.

For the most part, “you people” are educated, middle to upper middle class and just now learning to walk on your hind legs.  A radical agenda will overwhelm you.

From Westchester to Washington State a fed up population expressed its fed-uppedness.  It’s a good start. But it’s only a start.

“Among college educated suburbanites (trump) is a pariah.” -- Former Washington State Republican leader Chris Vance quoted in the NYTimes.

“[T]here appears to be… a type of man who does not want to give reasons or to be right, but simply shows himself to impose his opinions.” -- Jose Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955)

--There’s something untoward about the Veterans Day sales pitches that have come over the transom. A favorite thus far is from a company that sells socks. The perfect way to observe and honor the men and women who gave their lives in defense of covered feet.

--In olden days we at the Associated Press published an hourly newscast to be read by our broadcast clients.  With the advent of the internet, the AP simply updated top stories as they developed.  The latest iteration of their website is… is…  I don’t know what to call it, but it sure looks like a committee project.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2017.

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