Victor Davis Hanson has an insightful op-ed column up.
Yet the true nature of our loud divisiveness is rarely remarked upon. In the last three decades, there has been a steady evolution from liberal to moderately conservative politics among a majority of the voters, whether gauged by the recent spate of Republican presidents or Bill Clinton’s calculated shift to the center. Now the House, Senate, presidency and the majority of state governorships and legislatures are in Republican hands. A Bush win will ensure a conservative Supreme Court for a generation.
In contrast, the universities, the arts, the major influential media and Hollywood are predominately liberal — and furious. They bring an enormous amount of capital, talent, education and cultural influence into the political fray — but continue to lose real political power. The talented elite plays the same role to the rest of America as the Europeans do to the United States — venting and seething because the supposedly less sophisticated, but far more powerful, average Joes don’t embrace their visions of utopia.
Elites from college professors and George Soros to Bruce Springsteen and Garrison Keillor believe that their underappreciated political insight is a natural byproduct of their own proven artistic genius, education, talent or capital. How then can a tongue-tied George W. Bush and his cronies so easily fool Americans, when novelists, actors, singers, comedians and venture capitalists have spent so much time and money warning them of their danger?
For all Sean Penn’s rants, Rather’s sermons, Michael Moore’s mythodramas and Jon Stewart’s postmodern snickers, America, even in times of a controversial war and rocky economy, is still not impressed. National Public Radio, “Nightline” and the New York Times are working overtime to assert their views in this philosophical debate; Jimmy Carter and Al Gore — not George H. W. Bush and Bob Dole — are fuming. Most Americans snore or flip the channel.
It is apparently a terrible thing to be sensitive, glib, smart, educated or chic — and not be listened to, as we have seen from this noisy and often hysterical campaign among elites. That is the real divide in this country, and it is only going to get worse.