America’s Ruling Class

According to Angelo M. Codevilla, professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University, power in America is held by a distinct ruling class,  comprised of both Democrats and Republicans, a political and social elite that uses the government to advance its interests against the two-thirds of ordinary Americans whom it rules with contempt.  This is not an economic class–just being wealthy won’t get you in–but rather it is a social aristocracy based not on birth but on a particular set of beliefs, social values, and class markers.  The article is long, it defies excerpt or paraphrase, and it is inflammatory.  You’ve got to read it:  The American Spectator : America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution.  Then talk about it here.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    I read this earlier in the week. It’s thoughtful and I think the ruling class paradigm has some good explanatory power for our current political realities–particularly as conservatives are becoming aware en masse that Republicans do not govern as conservatives and some liberals are beginning to make the same realization about Democrats with respect to liberalism (inasmuch as either conservativism or liberalism are definable ideologies, anyway). It didn’t seem that inflammatory to me, but that probably says more about me than about the article.

    He kind of loses me at the “country class” part of it, though. He’s not oblivious to the vast diversity in that “class,” but I don’t think he provides sufficient reason for grouping them together at all. It seems to be there only to provide an “us” to the ruling class’s “them”. Given our history and institutions, I think that if “the rest” of America actually had a coherent set of interests, we wouldn’t have a ruling class. It’s our deep polarity that allows a ruling class to govern as it wishes while each person blames the opposite ideology for poor governance.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    I read this earlier in the week. It’s thoughtful and I think the ruling class paradigm has some good explanatory power for our current political realities–particularly as conservatives are becoming aware en masse that Republicans do not govern as conservatives and some liberals are beginning to make the same realization about Democrats with respect to liberalism (inasmuch as either conservativism or liberalism are definable ideologies, anyway). It didn’t seem that inflammatory to me, but that probably says more about me than about the article.

    He kind of loses me at the “country class” part of it, though. He’s not oblivious to the vast diversity in that “class,” but I don’t think he provides sufficient reason for grouping them together at all. It seems to be there only to provide an “us” to the ruling class’s “them”. Given our history and institutions, I think that if “the rest” of America actually had a coherent set of interests, we wouldn’t have a ruling class. It’s our deep polarity that allows a ruling class to govern as it wishes while each person blames the opposite ideology for poor governance.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Prof. Codevilla’s fundamental distinction between a ruling and country class is basically true, though as with any fundamental distinction it lacks nuance.

    Codevilla is brilliant in his discussion of the antipathy of the secular ruling class to family life and religion. Anyone seriously religious in this country is regarded as some sort of a wing-nut. The ruling class dealt viciously with George Bush and John Ashcroft in large part due to their public avowal of devout Christianity. He is wrong in assigning W Bush to the secular ruling class, though HW Bush belongs perfectly to it.

    Codevilla is weak in his political analysis.Politically within the present ruling class, we have a core of senators and congressmen who are worthy of leading the country class including Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Jim Demint, Tom Coburn, and possibly Scott Brown.

    Codevilla is spot on in criticizing parts of Wall Street and the business world that have become dependent through government regulation and largesse, though he underestimates the vitality of private equity and investment banking that for the most part view the government colossus as an arch enemy. He has little understanding that private capital investment has become rather skillful at finding ways to fight and beat the unimaginative and entrenched ruling class. Many first-class business managers and working men and women are appalled at the weakness and fecklessness of the ruling class.

    In some sort of strange way Obama, who is almost a caricature of the feckless ruling class, has awakened the country class to the absurdity and weakness of the ruling class. Come November 2010 and 2012 this will likely deliver a political earthquake. Hopefully, unlike in 2004, the Republicans who will eventually rule again had better be ready to deliver the goods to the country class.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Prof. Codevilla’s fundamental distinction between a ruling and country class is basically true, though as with any fundamental distinction it lacks nuance.

    Codevilla is brilliant in his discussion of the antipathy of the secular ruling class to family life and religion. Anyone seriously religious in this country is regarded as some sort of a wing-nut. The ruling class dealt viciously with George Bush and John Ashcroft in large part due to their public avowal of devout Christianity. He is wrong in assigning W Bush to the secular ruling class, though HW Bush belongs perfectly to it.

    Codevilla is weak in his political analysis.Politically within the present ruling class, we have a core of senators and congressmen who are worthy of leading the country class including Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Jim Demint, Tom Coburn, and possibly Scott Brown.

    Codevilla is spot on in criticizing parts of Wall Street and the business world that have become dependent through government regulation and largesse, though he underestimates the vitality of private equity and investment banking that for the most part view the government colossus as an arch enemy. He has little understanding that private capital investment has become rather skillful at finding ways to fight and beat the unimaginative and entrenched ruling class. Many first-class business managers and working men and women are appalled at the weakness and fecklessness of the ruling class.

    In some sort of strange way Obama, who is almost a caricature of the feckless ruling class, has awakened the country class to the absurdity and weakness of the ruling class. Come November 2010 and 2012 this will likely deliver a political earthquake. Hopefully, unlike in 2004, the Republicans who will eventually rule again had better be ready to deliver the goods to the country class.

  • Tom Hering

    Wow. Being on the outs after an election really does something to some people’s minds. Codevilla’s article reminds me of – but is darker than – some of the pictures of America written by liberals during the Bush years. (Though not as dark as, say, Morris Berman.) The “paranoid style in American politics” comes to mind. “Them” conspiring to get “us.” Wow.

  • Tom Hering

    Wow. Being on the outs after an election really does something to some people’s minds. Codevilla’s article reminds me of – but is darker than – some of the pictures of America written by liberals during the Bush years. (Though not as dark as, say, Morris Berman.) The “paranoid style in American politics” comes to mind. “Them” conspiring to get “us.” Wow.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Tom, Dr. Codevilla’s article has nothing to do with paranoia or being on the outs after an election. His concern that the ruling class among both the Democrats and Republicans has lost touch with the people of the land is something that most of us feel in our bones, though I can’t think of any other contemporary writer who expresses this with such clarity and acuity.

    Anyone who wishes to understand the depth of feeling among the Tea Partiers would do well to read his article. Hard working, religious, family minded people in this country know well that this parlous ruling-class elite that occupies the summit of American culture, including large swaths of mainstream religion, the liberal media, leftist academia, and nihilistic Hollywood, needs to be somehow defeated.

    Codevilla is actually thinking in revolutionary terms that need to be taken seriously.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Tom, Dr. Codevilla’s article has nothing to do with paranoia or being on the outs after an election. His concern that the ruling class among both the Democrats and Republicans has lost touch with the people of the land is something that most of us feel in our bones, though I can’t think of any other contemporary writer who expresses this with such clarity and acuity.

    Anyone who wishes to understand the depth of feeling among the Tea Partiers would do well to read his article. Hard working, religious, family minded people in this country know well that this parlous ruling-class elite that occupies the summit of American culture, including large swaths of mainstream religion, the liberal media, leftist academia, and nihilistic Hollywood, needs to be somehow defeated.

    Codevilla is actually thinking in revolutionary terms that need to be taken seriously.

  • Tom Hering

    I don’t know, Peter. That all sounds very “them” versus “us” to me. The only difference from the old style of paranoid politics being that “them” now includes both Democrats and Republicans. Because the dividing line is now between classes, not parties.

  • Tom Hering

    I don’t know, Peter. That all sounds very “them” versus “us” to me. The only difference from the old style of paranoid politics being that “them” now includes both Democrats and Republicans. Because the dividing line is now between classes, not parties.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Tom, I’m familiar with Hofstadter’s book on the paranoid style in America politics. He basically referred to heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy, none of which I found in Dr. Codevilla’s essay. One may certainly disagree with his analysis of the ruling class and the country class, though terming his work “paranoid” is a stretch.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Tom, I’m familiar with Hofstadter’s book on the paranoid style in America politics. He basically referred to heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy, none of which I found in Dr. Codevilla’s essay. One may certainly disagree with his analysis of the ruling class and the country class, though terming his work “paranoid” is a stretch.

  • Jerry

    There are two levels at which to take this thesis. One is that the ruling class is beating up on the country class, and the only way to make things right is for the country class to gain the upper hand. The other is that while we are in the world, we are not of the world…somewhere in this there should be an exact application of the two kingdoms theology.

  • Jerry

    There are two levels at which to take this thesis. One is that the ruling class is beating up on the country class, and the only way to make things right is for the country class to gain the upper hand. The other is that while we are in the world, we are not of the world…somewhere in this there should be an exact application of the two kingdoms theology.

  • SAL

    #3 Given that superficial comment I’d have to assume you didn’t read Codevilla’s article but feel qualified to comment on what you think a conservative would probably write.

  • SAL

    #3 Given that superficial comment I’d have to assume you didn’t read Codevilla’s article but feel qualified to comment on what you think a conservative would probably write.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 8, I read the whole article, slowly and carefully, because I found it “very interesting, but …” (look up “Arte Johnson” for the rest).

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 8, I read the whole article, slowly and carefully, because I found it “very interesting, but …” (look up “Arte Johnson” for the rest).

  • SAL

    That’s very interesting then that you didn’t indicate comprehension of the thesis Codevilla outlined but instead made irrelevant dismissive comments. If you read his article slowly and carefully you’d think you’d have something more incisive to say about its substantive points.

  • SAL

    That’s very interesting then that you didn’t indicate comprehension of the thesis Codevilla outlined but instead made irrelevant dismissive comments. If you read his article slowly and carefully you’d think you’d have something more incisive to say about its substantive points.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 10, you’re confusing comprehension with agreement. And it’s quite relevant to say the article is full of “them” against “us” thinking. Also known as conspiracy thinking. Also known as a paranoid style of thinking (which is not to say clinical paranoia is responsible for it).

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 10, you’re confusing comprehension with agreement. And it’s quite relevant to say the article is full of “them” against “us” thinking. Also known as conspiracy thinking. Also known as a paranoid style of thinking (which is not to say clinical paranoia is responsible for it).

  • SAL

    #11 You’re now displaying a lack of comprehension at my words; so I see its not just the article that confounds you.

    It is much easier to make incisive comments when you DISAGREE with some element of a thesis. If you disagreed with Codevilla’s thesis you ought to have something less facile than “sounds like Us vs. Them”. So what if it does?

    Jumping to the conclusion that Codevilla is engaging in a “paranoid style” is also rather pathetic absent some sort of critique of the flaws of his thesis.

  • SAL

    #11 You’re now displaying a lack of comprehension at my words; so I see its not just the article that confounds you.

    It is much easier to make incisive comments when you DISAGREE with some element of a thesis. If you disagreed with Codevilla’s thesis you ought to have something less facile than “sounds like Us vs. Them”. So what if it does?

    Jumping to the conclusion that Codevilla is engaging in a “paranoid style” is also rather pathetic absent some sort of critique of the flaws of his thesis.

  • Tom Hering

    Here’s a flaw for you, SAL: the upshot of the whole article is “vote Republican.” Codevilla kind of defeats the revolutionary thrust of his whole argument all by himself, doesn’t he?

  • Tom Hering

    Here’s a flaw for you, SAL: the upshot of the whole article is “vote Republican.” Codevilla kind of defeats the revolutionary thrust of his whole argument all by himself, doesn’t he?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tom (@11), could you post your reading time for the article? How slowly did you read it? I think if you read it at about 2 words/second, you’ll find that your mind will be opened. Myself, I read it at only 1 word/second, but backwards, and I discovered some amazing things that I can’t talk about right now.

    SAL (@12), just to be clear, your inability to make incisive comments here is because you AGREE with the article, is that correct?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tom (@11), could you post your reading time for the article? How slowly did you read it? I think if you read it at about 2 words/second, you’ll find that your mind will be opened. Myself, I read it at only 1 word/second, but backwards, and I discovered some amazing things that I can’t talk about right now.

    SAL (@12), just to be clear, your inability to make incisive comments here is because you AGREE with the article, is that correct?

  • SAL

    Now that, Tom, is a valid point. At this time the Republican Party is decidedly non-revolutionary.

    I think Codevilla addresses this though as he says:

    “Because, in the long run, the country class will not support a party as conflicted as today’s Republicans, those Republican politicians who really want to represent it will either reform the party in an unmistakable manner, or start a new one as Whigs like Abraham Lincoln started the Republican Party in the 1850s.

    The name of the party that will represent America’s country class is far less important than what, precisely, it represents and how it goes about representing it because, for the foreseeable future, American politics will consist of confrontation between what we might call the Country Party and the ruling class.”

    I think any party seeking to return power to ordinary people at the local level would face as many difficulties from corporate clients of government in the Republican Party as from government dependents, employees and unions in the Democratic Party.

  • SAL

    Now that, Tom, is a valid point. At this time the Republican Party is decidedly non-revolutionary.

    I think Codevilla addresses this though as he says:

    “Because, in the long run, the country class will not support a party as conflicted as today’s Republicans, those Republican politicians who really want to represent it will either reform the party in an unmistakable manner, or start a new one as Whigs like Abraham Lincoln started the Republican Party in the 1850s.

    The name of the party that will represent America’s country class is far less important than what, precisely, it represents and how it goes about representing it because, for the foreseeable future, American politics will consist of confrontation between what we might call the Country Party and the ruling class.”

    I think any party seeking to return power to ordinary people at the local level would face as many difficulties from corporate clients of government in the Republican Party as from government dependents, employees and unions in the Democratic Party.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I read it. I think at about 2.5 words per second, but I just blew by lots of big words I think I understood in context. But now I’m second-guessing myself. I’ll try tODD’s method for a little better comprehension. I’m afraid I didn’t understand it completely since I feel myself internally agreeing with some of Peter Leavitt’s statements.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I read it. I think at about 2.5 words per second, but I just blew by lots of big words I think I understood in context. But now I’m second-guessing myself. I’ll try tODD’s method for a little better comprehension. I’m afraid I didn’t understand it completely since I feel myself internally agreeing with some of Peter Leavitt’s statements.

  • Tom Hering

    Todd, I read it slowly enough to find the following suspicious letters of the alphabet were included in the article: s, e, n, o, j, x, l, a. You should have no problem understanding the full import of this, given your peculiar reading method.

  • Tom Hering

    Todd, I read it slowly enough to find the following suspicious letters of the alphabet were included in the article: s, e, n, o, j, x, l, a. You should have no problem understanding the full import of this, given your peculiar reading method.

  • SAL

    “SAL (@12), just to be clear, your inability to make incisive comments here is because you AGREE with the article, is that correct?”

    That’s one of two logical fallacies, Todd. If your assertion is literal then that’s the inverse error. You may actually be committing the converse error but your word order makes your intent unclear.

  • SAL

    “SAL (@12), just to be clear, your inability to make incisive comments here is because you AGREE with the article, is that correct?”

    That’s one of two logical fallacies, Todd. If your assertion is literal then that’s the inverse error. You may actually be committing the converse error but your word order makes your intent unclear.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SAL (@18), have a nice weekend.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SAL (@18), have a nice weekend.

  • http://spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    Likewise Todd.

  • http://spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    Likewise Todd.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The New York Times has a story, Don’t Write of Men, that indirectly deals with social class:

    excerpt of reader comment #39

    “Feminism came in around the time that talk about class went out. The opening of top level careers to women doubles the pool of talent available, which means that the elite no longer needs to look to the children of the working class to find new members. Back then, a man who moved up brought a family and a woman along with him. Now there’s less social mobility in the U.S. than there is in Europe.”

    http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2010/07/22/opinion/22kristof.html?permid=39#comment39

    Also a very interesting book review on the topic of elites and education.

    http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2010/07/how_diversity_punishes_asians.html

    Basically upper class whites discriminate heavily first against Asians and secondly against lower class whites. The small helping hand given to others is not enough to actually threaten their position and can be used as cover against the modern bogey word, racism. Lower class whites and Asians have trouble effectively claiming discrimination ironically because of the history of racism perpetrated by upper class whites.

    Colleges and universities which participate in federal financial aid cannot discriminate based on race, gender, etc, but they can based on social class ie, legacy admissions. That is how the Bushes, Kennedys etc get in, but more qualified Asians and whites can’t. It is just social class/social club discrimination and it is legal.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The New York Times has a story, Don’t Write of Men, that indirectly deals with social class:

    excerpt of reader comment #39

    “Feminism came in around the time that talk about class went out. The opening of top level careers to women doubles the pool of talent available, which means that the elite no longer needs to look to the children of the working class to find new members. Back then, a man who moved up brought a family and a woman along with him. Now there’s less social mobility in the U.S. than there is in Europe.”

    http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2010/07/22/opinion/22kristof.html?permid=39#comment39

    Also a very interesting book review on the topic of elites and education.

    http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2010/07/how_diversity_punishes_asians.html

    Basically upper class whites discriminate heavily first against Asians and secondly against lower class whites. The small helping hand given to others is not enough to actually threaten their position and can be used as cover against the modern bogey word, racism. Lower class whites and Asians have trouble effectively claiming discrimination ironically because of the history of racism perpetrated by upper class whites.

    Colleges and universities which participate in federal financial aid cannot discriminate based on race, gender, etc, but they can based on social class ie, legacy admissions. That is how the Bushes, Kennedys etc get in, but more qualified Asians and whites can’t. It is just social class/social club discrimination and it is legal.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Tom: Here’s a flaw for you, SAL: the upshot of the whole article is “vote Republican.” Codevilla kind of defeats the revolutionary thrust of his whole argument all by himself, doesn’t he?

    Wrong- While Codevilla views the Democratic Party as the best representative of the ruling political class, he is far from making a “vote Republican” argument. He points out that a large majority of Democrats approve of their Democratic rulers, though only a small number of Republicans approve of theirs.

    Codevilla’s money paragraph on this issue is:

    Certainly the country class lacks its own political vehicle — and perhaps the coherence to establish one. In the short term at least, the country class has no alternative but to channel its political efforts through the Republican Party, which is eager for its support. But the Republican Party does not live to represent the country class. For it to do so, it would have to become principles-based, as it has not been since the mid-1860s. The few who tried to make it so the party treated as rebels: Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. The party helped defeat Goldwater. When it failed to stop Reagan, it saddled his and subsequent Republican administrations with establishmentarians who, under the Bush family, repudiated Reagan’s principles as much as they could. Barack Obama exaggerated in charging that Republicans had driven the country “into the ditch” all alone. But they had a hand in it. Few Republican voters, never mind the larger country class, have confidence that the party is on their side. Because, in the long run, the country class will not support a party as conflicted as today’s Republicans, those Republican politicians who really want to represent it will either reform the party in an unmistakable manner, or start a new one as Whigs like Abraham Lincoln started the Republican Party in the 1850s.

    Codevilla is correct to conclude that unless the Republican Party pulls its act together with specific principled proposals, the country class will need to form a third party. We shall see what the Republican Party does, though one can’t underestimate the tendency of most Republicans to cave to the ruling class when they becomes denizens within the Beltway. John McCain and Lindsey Graham are two prime examples. Both lust for approval from the Washington Post and New York Times.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Tom: Here’s a flaw for you, SAL: the upshot of the whole article is “vote Republican.” Codevilla kind of defeats the revolutionary thrust of his whole argument all by himself, doesn’t he?

    Wrong- While Codevilla views the Democratic Party as the best representative of the ruling political class, he is far from making a “vote Republican” argument. He points out that a large majority of Democrats approve of their Democratic rulers, though only a small number of Republicans approve of theirs.

    Codevilla’s money paragraph on this issue is:

    Certainly the country class lacks its own political vehicle — and perhaps the coherence to establish one. In the short term at least, the country class has no alternative but to channel its political efforts through the Republican Party, which is eager for its support. But the Republican Party does not live to represent the country class. For it to do so, it would have to become principles-based, as it has not been since the mid-1860s. The few who tried to make it so the party treated as rebels: Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. The party helped defeat Goldwater. When it failed to stop Reagan, it saddled his and subsequent Republican administrations with establishmentarians who, under the Bush family, repudiated Reagan’s principles as much as they could. Barack Obama exaggerated in charging that Republicans had driven the country “into the ditch” all alone. But they had a hand in it. Few Republican voters, never mind the larger country class, have confidence that the party is on their side. Because, in the long run, the country class will not support a party as conflicted as today’s Republicans, those Republican politicians who really want to represent it will either reform the party in an unmistakable manner, or start a new one as Whigs like Abraham Lincoln started the Republican Party in the 1850s.

    Codevilla is correct to conclude that unless the Republican Party pulls its act together with specific principled proposals, the country class will need to form a third party. We shall see what the Republican Party does, though one can’t underestimate the tendency of most Republicans to cave to the ruling class when they becomes denizens within the Beltway. John McCain and Lindsey Graham are two prime examples. Both lust for approval from the Washington Post and New York Times.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Codevilla is correct to conclude that unless the Republican Party pulls its act together with specific principled proposals, the country class will need to form a third party.”

    The constituency of the “country class” is now too small a percentage of the population to be effective as a third party. We know longer have a large middle. We have a fast growing underclass. The elites can play the underclass for votes. A third party, especially one based on principles, would have exactly zero appeal to the underclass.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Codevilla is correct to conclude that unless the Republican Party pulls its act together with specific principled proposals, the country class will need to form a third party.”

    The constituency of the “country class” is now too small a percentage of the population to be effective as a third party. We know longer have a large middle. We have a fast growing underclass. The elites can play the underclass for votes. A third party, especially one based on principles, would have exactly zero appeal to the underclass.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    oops, I should have said, “We no longer have a large middle.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    oops, I should have said, “We no longer have a large middle.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    My favorite line:

    “Laws and regulations nowadays are longer than ever because length is needed to specify how people will be treated unequally.”

    How better to punish diligence and reward sloth.

    Summum ius summa iniuria. (More law, less justice.) Cicero

    There is a reason they don’t teach this stuff to kids anymore. Some of them would actually see there is nothing new under the sun.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    My favorite line:

    “Laws and regulations nowadays are longer than ever because length is needed to specify how people will be treated unequally.”

    How better to punish diligence and reward sloth.

    Summum ius summa iniuria. (More law, less justice.) Cicero

    There is a reason they don’t teach this stuff to kids anymore. Some of them would actually see there is nothing new under the sun.

  • Peter Leavitt

    SG, The constituency of the “country class” is now too small a percentage of the population to be effective as a third party.

    Not really. When disaffected Republicans are added to the Independents, a clear majority results. Polls have made clear that about 40% of Americans regard themselves conservative , 32% Independent, and 20% liberal. Codevilla is on solid ground on this issue: He writes:

    Democrats and Republicans, gladden the hearts of some one-third of the electorate — most Democratic voters, plus a few Republicans. This means that Democratic politicians are the ruling class’s prime legitimate representatives and that because Republican politicians are supported by only a fourth of their voters while the rest vote for them reluctantly, most are aspirants for a junior role in the ruling class. In short, the ruling class has a party, the Democrats. But some two-thirds of Americans — a few Democratic voters, most Republican voters, and all independents — lack a vehicle in electoral politics.

    …Sooner or later, well or badly, that majority’s demand for representation will be filled. Whereas in 1968 Governor George Wallace’s taunt “there ain’t a dime’s worth of difference” between the Republican and Democratic parties resonated with only 13.5 percent of the American people, in 1992 Ross Perot became a serious contender for the presidency (at one point he was favored by 39 percent of Americans vs. 31 percent for G.H.W. Bush and 25 percent for Clinton) simply by speaking ill of the ruling class. Today, few speak well of the ruling class. Not only has it burgeoned in size and pretense, but it also has undertaken wars it has not won, presided over a declining economy and mushrooming debt, made life more expensive, raised taxes, and talked down to the American people. Americans’ conviction that the ruling class is as hostile as it is incompetent has solidified. The polls tell us that only about a fifth of Americans trust the government to do the right thing. The rest expect that it will do more harm than good and are no longer afraid to say so.

    It’s would not be at all surprising for a coalition of disaffected Republicans and Independents to form a Third Party coalition that could defeat both the Democrats and Republicans. Difficult, yes. Possible, also yes. The Republican Party itself was founded in 1860 as a third party with a combination of Whigs and northern Democrats.

  • Peter Leavitt

    SG, The constituency of the “country class” is now too small a percentage of the population to be effective as a third party.

    Not really. When disaffected Republicans are added to the Independents, a clear majority results. Polls have made clear that about 40% of Americans regard themselves conservative , 32% Independent, and 20% liberal. Codevilla is on solid ground on this issue: He writes:

    Democrats and Republicans, gladden the hearts of some one-third of the electorate — most Democratic voters, plus a few Republicans. This means that Democratic politicians are the ruling class’s prime legitimate representatives and that because Republican politicians are supported by only a fourth of their voters while the rest vote for them reluctantly, most are aspirants for a junior role in the ruling class. In short, the ruling class has a party, the Democrats. But some two-thirds of Americans — a few Democratic voters, most Republican voters, and all independents — lack a vehicle in electoral politics.

    …Sooner or later, well or badly, that majority’s demand for representation will be filled. Whereas in 1968 Governor George Wallace’s taunt “there ain’t a dime’s worth of difference” between the Republican and Democratic parties resonated with only 13.5 percent of the American people, in 1992 Ross Perot became a serious contender for the presidency (at one point he was favored by 39 percent of Americans vs. 31 percent for G.H.W. Bush and 25 percent for Clinton) simply by speaking ill of the ruling class. Today, few speak well of the ruling class. Not only has it burgeoned in size and pretense, but it also has undertaken wars it has not won, presided over a declining economy and mushrooming debt, made life more expensive, raised taxes, and talked down to the American people. Americans’ conviction that the ruling class is as hostile as it is incompetent has solidified. The polls tell us that only about a fifth of Americans trust the government to do the right thing. The rest expect that it will do more harm than good and are no longer afraid to say so.

    It’s would not be at all surprising for a coalition of disaffected Republicans and Independents to form a Third Party coalition that could defeat both the Democrats and Republicans. Difficult, yes. Possible, also yes. The Republican Party itself was founded in 1860 as a third party with a combination of Whigs and northern Democrats.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    There isn’t a critical mass of self assured folks who want nothing from government except to be left alone. Many government employees have skills with a fair market value of next to nothing. Most public school teachers could not hold a private sector job paying even half of what they make in total compensation. Those that can leave after just a few years. Same for postal workers. Even the military is far too large and spread all over the globe costing far more than it needs to. Having bases all over the world is expensive, but it provides employment.

    Government employment/welfare is a death spiral for sure, but like any addiction, terribly hard to break.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    There isn’t a critical mass of self assured folks who want nothing from government except to be left alone. Many government employees have skills with a fair market value of next to nothing. Most public school teachers could not hold a private sector job paying even half of what they make in total compensation. Those that can leave after just a few years. Same for postal workers. Even the military is far too large and spread all over the globe costing far more than it needs to. Having bases all over the world is expensive, but it provides employment.

    Government employment/welfare is a death spiral for sure, but like any addiction, terribly hard to break.

  • Bethany Kilcrease

    Just a little trivia treat for Dr. Veith. I believe Dr. Codevilla is a Lutheran of the LCMS variety. He attended my church when he lived in Boston.

  • Bethany Kilcrease

    Just a little trivia treat for Dr. Veith. I believe Dr. Codevilla is a Lutheran of the LCMS variety. He attended my church when he lived in Boston.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Wow, Bethany. Thanks for that information. I keep running into Lutheran laypeople doing very interesting things but who are unknown to the church at large.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Wow, Bethany. Thanks for that information. I keep running into Lutheran laypeople doing very interesting things but who are unknown to the church at large.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Missouri Synod Lutherans should be very proud that Prof. Codevilla is one of their own. He is getting a lot of deserved attention at the national Internet level for this article.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Missouri Synod Lutherans should be very proud that Prof. Codevilla is one of their own. He is getting a lot of deserved attention at the national Internet level for this article.

  • Pingback: Facing Our Current Situation | Government Lies...

  • Pingback: Facing Our Current Situation | Government Lies...

  • Pingback: Americans are Stupid and Lazy | Government Lies...

  • Pingback: Americans are Stupid and Lazy | Government Lies...


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X