Posted Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010, at 2:20 PM
has the best take
on Charles Murray's op-ed which tried, sort of, to define elitism.
Polls show that, in addition to being predominantly white and Republican, tea-partiers are wealthier and better-educated than the typical American. The proletariat they are not. Andrew Gelman's terrific book " Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State ," documents the stark partisan division within the American upper class, which I think helps us understand what's really going on. Very roughly, churchgoing non-coastal rich people are Republicans, while the more secular coastal rich are Democrats. What we are now seeing is not a showdown between the vast non-ideological middle-class and some rising Acai-swilling, assortatively-mating bobo aristocracy, but a standoff between rival elites. The tea party is a movement of relatively well-to-do, relatively religious citizens aroused by the conservative identity politics of a handful of elite right-wing opinion-makers who seek to unseat their liberal counterparts.
Well.. Wilkinson needs to remember that the Tea Party's ranks were swelled by the Great Recession. Well-off people watched their savings take big hits. Ordinary Republican voters lost jobs, and had time on their hands for politics. But overall, this isn't wrong.