John Agresto writes, “In trying to resurrect conservatism and the Republican party, I fear there’s a whole segment of our country we can never reach. These people, whether rich or poor, are not our natural constituents. These are the people to whom things are owed:”
We saw it after the Katrina debacle, at the other end of the socioeconomic scale: “Why are you so slow to help us? Where is our money and food? Why haven’t you been here, government, rebuilding my house? I know my rights, and my rights include welfare, subsidies, support, and attention. We’re not to be treated like those victims of tornadoes in the Midwest who pull themselves together, help their friends, patrol their communities, and rebuild their neighborhoods. No, life is supposed to be easy, big and easy; why aren’t you here right now with the support I deserve?” And we hear it from the fat financial community who want the bailout check left at their door while they go on rich retreats to celebrate their good fortune.
This, by the way, is why Sarah Palin was so refreshing and, to be clear, so exotic to all the elites: a woman who could raise herself up by dint of hard work and self-sacrifice to be a wife, mother, mayor, and governor. She didn’t do it by set-asides, by birth, by quotas, or by handouts. She did it as a woman and she did it by her efforts. She exemplified what we all once saw as America–a land of opportunity, where you could be anything you set your mind to be so long as you worked for it. She showed us something about both her character and ours, our old-fashioned American character. For all this, she had to be ridiculed–she represented a kind of American virtue that shames the privileged, whether they be rich or poor.
Meanwhile, Ramesh Ponnuru expects an “overlapping series of Republican civil wars, each with its own theme,” on the painful road to 2012.