Illiberal ‘Liberalism’

41eaIef4eCLOriginally published by the Hoover Institution

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama let slip his disdain for the middle-class when he explained his lack of traction among such voters. “It’s not surprising then,” Obama said, “that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” More recently, U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley mocked his opponent incumbent Chuck Grassley as “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.” The liberal disdain for ordinary Americans has been around for a long time. Beneath the populist rhetoric and concern for the middle class that lace the campaign speeches of most liberal politicians, there lurks a palpable disgust, and often contempt, for the denizens of “flyover country,” that land of God, guns, religion, and traditional beliefs.

In Revolt Against the Masses, the Manhattan Institute senior fellow and New York Post columnist Fred Siegel presents a clearly written and engaging historical narrative of how nearly a century ago this strain of illiberal liberalism began to take over the Democratic Party. Along the way he also provides an excellent political history of the period that illuminates the “ugly blend of sanctimony, self-interest, and social-connections” lying at the heart of liberalism today.

Siegel begins with a valuable survey of the “progenitors,” the early twentieth-century thinkers and writers whose ideas shaped the liberal ideology. Those who know English writer H. G. Wells only as an early pioneer of science-fiction novels may be surprised to find how popular and widely read in America his philosophical and political writings were in the first few decades of the century. Wells’s 1901 Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human Life and Thought laid out the argument for a quasi-aristocratic elite of technocrats free of traditional values such as “monogamy, faith in God & respectability,” all of which Wells’s book “was designed to undermine and destroy,” as he frankly admitted. Applying Darwinism to social, political, and economic life, Wells envisioned, as Siegel explains, “scientist-poets and engineers” who would “seize the reins in the Darwinian struggle,” so that instead of “descending into savagery, we would follow their lead toward new and higher ground.” In Wells’s work we see the melding of attacks on traditional authority and middle-class morality, with the scientistic faith in technocratic elites that still characterizes modern liberalism.

Wells’s kindred American spirit was Progressive theorist Herbert Croly, whose 1901 The Promise of American Life Siegel calls the “first political manifesto of modern American liberalism.” Croly “rejected American tradition, with its faith in the Constitution and its politics of parties and courts, and argued for rebuilding America’s foundation on higher spiritual and political principles that would transcend traditional ideas of democracy and self-government.”

As much as Wells, or for that matter Mussolini and Lenin, Croly “wanted the collective power of society put ‘at the service of its ablest members,’ who would take the lead roles in the drama of social re-creation.” Similarly, leftist intellectual Randolph Bourne wondered “whether there aren’t advantages in having administration of the State taken care of by a scientific body of men with social sense.” Bourne seasoned his antidemocratic elitism with a romantic idealization of “Youth,” which was a time when the ideals “will be the highest…the insight the clearest, the ideas the most stimulating,” an early example of the worship of adolescents that exploded in the 1960s and is still felt in our culture today. And perhaps most famously, journalist H.L. Mencken serially displayed his contempt for the American people, whom he called a “rabble of ignorant peasants.”

In Siegel’s reading, modern liberalism was midwifed in the 1920s by the break with Progressivism over Woodrow Wilson’s decision to take the United States into World War I, and the “wartime conscription, the repression of civil liberties, Prohibition, and the overwrought fears of Bolshevism in America.” The scorn of patriotism and the American masses, brutally described by Mencken as a “timorous, sniveling, poltroonish, ignominious mob,” became the default sensibility of litterateurs, journalists, and intellectuals alike, who viewed “American society and democracy” as “agents of repression,” sentiments that “deepened during the 1920s and have been an ongoing current in liberalism ever since.” The influential literary manifestation of this prejudice remains Sinclair Lewis’s 1920 bestseller Main Street, which along with Babbitt two years later fixed the caricature of Middle America uncritically endorsed by liberals nearly a century later.

Siegel moves briskly through the subsequent events and developments that seemingly legitimized liberal bigotry against the middle class as objective history. The 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial, a “contrivance from the start,” as Siegel writes, and immortalized in the historically challenged 1955 Broadway hit Inherit the Wind, established the meme of the brave and noble man of “science” battling slack-jawed, oppressive Christian fundamentalists. This cliché predictably surfaces in liberal commentary on issues ranging from teaching Darwinian evolution, to the validity of global warming. In the 1930s idolizing the Soviet Union and communism, a reflex of liberal disdain for capitalism and its déclassé obsession with getting and spending, began its long march through American culture and education.

A corollary to this admiration has been the fervent liberal belief that America is to some degree “fascist,” and in imminent danger of becoming a fascist state, a preposterous notion made famous by Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel It Can’t Happen Here. This hoary received wisdom has managed to survive the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of its archives, which established beyond doubt that Communist subversion and infiltration of America’s institutions were in fact by far a greater threat to democracy than a fascist takeover. Despite that history, in 2004 Philip Roth published The Plot Against America, which indulged to high praise the same long-exploded fantasy.

Particularly valuable are Siegel’s brief portraits of once prominent liberal commentators and critics like Arthur Schlesinger, whose influence lives in the “aristocratic aping of professional liberals who expect, given their putative expertise, to be obeyed.” They refined and perpetuated the old caricature of Americanism “as the mass pursuit of prosperity by an energetic but crude, grasping people chasing their private ambitions without the benefit of a clerisy to guide them,” enslaved to “their futile quest for material well-being, and numbed by the popular entertainments that appealed to the lowest common denominator.” In the 1950s, the liberal critic Dwight Macdonald groused of a America blessed with “money, leisure and knowledge” that had merely given the average American “masscult” and “midcult,” the vulgar “American culture of the cheap newspaper, the movies, the popular song, the ubiquitous automobile,” fit fare for the “hordes of men and women without a spiritual country . . . without taste, without standards but those of the mob.”

Yet as Siegel points out, this same period saw an explosion in the numbers of average people studying and experiencing the artistic and literary masterpieces of Western civilization. Local symphony orchestras increased by 250 percent between 1940 and 1955, and in that same year “35 million paid to attend classical-music concerts. The New York Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday-afternoon radio broadcast drew a listenership of 15 million,” almost 10 percent of the population. Fifty million televisions viewers watched Laurence Olivier in Richard III, book-sales doubled, and paperback versions of highbrow novels like Saul Bellow’s The Adventures of Augie March or non-fiction works like anthropologist Ruth Benedict’s Patterns of Culture became bestsellers. Mortimer Adler and Robert Hutchins introduced the pricey Great Books series, which by 1951 was being purchased by 50,000 Americans a year, who met in 2,500 Great Books groups to talk about the classics of Western civilization. As Siegel mordantly observes, “Thiswas the danger against which critics of mass culture, inflamed with indignation, arrayed themselves against.”

Siegel’s survey ends with the presidency of Barack Obama. As The Revolt Against the Masses comes to a close, the policies and philosophy of Obama’s administration––best represented by the Affordable Care Act–– will strike the reader as the inevitable culmination of the ideological development Siegel has skillfully traced. The liberal elite’s disdain for a middle America of businessmen and churchgoers, which has always been linked to an uncritical admiration for Europe, has with Obama’s reelection created a political order teetering on the edge of fiscal collapse: “[Liberalism’s] sustained assault on the private-sector middle class and the ideals of self-restraint and self-government have, particularly in the blue states, succeeded all too well in achieving the dream of the 1920s literary Bolsheviks: an increasingly Europeanized class structure for America.”

One might argue with Siegel’s assertion of the “sharp break” between Progressivism and liberalism. On foreign policy this disagreement is obvious, and the liberals’ endorsement of illiberal identity politics in the 1960s would have horrified old-school Progressives, who were Darwinian eugenicists anxious over being swamped by the inferior races. The Progressives, even more than the liberals, disdained the masses, viewing them as an abstract collectivist “people,” Woodrow Wilson’s ideal “single community, co-operative as in a perfected, coordinated beehive.” This conception of the “people” ignored the great variety of regional, sectional, and religious identities, Madisonian factions, and clashing interests comprising flesh-and-blood Americans.

Progressives, moreover, like liberals homogenized and nationalized those various interests and aims as these were defined and chosen by techno-political elites. One hears H. G. Wells’s and Randolph Bourne’s impatience with democratic self-rule and preference for a managerial elite in Wilson’s call to “open for the public a bureau of skilled, economical administration,” comprising the “hundreds who are wise” empowered to guide the “thousands” who are “selfish, ignorant, timid, stubborn, or foolish.” What liberalism shares with the Progressives––the “living” Constitution, big government, regulation of the economy, and the redistribution of property to achieve “social justice”––far outweighs their differences.

The Revolt Against the Masses is an important book, a first-rate intellectual history that clearly and crisply explains much of the political and cultural dysfunctions roiling the United States today. Siegel’s well-researched analysis of the liberal abandonment of self-government and individual freedom–– a betrayal of the Constitutional order justified in the main by social prejudice, class snobbery, and bad Continental philosophy––is a brilliant exposition of a century of bad ideas that have led to today’s bloated Leviathan state, these days on track to bankrupt the treasury and diminish our freedom.

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  • Larry Larkin

    Both the Wilson and FDR administrations are demonstrably fascist, the reason some of the left didn’t like them wasn’t that they weren’t socialists, but that they were the wrong brand of socialists.

  • PAthena

    Note that Fascism is nationalist socialism. Benito Mussolini founded the Fascist Party in Italy. He had been a leader of the Italian Socialist Party, editor of its newspaper Avanti. The Italian Socialist Party opposed Italy’s participation in World War I because Marxist dogma was that war is between capitalist countries. Mussolini supported this position until 1917, and broke with international socialism (which developed into Soviet Communism). He founded the Fascist Party as a nationalist socialist party, using the name “Fascist” harking back to the fasces which were a symbol of authority in ancient Rome. (The National Socialist Party in Germany was the Nazi Party, Nazional Sozialismus.) These were “left-wing,” parties, not “right-wing” as many hold.

  • Clare Spark

    Not all experts are technocratic fascists. That is a claim made popular by the New Left/counter culture, exemplified by Noam Chomsky. I answered his attacks on Walter Lippmann’s ostensible (and false) “manufacture of consent” here: The original Progressives were indeed elitist, but their goal was anticommunist and intended to uplift immigrants to forestall their joining the red revolution after 1917.

    • cxt

      Chomsky is a perfect example of the Left–look at whom he was perfectly willing to work for–and for big $$$$$ and look at the various tax shelters he set up for HIS family.
      Then read his works on what is wrong with the USA.
      Like all the Left its “do as I say not as I do.” ;)

  • nimbii

    When has a culture not gravitated to rule by elites? When has this not happened in all of human history?

    When you have elites running things, you have sanctimonious corruption. Most of these early 20th Century writers came from families in the good graces of European monarchs and it was second nature for them to try to bring elitist rule to America as the natural government.

    British Royals implied that a card up their sleeve at the poker table wasn’t really cheating because God put it there.

    From my years in the Peace Corps in West Africa, I recall an old tribal saying: “Everyone’s little finger fits in their nose.”

    Yes, these misanthropes have made some progress over the years and that’s with the help of a sycophantic MSM.

    Most Americans still take a dim view of elites running things and for good reason. That’s what elections are for.

    • herb benty

      The elites technocrats have fixed the voting machines.

    • kevinstroup

      All countries are ruled by the elites. Always have been, always will be. The question is not should the elites rule, but how are the elites chosen to be elites? What criteria makes one an elite. That is what matters.

  • Habbgun

    The truth is there are no liberals. Everybody is conservative about something. For the left the conservative viewpoint is the superiority of Europe over America and that Europe must be always championed. They have no problem when centralized programs work like crap. It is simply not logical to expect perfection.

    Obamacare is crap. Well now its the law. We all need to respect the law.

    University system is now a corrupt debt machine. You do realize you only get back what you put in. Individual effort is important. Suddenly you just can’t be handed something.

    Liberalism is simply a critique of those they don’t like, It is a conservative philosophy for a specific type of have versus specific types of have nots.

    Luckily this is how conservatives can attract minorities. We can ask whether they really want Europe to be in control? Whether they want liberal overlords who love Europe first and foremost or the America that progressed. Conservatives always forget that they are a real alternative to failed systems. We are the party of freedom and not just no.

  • bigjulie

    Bruce’s review of Revolt Against The Masses has whet my appetite and I am buying this book. I remember during the 1930s how Communist-oriented “elites” set up many Union Stewards to be the local font of wisdom about “proper” social norms for the proletariat because they were now ‘in charge” and needed regular advice on who to vote for so that the “revolution” could continue to the light at the end of the tunnel, which was the “worker’s paradise”.
    Unfortunately for the “elites”, schisms occurred within their ranks, as well. I remember my Dad, a young Electrical Engineering graduate, who often spoke of the establishment of a “Technocracy” to operate the country at its peak of “the most good for the most people”. Liberals still seem to be engrossed in such efforts, like in “Global Cooling” and now “Global Warming” where, to even disagree with some “expert” is akin to heresy and deserving of nothing but immediate banishment of the objector to an asylum for imbeciles.
    As it turns out today, the Obama Administration doesn’t even make reasonable efforts to hide their obfuscation and lying about the “reality” the rest of us need to cleave to, never realizing that all they do with their clownish efforts at lying is give all liars a bad name.
    Thanks, Bruce…GREAT review!

  • cxt

    I am always struck by the similarities between Lefties and the last days of the French aristocrats………like the nobles, the Left presumes to authority they did not —in any substantive sense—earn, like the nobles they have little understanding of how monies are earned or saved, like the nobles they spent their time with trivial matters–but treated them as if the fate of the world depended on them. Like the nobles they catered to and vetted various special interests instead of dealing with the needs of the people.
    Like the nobles they placed excessive “weight” on coming from the “correct” background and having the “correct” opinions, going to the “correct” schools. Like the nobles they are way to sure of their own supposed abilites and personal intellegence—I think John Kerry is utterly sure that he is a genius and should have been president—regardless of the clear reality of the situation.
    And like the nobles they were utterly oblivious to the very real dangers around them.
    The Left always like to claim they are the smartest people in the room–so why don’t they ever seem to learn from history?

    • nimbii

      cxt, could not have said it better… great parallels.

      Our imaginations jumped with your words.

      Add Al Gore in with Kerry and the other elites.

      The Federal government is little more than a jobs program for these elites and their kids.

      The 5 county area around DC has the highest per capita income in the US.

    • Gettingby

      And like the French aristocrats, will end up with their heads loped off..

    • liberalism is a mental illness

      Very good analogy.

    • Richard Fontaine

      A brilliant comment. It hit home in a way that few comments on any of these boards does. Thank you for your insights. And please post often and in such depth.

    • sheikyermami

      Spot on, cxt. We’ve been hearing similar rubbish denigrating the ‘consumer society’ and ‘material cheapness’ from commie apparatchiks of the failed East German Republic and from other socialist parasites, privileged, ignorant, arrogant and supremacist, without having anything to show for it.

  • Carl Johnson

    Ordinary! Ordinary Americans as well as producers and creators thoughout the world are the Most able among us. We are the elite, We are favored in this universe; those that seek with arrogance to rule all are in fact the weakest and dumbest among us. It is they that are the Great Unwashed.

  • Jason P

    Hmmm … rap music, Clinton-Bush-Obama, reality TV … tell me again why the average Joe isn’t a boob.

    • UCSPanther

      The choice of entertainment and leaders at a time period can give a snapshot of the culture’s quality and grade.

  • Consider

    ” this same period saw an explosion in the numbers of average people studying and experiencing the artistic and literary masterpieces of Western civilization. Local symphony orchestras increased by 250 percent between 1940 and 1955, and in that same year “35 million paid to attend classical-music concerts. The New York Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday-afternoon radio broadcast drew a listenership of 15 million,” almost 10 percent of the population. Fifty million televisions viewers watched Laurence Olivier in Richard III, book-sales doubled, and paperback versions of highbrow novels like Saul Bellow’s The Adventures of Augie March or non-fiction works like anthropologist Ruth Benedict’s Patterns of Culture became bestsellers.”

    How many attended the sermons of the “evangelists” who at that time presumably used the radio to spread their “wisdom” .
    10 percent of the population watched Laurence Olivier, local symphony orchestras and Saul Below, while 90 percent of population believed in the creation story, that Jesus Christ is our saviour and simillar nonsense.
    While the former (Lawrence Olivier etc,) was the endeavour of the blah, blah, “left”, the later was the “truth” professed by the “right”, that is being lionized by most authors and readers on this site.
    Disgusting switch of theses.

  • TheOrdinaryMan

    Some very good points by Mr. Thornton. “H.G. Wells’ and Randolph Bourne’s impatience with democratic self-rule,” is reflected in Christopher Hitchens’ contempt for the Tea Party. And the “hundreds who are wise,” during the administration of Woodrow Wilson, were responsible for government rationing of vegetable shortening, which quadrupled the price of bread; for the government take-over of America’s railroads, and for the demonization of German-Americans, to whip up support for the war. These elites weren’t, by and large, honest hard-working types found on the lower east side. Rather, they were often found at Great Gatsby type parties, out in the Hamptons. And they’re still with us.

  • Seek

    Fascism/Nazism overlapped with Social Democrats on economic issues, but ultimately should be seen as Rightist. Their “kinder, kuche, kirchen” authoritarian sentimentality in viewing women; hatred of modernity in the arts, most of all, if associated with Jews; and mobilization of national will for total warfare, put them squarely in a European Rightist tradition.

    There has never been a successful Fascist movement here in America — not even close. It’s hard to draw parallels between today’s liberals, arrogant as they often are, and real European-style Fascists. We’ve never had the experience. Jonah Goldberg’s dishonest book is simply not convincing.

    • Drakken

      I would say that the left in this country is more communist than they are fascist.

  • herb benty

    The middle class invented America, Edison in his shop, Wright brothers tinkering away, Jobs and Gates at their parents house. And on and on. Capitalism and free people outshines all the Leftist, Progressive crap and all their arrogant intellectual attempts to protect themselves from us- a paranoid elite, a demonic elite.

    • liberalism is a mental illness

      Very well said. I would like to add that leftards never contribute to to society like the names you mentioned: Edison, the Wright brothers, Jobs and Gates. Instead of admiring these great people leftards slander and smear their names out of jealousy, self loathing and feelings of inferiority. Stupid leftards.

      • herb benty

        Thanks. Ya, successful people who believe in freedom, less government, less regulation scare them.

        • liberalism is a mental illness

          I agree. Cheers mate!!

      • justquitnow

        I like how you sort of buddy up with everything good in history while consigning everything bad to “lefty” or “leftards” in the popular vernacular. Yep there you are sitting with the Wright Brothers and Steve Jobs looking down at the uncontributing “left”.

        • liberalism is a mental illness

          It’s pretty obvious who is a leftard and who isn’t. This isn’t a leftard website. Leftards aren’t necessarily bad but rather just really really stupid. I mean never in history has a leftard achieved geatness or anything for that matter. Leftards rather are really jealous of people who achieve greatness. Leftards throughout history have simply been known as fouls. Now we call them leftards. One thing that hasn’t changed is that leftard/ fouls are always broke!! Occupy Wall Street is the greatest demonstration of collective laftardity/ foulishness in history. Did you sleep in a tent at OWS? Leftard.

          • justquitnow

            What? You’re the epitome of the cult moron that can’t think beyond the label…that you apply without merit, cause or need. You’re so self identified with this intellectually dishonest and bs way of talking that you built it into your name. You’re irrelevant…just another dupe looking for his place in the circle jerk. Hey who do I have to call a leftard around here to get serviced?

          • liberalism is a mental illness

            LMAO!! What’s this about cults? Third time I’ve seen you accuse somebody of being in a cult. Leftard. what does intellectually dishonest mean?? Sounds like leftard word salad. My name is the name of an article I once read called “Liberalism Is A Mental Illness.” Google it. Leftard

          • justquitnow

            Maybe you should google “intellectual dishonesty” instead.

          • Richard Fontaine

            See above and then consider coming up with a better arguement. One that maybe is based on some actual facts.

          • justquitnow

            I don’t think you even know what’s being said. I was making fun of “libtard” boy over here. Maybe you could get less freeze dried posts that don’t seem automatic like you’re a trolling robot.

          • liberalism is a mental illness

            Are you drunk and/or high on heroine?? Leftards love heroine. Two leftards overdosed and died at the OWS in Vancouver. What cult am I in?

          • justquitnow

            you no English…wrong?

          • Drakken

            You and intellectual in the same sentence is an oxymoron. Now go cry to your mommy, she just might give you a cookie and tell you how special you are.

          • justquitnow

            god your lame…

          • liberalism is a mental illness

            “Trying to have a normal conversation with a leftard is like trying to eat Jello with chopsticks.” Google “Liberalism Is A Mental Disorder.” Read the NewsBusters article. It’s really informative.

          • Richard Fontaine

            Don’t you just love it when a lefty wackjob gets called out, they resort to a stream of silly insults to cover the fact they can’t refute what you just so clearly called them out on. Thank you for your exposure of this clown. “justquitnow” seems somehow appropriate.

          • justquitnow

            Don’t worry Richard, they saved a spot in the circle for you.

          • liberalism is a mental illness

            Thanks. “justquitnow” always accuses people of being cult members when he is losing a debate but he never specifies what cult they’re supposedly in. I think he is high on heroine.

          • Drakken

            Ask your boyfriend. Keep up the great work, your the poster child of leftardism.

          • Richard Fontaine

            Excellent summary of the true state of most parasitic liberals.

          • liberalism is a mental illness

            Leftards are parasites. They want what everybody else has but don’t want to work for it. The reasons there is poverty are laziness and stupidity.

        • liberalism is a mental illness

          You don’t have to to put the words left, lefty or leftard in quotes by the way. Leftard

          • justquitnow

            Yeah I do…

  • Frances

    A lot of this is covered in Jonah Goldberg’s brilliant, Liberal Fascism. Of course, Siegel’s book may offer additional insights. Dr. Thornton didn’t mention eugenics a pillar of the progressive movement from Francis Galton, Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. to Sanger and many other intellectuals in the US and England. Hitler was an admirer of the US eugenics movement.

  • Harry Black

    Sheer hypocrisy! Republican politicians have done everything in their power to hurt “the masses.” Extend unemployment insurance for the unemployed? Nyet! Medicaid expansion? Nyet! (Who cares if Americans die for lack of medical care?) Boost the minimum wage for the poorest working Americans? Nyet. Food stamps for the hungry? Nyet. Coming soon, if Republican reactionaries have their way: Nyet to Medicare, Nyet to Social Security. So stop nattering on about “Lefties and the last days of the French aristocrats” (Mr. ext, below) and get a handle on what’s happening today–the Republican Party works only to advance the interest of the 1%, the Tea Party tries to dupe the 99%, while David Horowitz & Co. rake in big bucks shilling for corporate criminals like the Koch Brothers.

    • liberalism is a mental illness

      Leftard. You’re just jealous cause the Koch brothers have money and you don’t. Leftard

      • Harry Black

        So insightful; so original. As if money were the alpha and omega of life. It may be for you and for the Koch brothers, but for humanity it’s a different story.

        • liberalism is a mental illness

          Lame excuse for being broke. The Koch brothers employ 60,000 people, pay millions in taxes and millions more in charity. What do you do ride a bicycle?? Again I say you’re just jealous and thus you label them criminal. Leftard. Insightful enough for ya??

          • Harry Black

            I note that I initiated this exchange with a post about the Republicans hurting the US “masses,” and you have done everything in your power, such as it is, to reduce the discussion to the question of whether or not I make enough money to drive a car. That’s how narrow and narcissistic and morally blind you Koch-lovers are. It’s now obvious that all you care about is money, damn the human and planetary costs.

          • liberalism is a mental illness

            It didn’t take much power or intellect to realise that you’re a broke leftard whose jealous of the Koch brothers. Republican have done far more for the US then the democrats could ever dream of. I bet you don’t even have a bike!!

          • Harry Black

            Not “whose”–you mean “who is.” And I’m not jealous of the Kochs. David Koch has had prostate cancer since 1992. He’s given a $100 million for prostate cancer research, and while that’s very social minded of him, he hasn’t been cured. I prefer riding my bicycle and feeling OK on my meager income to having to live with prostate cancer.

          • Harry Black

            Riding a bicycle is healthier for the individual and the planet. But I forgot: the Koch Brothers are “job creators” just like Mitt Romney. And as the Brothers Koch keep telling us, global warming ain’t happening.

    • Drakken

      How communistic of you, so Sparky, just how do you propose to pay for all of those programs? In case you haven’t noticed, money just doesn’t appear like magic, somebody has to pay for it?

      • Harry Black

        The money is there. It’s been there all along. Social security isn’t broke. Nor is Medicare, etc. If you want long-term solvency then stop giving tax cuts tot he rich. And in case you haven’t noticed the US economy runs on consumer spending. Pay workers a living wage, raise the minimum wage, and you increase demand which in turn will lead to increased production and increased government income. And yes I do think you are your brother’s keeper so when your brother is homeless, or hungry, you should contribute to his welfare.

        • nomoretraitors

          So does this mean I can quit my job and you’ll pay all my bills?

          • Harry Black

            Quit your job by all means. You’ll being less damage to the environment and you’ll also enjoy the sort of cushy life enjoyed by the poor. Or don’t quit your job, but as an experiment, try living on a $5/day food budget.

          • nomoretraitors

            But will you pay all my bills in keeping with being “your brother’s keeper?”

          • Harry Black

            I’ll pay my taxes and support legislation to tax the rich at 1950s rates, close billionaires’ tax loopholes, reduce the military budget, etc. Whatever it takes bro’ to keep a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food stamps in your pocket. You’ll have such a ball being poor! Can’t wait.

    • nomoretraitors

      Please detail what “crimes” the Kock Brothers have committed.
      And what about all the economies Georgie Soros wrecked by currency speculation and breaking the central bank?

    • pupsncats

      Clearly you are confused about which party are the true hypocrits. Democrat politicians have done everything in their power to destroy the pillars, the foundations of a civilized society, the rule of law, human dignity and integrity, and above all, the truth about history, science, and other cultures which has served to create a perpetual class of welfare dependents and an ever increasing welfare state which destroys the very dignity of the human person. They have created a culture of death where vice and criminal activity are virtues, where the murder of millions of defenseless human beings is praised as progress in liberty, where conflict among the people is perpetuated by their false claims of racism, discrimination, and lack of “social justice”. In other words, they are terrorists bent on destruction of the only path to the viability and sustainability of a civilized people.
      The Democratic (sic) Party works only to advance their power and control over every aspect of human life while lining their pockets with the fruits of others labors.

      • Harry Black

        Working yourself into a frothing incoherent rage Mr. Pupsncats won’t convince readers of the truth of your position. Take a walk around the block, calm yourself, consider enrolling in an anger management program, and then try to make a rational argument.

  • wileyvet

    I will purchase this book, posthaste.

  • justquitnow

    Your first paragraph is intellectually dishonest…that’s how you start. Obama wasn’t speaking about “the middle class” when he said people cling to their guns and their religion. Can you write honestly or would it be impossible for you to construct an argument in reality?

    Let’s face facts…people have differing political viewpoints, but all of this “left v right” and neo-redscare bs is just an accuse to stop listening to anything you don’t like, label it “left” and press on with absolute yet unwarranted certainty in your “rightness”.

    “As The Revolt Against the Masses comes to a close, the policies and philosophy of Obama’s administration––best represented by the Affordable Care Act–– will strike the reader as the inevitable culmination of the ideological development Siegel has skillfully traced.”

    Give me a #%@&@( break…really? The ACA is the culmination of this grand commie conspiracy. Even your arguments are just lame and stupid. This doesn’t even make sense. The ACA is a compromised frankenstein monster…part cost control measure, part corporate boondoggle. Even if we could have politically managed single-payer health care in this country, you would STILL be a hysterical moron for saying that it was the culmination of anything.

    Stop reading books that tell you what you want to hear. Because they will keep writing them…cha-ching

    • liberalism is a mental illness

      Leftard. You’re the one that doesn’t make sense!! And you’re rambling on. Silly leftard.

      • justquitnow

        I give you exhibit A of this lunacy.