from The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class by Fred Siegel

Over decades, the liberal experts directed the dispersal of trillions of taxpayer dollars to alleviate poverty and improve education—it was the price, they said, that we needed to pay to advance equality. The money flowed, in nearly inconceivable quantities, but the poverty rate today is roughly where it was thirty years ago, and the schools are still mired in failure as academic standards fall prey to collapsing cultural conventions. At the same time, an increasingly bureaucratized and ever larger academia is driving tuition, which continuously outpaces inflation, far higher than the educational results could warrant.

As a matter of policy, liberalism has been a very expensive failure. As a matter of patronage, against which it once rebelled, it has been a considerable success. The founding 1920s liberal hope for a society ruled by an aristocracy of talent has been replaced over time by a concatenation of crony capitalism, credentialism, and contraception. The third, contraception (the promise of sexual liberation being associated with liberalism from the start), has, however, failed to deliver on the once shining promise of creativity corked up only by sexual restraint.

What unites the top and bottom of the Obama coalition is an apparent disdain for the copybook maxims of faith, family, and hard work. Upper-middle-class liberals often live by those very maxims, but they refuse to preach what they practice. To be straightforward about how they live would reveal well-to-do liberals as far more conventional than their pretensions would allow.

Siegel, Fred. The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class (Kindle Locations 3648-3663). Encounter Books. Kindle Edition.


From the first progressive era the left has preached democracy but delivered a credentialed new aristocracy with increasing contempt for the voters who do not acquiesce. It is called democracy when the mass abides the elite, populism when they do not.  Democracy is frustrated by an unelected administrative state and an increasingly powerful court.

The middle class and the elite share many of the same values; the middle class are just more willing to admit it.