November 2020: When holding leftist beliefs officially became a sign of monotonous conformist thinking
How did Biden pull off his victory?
He didn’t do as well with minority voters as every presumed he would.
The Catholic vote continued to hover around 50% like it has for 20 years.
So what did it?
You see, only rubes, hicks, rednecks, wife-beaters, and Elvis fans vote for Trump. In order to mark yourself as (oh so) above the unwashed, you vote Democrat. And if you’re really smart and want people to know how good you are, you fly rainbow (like I see at Notre Dame University) or BLM banners (like I saw on Lake Shore Drive in ritzy Grosse Pointe over Thanksgiving weekend).
I had that feeling throughout 2020: the feeling that Biden voters looked at their leftist support as badges of virtue . . . of being “with it” . . . of wokeness . . . of truly understanding things.
“Nothing,” this poseur line seemed to say, “signals intellectual distinction like agreeing with the New York Times.”
And it was reinforced, I felt, by suburban living, where conformity is, was, and always will be, the enduring trait. We laugh at the 1950s cookie-cutter houses, competition to get the newest TV, buying a paneled station wagon, keeping the wife in the kitchen, and voting for Ike.
But now everyone in the suburbs has two incomes, the most-recent iPhone, and McMansions.
And votes for Biden.
That, anyway, is how I felt.
I had no proof.
Trump 2020 outdid Trump 2016 in almost all of the demographics: blacks, Hispanics, Asians, women.
But not among white men.
Especially white men in the wealthy suburbs, which went overwhelmingly to the Democrats.
Under one definition of “rich suburb,” Democrats will occupy 51 of the 63 wealthy suburban seats (81 percent) in the 117th Congress. Under another definition, Democrats will hold 44 of 61 wealthy suburban seats (72 percent).
And if you take wealthy suburbs in Texas (which stayed Republican) out of the mix, the ongoing suburban group-think conformity is even more striking, (instead of 72% of rich suburbs going Democrat, it’s 84%).
It’s going to be interesting to see the Democrats hold this strange coalition together: the rich and the poor. It’s nothing new, of course. The rich and poor have always teemed up to bone the middle class.
But now, many members of the upper-middle class and middle classes have joined them. How long will the need to virtue-signal to one’s friends and feel good beat one’s wallet as taxes climb as they have in California to provide benefits to the underclass?
At least one political observer (Darel E. Paul) says the coalition can’t hold. I have my doubts about whether he’s right (a smug self-righteousness is a powerful tool, albeit one that stops holding so much sway after, say, age 50), but he’s convinced the top-bottom coalition will disintegrate of its own accord.