Ignorance is king. Many would not profit by his abdication. Many enrich themselves by means of his dark monarchy. They are his Court, and in his name they defraud and govern, enrich themselves and perpetuate their power. Even literacy they fear, for the written word is another channel of communication that might cause their enemies to become united. Their weapons are keen-honed, and they use them with skill. They will press the battle upon the world when their interests are threatened, and the violence which follows will last until the structure of society as it now exists is leveled to rubble, and a new society emerges. I am sorry. But that is how I see it.
[T]he enduring problem for liberals, as for everyone else, is not whether history will judge them wise or foolish regarding the war on terrorism; it is, rather, the way that the past decade has splintered them away from other Americans. This fracture comes with a steep price: in today's toxic atmosphere, liberals are no less cynical, shortsighted, and parochial than anyone else, and they understand their fellow-Americans just as badly as they themselves are understood. When liberals look at red-state voters, they see either a mob of pious know-nothings or the insensible victims of militarism and class warfare. Yet.. [such people] defy fixed categories, which means that they have to be figured out the hard way--on their own terms.
One simple answer is that there has been a massive rise in the incidence of sanctimony and smugness among the successful that has nothing to do with any change in the underlying reality. Rather, it has been stimulated by politicians who have realized that it is possible to win power by recruiting the most economically successful forty per cent or so of the population in a crusade to roll back the gains made by their fellow citizens in the previous forty years. And how better to rationalize this than to tell people that they deserve the incomes that the market generates?