I actually read the following article during Dragon Con, but I never found the time to post it:
Why should you read this? Because I think Joel Kotkin has correctly identified what divides us as a nation. It’s not the rich versus the middle class; it’s the public sector versus the private sector. Every dyed-in-the-wool Obama supporter I know is a member of Kotkin’s secular clerisy and consequently has a vested interest in keeping our government large and expensive. (See also: the numerically-challenged professor of political science who lost his mind on Facebook a while back when some of us questioned his devotion to Obamacare.) Many Republicans I know, on the other hand, are business owners and have therefore personally experienced the weight of the government boot on their necks. (See also: my boss — or the chairman of my county’s Republican committee.)
The question is, is this rift bridgeable? I wish I could say yes, but the aforementioned clerisy is pretty damned proud of itself right now and is thus incapable of engaging in a civil debate. When anyone takes legitimate exception to Obama’s vision of an America denuded of its intermediary institutions (like the family, the churches, private charities, etc.) and rendered wholly dependent on the government for all of its nice things, public-sector liberals and their fellow travelers in the media roundly berate such dissent as “arrogant” and “racist.” How can you have a genuine conversation with people who operate this way?
On a related note:
Mike Rowe is seriously my new celebrity crush. He’s an out-and-proud voice for Kotkin’s yeomanry and understands – on an intimate level – how damaging it is to try to force a bunch of square pegs into round holes. We still need plumbers and welders and pavers – actually, we desperately need them – but since our schools are controlled by the clerisy, our kids aren’t actually encouraged to pursue such trades. So yeah: I hope Romney does more than read Rowe’s letter; I hope he acts to address it.
News is flying around the Twitterverse and blogosphere that Romney has indeed read Mike Rowe’s well-crafted letter and that his campaign has let it be known that he read and appreciated it. Expect to see Romney’s people reach out to Rowe for commercial spots. It would not in the least surprise me.