LOS ANGELES, April 10, 2013 — In his 2004 book “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” Thomas Frank criticizes the choice the people of Kansas made in voting for George W. Bush. His tome can be applied to Obama voters in 2012.
The major premise of Frank’s book is that Kansas voters vote against their own interests. They are poor, but they have voted Republican in response to social issues such as abortion.
Kansas is supposed to be an example of what is wrong with Red-State America. If only those in Middle America had not been blinded by cultural issues such as gay marriage, they would have elected John Kerry in a landslide over George W. Bush.
The entire premise of the book is flawed, because it demands that people put materialism over values. Being a spiritually rich but cash-poor conservative Republican makes far more sense to many people than being a wealthy liberal acting out of guilt.
Yet for the purpose of consistency, let’s take the Frank model and apply it to 2012 Blue State voters.
The economy has failed on every level. President Obama can repeat until his face is bluer than Smurfette in a Massachusetts voting booth that he inherited a mess.
So did Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. They successfully turned their economies around. Obama did not.
Yet the Obama response is to become the anti-(Frank)Rich and focus on values.
Forget jobs. Obama invents a mythical war on women and gives away free contraception.
Forget everybody on food stamps. Obama supports gay marriage.
Forget the failed stimulus. Obama spent it on green companies, and will “invest” more.
Forget the poverty rate being higher than at any time since the Jimmy Carter “malaise” 1970s. Obama is pro-choice on abortion.
Forget skyrocketing food and fuel prices. Obama is partially black, a post-modern symbol of liberal aspirations.
Given Obama’s love of golf, it is as if he has turned the entire country into “Caddyshack,” the slobs against the snobs. The slobs are the pathetic ignorant Middle Americans who get less respect than Rodney Dangerfield.
The snobs are the liberal elites and various interest groups who bathe in their aura. If only the Red Staters were civilized enough to learn, we would all be Blue Staters.
The only problem is that nothing Obama is doing for his supporters is working.
Gays may get married, but they will still not have steady income.
Black unemployment remains sky-high, and black murder rates are soaring in inner cities along with out-of-wedlock births that continue the cycle of poverty.
Women have abortion rights and contraception rights but are scared to death about how to feed the children they did bring into the world.
Young people cannot find jobs, and they live at home until age 26, or 36, rather than leave at 18 for college, never to return.
Forget Kansas. They knew what they were doing in 2012. They voted for Mitt Romney. They care about cultural issues, but they also care about feeding their families.
Obama voters got the government they deserved, even if the rest of us did not.
As Americans bear the burden of crushing debt with no hope of getting out from under, all they get are slogans. Young people are hurting. Black people are hurting. Virtually everybody outside of Hollywood is hurting.
While Obama parties with billionaires, the rest of his coalition hangs on for dear life financially.
Liberals will claim that this is just the “new normal.” That is the equivalent of accepting failure.
Conservatives strain at the bit to turn things — the economy — around, because conservative economic policies actually work.
President Obama has had over four years, and his approach is not working. His voters may not even know this because they have been conditioned to treat bread crumbs as gourmet dining.
So let’s ask the question. Not, What’s the Matter with Kansas, but, pray tell, what’s the matter with liberals?
Based on the evidence, the answer is “everything.”
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