Irregular Americans

The Democratic Party stretches over but is divided by two different demographics, upscale liberals and the working class, notes David Brooks on todays’s New York Times‘s op ed page:

We’re used to the ideological divide between Red and Blue America. This year’s election has revealed a deep cultural gap within the Democratic Party, separating what Stuart Rothenberg calls the two Democratic parties.

In state after state (Wisconsin being the outlier), Barack Obama has won densely populated, well-educated areas. Hillary Clinton has won less-populated, less-educated areas. For example, Obama has won roughly 70 percent of the most-educated counties in the primary states. Clinton has won 90 percent of the least-educated counties. In state after state, Obama has won a few urban and inner-ring suburban counties. Clinton has won nearly everywhere else.

This social divide has overshadowed regional differences. Sixty-year-old, working-class Catholics vote the same, whether they live in Fresno, Scranton, Nashua or Orlando.

Likewise, younger upscale liberals across the country are voting for Obama. There are lots of factors involed: rural vs. urban, income, age. But the main factor seems to be education. The more educated, the more likely to lean toward Obama.

Oddly, among Democrats (and Republicans, for that matter), being favored by the educated is nothing to brag about it. To the contrary, Clinton brags that she represents regular Americans, meaning, I suppose, those with at most a year or two of college. According to this logic, I gather that every degree I’ve gotten (and I have racked up several) has made me less and less regular or less and less American. Is this the land of the free and the home of the quasi-literate?

Oops. Sorry. I’m being elitist.

Perhaps we’d be better off in the world if we started valuing intellect instead of trying to hide it.