How do we explain the unreasoning response to all this good news? How do we prevent the president from growing hoarse in defending a perfectly defensible economic vigor? Allow me to offer this explanation. Republicans in power worry Democrats. If the Democrats presided over an economy as robust as this, there would be no apprehension in the Kultursmog. That brings us to the heart of the matter. The media are not dominated by liberals. They are dominated by Democrats.
Actually there are no true liberals out there nowadays. For many decades those who were pleased to call themselves liberals in America were civil libertarians of various degrees of libertarianism who believed in state management of the economy and in inflicting moralism into every disagreement. When President Bill Clinton said "the era of big government is over" he was merely acknowledging the confusion into which American liberalism had collapsed. A liberal today is merely a Democrat.
Democrats, certainly all who identify themselves deeply as Democrats, worry about George W. Bush in the White House. In this they are sincere. Bush frightens them. Of course, Ronald Reagan frightened them, too. In fact, it is instructive to note that the very same things that worried them about Reagan worry them about Bush. Both are seen as stupid, overly religious, overly patriotic, simple. The concern our Democrats have about the economy is heartfelt. I do not think anything can be done to cheer them up. Certainly improvement in the economy is not going to cheer them up. What could be done? If growth were to rise from 4 percent (third-quarter growth has just been revised up from 3.8 percent to 4.3 percent) to 5 percent they would only fret about inflation or perhaps the rape of the environment. And do not try to cheer them up with a hearty Merry Christmas. They suffer some bugaboo about that too. The best course is to avoid all serious discussion with them. Talk to them about the New Deal or the New Frontier. Remind them that Chelsea Clinton is almost old enough to run for president, and she has never been accused by an Independent Counsel of lying.