The conclusion is obvious. In a race where the Republican promised to be the decisive vote to kill the Democrats' health care bills, working class and minority voters did not rally to save them.
At the same time, voters farther up the income scale surged to the polls in larger-than-usual numbers to defeat Obamacare. Members of "the educated class" may trust government bureaucrats to allocate health care resources -- that's the way they talk -- and to utilize comparative effectiveness research to control physicians' decisions. Many of them are employed by governments or nonprofits and are used to navigating bureaucratic waters. After all, their prime asset in life is their ability to manipulate words.
But voters in middle-income suburbs -- some with many college graduates, some with only a few -- who mostly work in the private sector took a different view. They surged to the polls in far larger numbers than in off-year elections and cast most of their votes, often more than two-thirds, for Scott Brown.
Members of "the educated class" may have heard of Edmund Burke, but they take the very un-Burkean view that those with elite educations can readily rearrange society to comport with their pet abstract theories. These often secular Americans have a quasi-religious faith in government's ability to, in Barack Obama's words to Joe the Plumber, "spread the wealth around" and to recalibrate the energy sector to protect against climate dangers they are absolutely sure are impending.
Ordinary Americans, even in Massachusetts, may not have heard of Edmund Burke, but they share his skepticism that self-appointed experts can reengineer institutions in accordance with abstract theories.
Two generations ago they voted for the likes of Jimmy Burke to make occasional adjustments. Last week, they voted against the Democratic policies that would have appalled Edmund Burke. Barack Obama, of Morningside Heights, Cambridge and Hyde Park, still has the support of "the educated class" -- but not anybody else.
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