Thomas Sowell

 Election frauds are nothing new and neither are political frauds in general. The oldest fraud is the belief that the political left is the party of the poor and the downtrodden.

 The election results in California are only the latest evidence to give the lie to that belief. While the state as a whole went for Kerry, 55 percent versus 44 percent for Bush, the various counties ranged from 71 percent Bush to 83 percent Kerry. The most affluent counties were where Kerry had his strongest support.

 In Marin County, where the average home price is $750,000, 73 percent of the votes went for Kerry. In Alameda County, where Berkeley is located, it was 74 percent Kerry. San Francisco, with the highest rents of any major city in the country, gave 83 percent of its votes to Kerry.

 Out where ordinary people live, it was a different story. Thirty-six counties went for Bush versus 22 counties for Kerry, and usually by more balanced vote totals, though Bush went over 70 percent in less fashionable places like Lassen County and Modoc County. If you have never heard of them, there's a reason.

 It was much the same story on the votes for Proposition 66, which would have limited the "three strikes" law that puts career criminals away for life. Affluent voters living insulated lives in places well removed from high-crime neighborhoods have the luxury of worrying about whether we are not being nice enough to hoodlums, criminals and terrorists.

 They don't like the "three strikes" law and want it weakened. While most California voters opposed any weakening of that law, a majority of the voters in the affluent and heavily pro-Kerry counties mentioned wanted us to stop being so mean to criminals.

 This pattern is not confined to California and it is not new. There were limousine liberals before there were limousines. The same pattern applies when you go even further left on the political spectrum, to socialists and communists.

 The British Labor Party's leader in the heyday of its socialist zealotry was Clement Attlee, who grew up in a large home with servants -- and this was not the only home his family owned. Meanwhile, Margaret Thatcher's family ran a grocery store and lived upstairs over it.

 While the British Labor Party was affiliated with labor unions, it was the affluent and the intellectuals in the party who had the most left-wing ideologies and the most unrealistic policies. In the years leading up to World War II, the Labor Party was for disarmament while Hitler was arming Germany to the teeth across the Channel.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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