Rich, beautiful, coastal types are liberal precisely because their lives are so wonderful. They want to preserve their lives exactly as they are. If I were a rich movie star, I’d vote for peace and poverty relief. War and domestic insurrection are the greatest threats to their already-perfect lives?why mess with it? This rational fear of the peasantry is frequently misinterpreted as rich guilt, but that’s not the case. They just want to pay off all the have-nots to keep them from storming their manors and impaling them on stakes.
Republican elites don’t set off the spite glands in the same way, and it’s not only because of a sinister right-wing propaganda machine. Take a look at a photo of the late billionaire Sam Walton, a dried-out Calvinist in a baseball cap and business suit, and you’ll see why. If Republican billionaires enjoy their wealth, they sure as hell hide it well. As far as one can tell, Republican billionaires genuinely like working 18-hour days in offices. Their idea of having fun is a day on the golf green (a game as slow and frustrating as a day in the office) or attending conferences with other sleazy, cheerless Calvinist billionaires. If that’s what all their wealth got them, let ’em have it?so says the spite bloc. —Mark Ames
—Spite! It Wins Votes! (NY Press)
Another of the “doesn’t quite fit into one camp or the other” essays that I find interesting reading these days. (Starts with some salty language.)