Why liberals don’t do better

Sam Smith – Joe Biden’s plan to ease college student loans would be quite a different story if he had also passed along a similar advantage to middle and low income non college students. But liberals don’t do that much these days. It’s one reason they’re not doing better. And because they’re not doing better, Donald Trump is. In fact, one exit poll in 2020 found Trump getting a 43% approval rating from those earning under $50,000 and those earning under $100,000.

This isn’t the way liberals have always been. For example, I’m the son of a liberal who served in the FDR administration. He initially was an associate counsel of the National Recovery Administration. When the NRA was declared unconstitutional, he switched to the Securities & Exchange Commission where he ran the investigation of investment trusts that led to the Investment Company Act of 1940. And many of the NRA’s provisions evolved into separate laws. He had a law degree and had gone to Oxford College.

When I turned a teenager and we moved to Philadelphia, I took part in my first political campaign – one that ended 69 years of GOP rule in the city. The leader of of this street based, noisy campaign – and winning for mayor – was a man who had gone to Yale and to the Yale Law School.

In other words I was introduced to politics by guys still able to relate to people having less than their wealth and education. That doesn’t happen much these days unless you’re a successful liar like Donald Trump.

In fact, with the end of the Great Society, really effective liberalism faded dramatically. People like Obama, Clinton and Carter would have been known as moderates back when real liberalism was still alive.

One of the reasons for this change is that education for our collective role in society has deteriorated in favor of individual achievement. Liberals have become far better educated and earners but less effective at, or desirous of, helping others. In other words, while liberals feel morally superior, they don’t do well acting the part.