Earlier this month, the left-wing magazine The Nation highlighted Joe Therrien as a symbol of the
Mr. Therrien joined Occupy Wall Street, constructing giant puppets and "figuring out how to make theater that's going to help open people up to this new cultural consciousness. It's what I'm driven to do right now."
I think I speak for everyone when I say: Good luck with that.
One other thing: He may not realize it, but Joe the Puppeteer may be for
Thomas Edsall writes in the
After decades of trying, the white working class is now "an unattainable cohort," according to Mr. Edsall and a slew of Democratic strategists.
The most common explanation for this failure is a self-serving and mossy tale about a racial backlash. The most recent version holds that the "tea parties," which are about as white as the Occupy Wall Street movement, amount to a bigoted reaction to a black president. Never mind that the leading
In a less charged environment, the differences between Messrs. Obama and Cain would be seen as a continuation of the great philosophical rivalry between W.E.B. Du Bois and
Today's Democratic Party has an ingrained cultural aversion to the Booker T. Washington school. Liberal elites see themselves as a multiracial talented tenth, planning the economy and guiding society. In power, they lavish support on fashionable but unproductive sectors of the economy, such as green-energy boondoggles, and they buy off big constituencies invested in ever larger government such as public-sector unions, the "helping professions" and even too-big-too-fail businesses.
Their arguments sound economic and empirical, but ultimately they're cultural in nature. The upscale white professionals the Democrats are courting disproportionately share a cultural affinity for government and faith that statist interventions are for your own good. They also believe government needs to help people succeed -- or escape -- the rat race of the private sector. (Remember
That might be a compelling message to the white left represented at Occupy protests. The question is whether it sounds condescending or aloof to the rest of the Democratic coalition that wouldn't mind being "job-locked" right now.