home  |  book  |   RSS  |  contact  |
  Road to the Middle Class
Saturday December 20, 2014 
by Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter









1930s analysis

UK spending

US bailout

US gov debt

US budget

US revenue

US spending

sisters, sisters


















Obama Playing in Sandbox with the Base

AT the gym today I was accosted by a liberal faculty wife. She was eager for her faculty husband at the University of Washington to retire, so I asked her: "Does an earl give up his earldom?" A bit naughty of me, I admit.

And then she told me how excited she was about Obama's Cuba action and all the other things he's been doing lately.

Yum! I thought. I'm right! He's doing all this to keep the base excited.

So I told her that the president was going down the liberal laundry list. The question was whether he'd destroy the Democratic Party as an electoral force.

There's a reason why nobody else has tried this, I told her. They were afraid of the political consequences. They stayed away from Cuba not because they were timid politicians.  They did it because of Rule #1 in politics. Don't poke a stick in the eye of the opposition.

Conservatives have been confused by President Obama. We don't know whether he is a shallow fool, a shallow faculty lounge moralizer, or a shallow community organizer. His combative stance towards conservatives and Republicans has frankly put us off our balance. Because we are all Americans, right?

Honestly, I don't know Barack Obama is. I do pay attention to the guys that say: don't forget that young Barack Obama was abandoned twice. Once by his father, who went back to Kenya, and once by his mother who sent him back from Indonesia to Oahu to grow up with his grandparents. One can only begin to imagine the rage that smolders in this twice-betrayed man.

But I think we need to stop worrying about whether Barack Obama is a fool or a Marxist automaton. Let's just look at the results. The results after six years of Obama is that we have the most Republican Congress since 1929.

Yeah, think about that for a minute.

The reason that the Republicans fell from grace 75 years ago was the Great Depression. In 1929, according to usmidtermelections.com, the House was 270 Rep and 164 Dem; the Senate was 56 Rep and 39 Dem. For four long years under Herbert Hoover things got worse and by 1937 the House was 88 Rep and 334 Dem; the Senate was 16 Rep and 76 Dem.  Wipeout!

Obama started out in 2009 with the House at 178 Rep and 257 Dem and the Senate at 41 Rep and 59 Dem+Ind. In January the House will be 247 Rep and 186 Dem; the Senate will be 54 Rep and 46 Dem+Ind. Obama is the best thing for Republicans since Bill Clinton won the 1992 election as a moderate and then sicced liberal HillaryCare on us.

Nobody can predict the future, but I have a feeling that the presidency of Barack Obama will echo down the next couple of decades, if not quite with the resonance of Herbert Hoover, at least with the sour whine of Jimmy Carter.

If you want to know why the Democrats are in trouble, the man I turn to is Irving Kristol.

Kristol argued that if you want to help the poor you need to deal in the middle class. Thus to help the aged poor you need to pass Social Security and Medicare and deal in the middle class. Social Security and Medicare passed because in 1935 the average person didn't have a pension and in 1965 the average senior didn't have health insurance.

The problem with Obamacare is that the middle class already has health insurance and is fairly content with its health care. You couldn't deal in the middle class with Hillarycare or Obamacare because the middle class already had their deal. Now you know why President Obama ran around telling everyone that if they liked their doctor they could keep their doctor. Now you know why he told the middle class that their premiums would go down by $2,500 per year.  Now you know why he needed Jonathan Gruber to figure out how to game the system at the CBO. He had to lie to the middle class and pretend that Obamacare would make us all better off.

So yeah. President Obama is making liberal faculty wives really happy. He is working on their issues and they love him, they really love him.

But the rest of America is getting screwed. Low interest rates are screwing the passbook savings crowd. Green energy is screwing the car commuter and the suburban middle class. Amnesty is screwing the low-skilled and the low-paid.

How could the Democrats be so blind, you ask? How could they be screwing the white working class and the black working class and turning a blind eye to the millions of illegal immigrants working in construction and the pay for low-to-medium skilled workers goes down and down?

I will tell you why. It is because today's liberal ruling class are the children of the children of the people that created the liberal ruling class back in the Progressive Era over a century ago. They really don't know what they are doing. They are like the bratty rich kids that take over Dad's business and run it into the ground. Because they don't know any better.

I'd like to think that the Cruzes and the Rubios and the Pauls do know better. But the truth is that we don't know. The only way to find out is to give them the keys to the kingdom.

Once upon a time the American people upped and gave the keys of the kingdom to a man the ruling class said was a dangerous extremist. Or he was an amiable dunce. They couldn't quite decide which witch was which.

You know his name. His name was Ronald Reagan. The great talent of Ronald Reagan was that he enthused the base without turning off the moderates in the middle. And he played up the idea that he was a harmless lightweight to encourage the Democratic base in their notion that he was a fool.

Go ahead, President Obama. Charm the liberal ladies. Play Liberal Issues with your base in the liberal sandbox. The rest of us have work to do. We love this country and we can't bear what you are doing to it.

perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/19/14 1:09 pm ET

Georg Simmel: Faithfulness and Gratitude

FAITHFULNESS, writes Georg Simmel in The Sociology of Georg Simmel translated and edited by Kurt H. Wolff, is the glue that binds society together. Not self-interest, coercion, duty, or love could keep society together without an intermixture of faithfulness. And yet you can never tell the effect of faithfulness because "its practical effect always consists in replacing some other feeling." But...

 click for more

perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/18/14 11:48 am ET

Georg Simmel: The Secret Society

SECRECY is part of every personal and group relationship, but in some relationships the secret "may characterize a group in its totality". We are talking here about "secret societies." In normal circumstances a secret promotes "isolation, contrast, and egoistic individualization." This applies also to the secret society, but in addition the "secret determines the reciprocal relations" among the ...

 click for more

perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/17/14 3:13 pm ET

Suppose the Democratic Party was the Real Rich Peoples' Party?

ONE of the hardest chestnuts to fall from the tree is the meme that Republicans are the Party of the Rich. Everybody knows it. The college kid knows it; the big company employee knows it. And everybody knows that insurance companies make huge profits out of the health care system. Democrats have been saying this for years and years, and everyone believes them. And greedy bankers caused the ...

 click for more

perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/16/14 10:31 am ET

|  December blogs  |  November blogs  |


Download latest e-book draft here.


A New Manifesto
A spectre is haunting the liberal elite—the spectre of conservatism.


The Crisis of the Administrative State
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Government and the Technology of Power
If you scratch a social reformer, you will likely discover a plan for more government.

Business, Slavery, and Trust
Business is all about trust and relationship.

Humanity's Big Problem: Freebooters and Freeloaders
The modern welfare state encourages freeloaders.

The Bonds of Faith
No society known to anthropology or history lacked religion.

A Critique of Social Mechanics
The problem with human society reduced to system.

The Paradox of Individualism
Is individualism the gospel of selfishness or something else?

From Multitude to Civil Society
The larger the government, the smaller the society.

The Answer is Civil Society
In between the separated powers.

The Greater Separation of Powers
If you want to limit power then you must limit power.

Conservatism Three by Three
Conservatism, political, economics, and cultural.

The Culture of Involvement
Imagining lives without the welfare state

The Poor Without the Welfare State
Can the poor thrive without the welfare state?

The Middle Class Without The Welfare State
How would the middle class live without all those middle-class entitlements?

From Freeloaders to Free Givers
The path to the future lies through moral movements.

The Real Meaning of Society
Broadening the horizon of cooperation in the “last best hope of man on earth.”

conservative manifesto



AAM Book of the Day

Hunt, Morton, The Story of Psychology

AAM Books on Education

Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education

Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system

James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor

James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls

E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in

AAM Books on Law

Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century

F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law

Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract

John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present

AAM Books on Mutual Aid

James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.

David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century

David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state

Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again

David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland

AAM Books on Religion

David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China

Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation

Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state

David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world


'No' Is a Woman's Most Powerful Word
Megan McArdle points out that the only way to be a responsible individual is it be a responsible individual.

Have Democrats Failed the White Working Class?
Yes. Next question.

Federal Spending in the States, 2004 to 2013
Federal spending by state from Pew Charitable Trusts

Political Bias Of Each Profession
charts that show where each profession sits on partisan spectrum

Why Amnesty Activists Will Never Stop Heckling Obama
See here's the problem with the executive order game. You can't hide behind Congress and tell the activists: go persuade Congress if you want change.

> archive


cruel . corrupt . wasteful
unjust . deluded



After a year of President Obama most Americans understand that the nation is on the wrong track. But how do we find the right track? Americans knew thirty years ago that liberalism was a busted flush. Yet Reaganism and Bushism seemed to be less than the best answer.

But where can we turn? Where are the thinkers and activists of the old days? Where do we find the best ideas? And how do we persuade our present ruling class to loosen its grip on power so that we can move the locomotive of state back onto the right track?

With all of our problems it seems like the worst of times.

In fact, this is the best of times. Under the radar a generation of great thinkers have been figuring out what went wrong and conjuring up visions of a better future. This book, "An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism" is an introduction to their ideas, and to the great future that awaits an America willing to respond to their call.

Although this book is addressed to all Americans, conservative, moderate, and liberal, and looks to a nation that transcends our present partisan divide, I must tell you that liberals will have the most difficulty with the book. The reason is simple. I am asking liberals to give up a lot of the power they have amassed in the last century. But we are all Americans, and we must all give up something for the sake of the greater good.


I am Christopher Chantrill and I am writing this book in full view. I'll be blogging on the process and the ideas, and I'll be asking you, dear readers, to help. Read the blog. Read the articles as they come out on American Thinker and ponder over the draft chapters here on this site.

Then send me your reactions, your thoughts, and your comments. You will help more than you know.


Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.

Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust

What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican

Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State

Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self

US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


©2014 Christopher Chantrill

mysql close 0