Monday, March 21, 2005


Michael Barone, author of "Big Dickhead's Almanack," claims to have spotted a new political trend.

Examining the political map of America, as I am obliged to do as I write the chapters of "The Almanac of American Politics 2006," reveals a previously unidentified segment of the American electorate, one which has been growing for some years now but has reached a critical mass and become a major force in one of our two great political parties: the trustfunder left.

A major force, you say?

Who are the trustfunders? People with enough money not to have to work for a living, or not to have to work very hard. People who can live more or less wherever they want. The "nomadic affluent," as demographic analyst Joel Kotkin calls them.

So you're talking about people who have trust funds, then?

These people tend to be very liberal politically. Aware that they have done nothing to earn their money, they feel a certain sense of guilt. At the elite private or public high schools they attend, and even more at their colleges and universities, they are propagandized about the evils of capitalism and globalization, and the virtues of environmentalism and pacifism. Patriotism is equated with Hiterlism.

Tell us more, Michael. How many people in this country live in nomadic affluence from the proceeds of a trust? And what percentage of those folks are guilty leftists?

Their loyalties, as Samuel Huntington explains in "Who Are We?," are not national, but transnational -- they are citizens of the world with contempt for those who feel chills up their spines when they hear "The Star Spangled Banner." They are taught to have contempt for the economic contribution they make to their country as investors and to feel guilty if they make no other contribution. Their penance is that they must vote left.

Yes, yes. They hate America. We get it. Now give us some facts about these people and the political power they wield.

Where can you find trustfunders? Not scattered randomly around the country, but heavily concentrated in certain areas. Places with kicky restaurants, places tolerant of alternative lifestyles, places with lots of art galleries and organic food stores and Starbucks competitors. The heaviest concentration is in the San Francisco Bay area, which, Kotkin says, has the largest percentage of trustfunders of any major metro area in the country.

Okay, you know where they live. So then you must know how many of them there are. Give us some facts, man.

The Bay area stands out in stark relief on the political map. It voted 70 percent to 29 percent for John Kerry in 2004, up from the 64 percent to 30 percent margin it cast for Al Gore in 2000. Without the Bay area's 1.15 million-vote margin for Kerry, California would have come within 82,000 votes of voting for George W. Bush.

So how many of those Bay Area voters are trustfunders? All of them? Two of them? Spit it out!

Trustfunders stand out even more vividly when you look at the political map of the Rocky Mountain states. In Idaho and Wyoming, each state's wealthiest county was also the only county to vote for John Kerry: Blaine County, Idaho (Sun Valley), where Kerry stayed at his wife's imported Cotswold farmhouse on his much photographed skiing and snowboarding vacation, and Teton County, Wyo. (Jackson Hole), where Dick Cheney has a house and where Bill Clinton took a pre-election holiday after his pollster Dick Morris reported that a trip to the mountains focus-grouped better than Martha's Vineyard.
You have no idea how many there are, do you, Barone? You're just talking out of your ass. Admit it.

Speaking of Martha's Vineyard, it voted 73 percent for Kerry, and nearby Nantucket, where Kerry's wife has another house, voted 63 percent for him -- indeed, Nantucket was one of only three of the nation's 100 fastest-growing counties that did not vote for George W. Bush. Massachusetts Catholics gave their fellow Massachusetts Catholic Kerry only 51 percent of their votes, but he won 77 percent in Boston, 85 percent in Cambridge, and 69 percent and 73 percent in trustfunder-heavy Hampshire and Berkshire Counties in the western mountains.
You worthless git. You don't know how many trust fund beneficiaries there are in this country and you don't know how they voted.

Where Democrats had a good year in 2004 they owed much to trustfunders. In Colorado, they captured a Senate and a House seat and both houses of the legislature. Their political base in that state is increasingly not the oppressed proletariat of Denver, but the trustfunder-heavy counties that contain Aspen (68 percent for Kerry), Telluride (72 percent) and Boulder (66 percent).
So people who live off the interest of inherited wealth are not only the base of the Democratic party in Colorado, they control the outcome of that state's elections? Tell me, Mike, how many trustfunders are there in Pitkin, San Miguel and Boulder Counties, and how did they vote? And how did those who earned their wealth vote?

You can see the trustfunders' imprint as well in New York. In 56 of the state's 62 counties, the Republican popular vote margin increased or the Democratic margin fell between 2000 and 2004. Five of the six counties that moved away from George W. Bush are trustfunder havens: New York (Manhattan), Ulster (Woodstock), Columbia (trendy Hudson River country), Otsego (Cooperstown) and Tompkins (Cornell University).

Now you're saying that the number of Democratic votes increased because the number of trust fund beneficiaries increased in those counties in the last four years? Do you have any fucking idea what you're talking about?

The political map shows the trustfunders' impact. So, I suspect, would an analysis of the sources of the vast amounts of money that flowed in through the Internet first to Howard Dean and then to John Kerry and to outfits like

I suspect that an analysis of Michael Barone's hard drive would reveal numerous files containing nude photos of Cal Thomas and John Leo. And I've got just as much evidence for my suspicion as does Barone.

The good news for Democrats is that they have found a new source of votes and money. The bad news is that an important part of their core constituency has the characteristic that the British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin ascribed to the press, "power without responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages."

Now that's just moronic.

I'll admit that Barone knows more about the intersection of inherited wealth and Democratic politics than I do, since I didn't marry into a family of wealthy San Francisco Democrats. And Barone certainly knows about not working very hard, as this column proves. But being a freeloader and an intellectual lightweight doesn't make Barone on expert on those topics.

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