Date: September 13th, 2014 2:49 AM
Author: umbc (acp)
After story: http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/social-liberalism-as-class-warfare/
I'm not sure where Ross encounters "elites"; but he needs to branch out more. If you go into a wealthy neighborhood anywhere in the US--either coast, or in the middle--you will find many conservatives living the elite life too.
The big dividing line is education and the work that comes with it, and the "lifestyle" and culture that ensue. In affluent neighborhoods of my town, organic produce is purchased by liberals and conservatives; nobody is eating at McDonalds every night. These people (lefties and righties) believe infants should be read to and that academic achievement matters, no matter how much they disparage professors. And they believe this will make kids more employable and resilient, and mostly this has worked for them. Since they're pursuing education, marriage is delayed (yes, even in Bible Belt elite communities).
But go a few counties over, and it's a very different story and a different culture. If your kids are too bookish, socially that's bad. Since the parents don't read so well themselves, nobody pushes that. Since nothing is going to happen after high school, why wait? What is there to wait for? The loss of jobs has devastated the prospects of these young people. Nobody has steady work, and nobody looks like marriage material.
And if you're local "elite"--small town lawyer or doctor--you try to keep your kids from being infected by the low horizons of their classmates. Given the anti-intellectual climate you live in, you too plan to leave town ASAP.