Since 1976, the proportion of Americans voting in presidential elections who are working-class whites has dropped from 70 percent to 44 percent. Contrary to media analyses, though, this group’s place on the cultural stage is being yielded not so much to gloriously vibrant minorities but to college-educated whites, who now compose 29 percent of the electorate but populate and rule virtually every media and entertainment institution from the level of the city desk reporter to the heads of the major movie studios. When mentioned at all in the arts and in the papers, the white working-class plurality is treated with bemused curiosity or outright scorn. Even the voting power of this still potent group has been written off by what Joseph Schumpeter prophetically called “the new class” of bureaucrats and intellectuals: The bienpensants have concluded that blue-collar whites are...


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