with its apparent concentration on thernproblems of others (minorities, the poor,rngays, even criminals), convinced ForgottenrnMajority voters that government wasrnmore part of this values-experience disjuncturernthan its solution. The direct residtrnis the sour and skeptical attitude towardrngovernment we still see today.”rnThis “sour and skeptical” view of governmentrnis very close to, if not identical with,rnthe distinctive MAR view of governmentrnas being on the side of the rich and poorrnagainst the middle class, and it is the basisrnof the swing of the white middle-classrntoward Republican and right-wing populistrncandidates since the early 1970’s.rnFeixeira and Rogers, however, questionrnwhether this right-leaning inclinationrnstill exists, hi their view, the rightwingrninterlude is now coming to a close,rnand there is an opportunit}’ for the Democratsrnto reclaim the Forgotten Majorit}’rnb’ redirectinggoernment in its interests,rnwhile abandoning support for race-basedrnintegration and affirmative action (theyrnpropose class-based versions) and mutingrnthe more offensive expressions of counterculturalrnliberalism. They are not thernfirst to make such recommendations;rnwhat is new, ho\e’er, is their argumentrnthat the white middle class is now readyrnto turn at least moderately left—that thern”pragmatic conservatism” that has characterizedrnthe Forgotten Majorit}’ in thernpast “has softened considerably” (pollingrndata are said to sho\ that Middle Americansrnnow favor more federal spending onrneducation and health care and are lessrn”intolerant” than before on such issues asrnabortion, honrosexuality, and race), andrnthat clever Democratic political architectsrncan construct a coalition using “univcrsalist,rntransracial issues” to mobilizernForgotten Majority whites, as well asrnblacks and Hispanics.rnRogers’ and Tcixeira’s argument forrnthe political mellowing of the ForgottenrnMajorit) is somewhat tendentious, relyingrnon both their subjective interpretationsrnof Majoritarian “values” as reportedrnin polls and the lack of interest these votersrndisplayed in recent Republican proposalsrnsuch as the Contract for America,rnor the politically driven moralism thatrnRepublicans affected during the MonicarnLewinsky scandal. Nevertheless, theyrnmay well have a point; If the rightist socialrnand cultural proclivities of MiddlernAmericans are not constantly fostered byrnpolitical leadership, they are likely eitherrnto wither or be converted into left-wingrnradicalism. With the triumpii, in the lastrntwo decades, of a milkish neoconservatismrnover the more militant populistrnconservatism that began to flourish in thern1970’s, there has been little, if any, reinforcementrnof Middle American radicalismrnon the right. The culturally conservativernviews of white Middle Americansrnmay be decaying simplv because nornprominent Republican leader, and virtuallyrnno major conservative journalist orrncultural leader today, voices views suchrnas those routinely expressed in the 1960’srnand 70’s by Wallace, Nixon, Spiro Agnew,rnReagan, and others, hi recent years,rnPat Buchanan and (to some extent) RushrnLimbaugh have been the only major figuresrnto reinforce such views.rnThe anti-establishment rightism ofrnMARs and their alienation from the establishmentrnleft was based less on anyrnfirm philosophical grasp of, or commitmentrnto, conservatism of any characterrnthan on three other factors. First, MiddlernAmericans are far more exposed and vulnerablernto the dangerous consequencesrnof big government and the social engineeringrnpromoted by liberalism than arerneconomic elites. (MARs are the onesrnwho have to walk the streets that the leftrnrefuses to police, whose social and moralrnvalues elicit only snickers and sneersrnfrom the establishment media, andrnwhose jobs are the first to be shipped offrnto Mexico and Thailand by the globalistrnpolicies fiu’ored by both wings of the establishment.)rnSecond, Middle Americansrnare less assimilated into the dominantrnalue-system of the left, mainlyrnbecause they are not so likely as more upwardlyrnmobile people to attend collegernand are less open to the ideological contentrnof the garbage that pours out of FIollywood,rntelcN’ision, major publishers, andrnthe news media. FinalU’, Middle Americansrnare less vulnerable to most of thernpunitive measures the ruling class uses tornenforce ideological and political orthodoxy:rnA corporate executive, a journalist,rna college professor, a lawyer, or a doctor isrnfar more likely to be harmed professionallyrnand socially by being publicly denouncedrnas politically incorrect than arnplumber or construction worker wouldrnbe. Hence, political dissidence from thernright is more likely to flourish amongrnblue-collar. Middle American occupationsrnthan in the professional classes.rnSome of these conditions, however,rnmay no longer apply. Tcixeira andrnRogers emphasize that Forgotten Majorifyrnmembers are typically better educatedrnthan the blue-collar workers of the olderrnMiddle America, and that the increasingrntotalization of ruling-class cultural disciplinesrnmay mean that Middle Americansrnare now much more assimilated into,rnand controlled by, tiie dominant systemrnthan they used to be; as a result, MiddlernAmerican Radicalism is dying or dead. Ifrnthat is the case, then the right—whetherrnpaleo or neo, populist or establishmentisrnin trouble, and it may be possible forrnthe left to mobilize Nhddle Americans tornpreserve its hegemonic power, thus acceleratingrnits political agenda in a way itrnhas been unable to do since the time ofrnthe Great Societ)’.rnBy the end of their book, Teixeira andrnRogers are openly pushing for that outcomernand advising the Democratic Part’rnhow to accomplish it. Wdiat thev want isrnlittie more than the elaboration of thernmanagerial state through national healthrninsurance, national control of education,rnand a national retirement policy, and thernfurther entanglement of Middle Americansrnwithin that state. They do concedernthat Republicans also could make use ofrnthe Forgotten Majorit}’, but only if theyrndiscard the “ideological anti-governmentrnstance” and the “intolerant social conser-rnatism” that they believe characterizesrnthe part}’ toda}-, and that has driven thernpart}”s major electoral victories since thern60’s;rnWhat v’ill not help either parh’, howerner, is an effort to rely on, and to increaserntheir share of black and fiispanicrnotcrs to make up for the white male votersrnboth Democrats and Republicansrnhave neglected. Teixeira and Rogers insistrnthat neither black nor Hispanic votersrnturn out in sufficient numbers to conipen.rnsate for the Democrats’ loss of vhiternvoters, and only b}- the ear 2020 will Hispanicsrnconstitute 15 to 20 percent of thernvoting age population, which “might increasernthe Hispanic proportion of the votingrnelectorate to about 8 percent.” Republicanrnefforts to w in more black votersrn”would, in all likelihood, be wasted,” becausernof deep-seated black hostilit to thernRepublican Part}- and loyalt}’ to the Democrats,rnwhile the potential for Hispanicrnsupport for the Republicans “will remainrnsmall” on the national level: Pro-immigrationrnconsenaties who have demandedrnthat the GOP abandon immigrationrncontrol for fear of alienating the Hispanicrnvote need a new argument.rnAlthough Teixeira and Rogers may berncorrect that the white middle-class ‘oterrnhas become more socially liberal than hernwas in George Wallace’s day, it’s doubt-rnOCTOBER 2000/29rnrnrn