Staying Regular

You should definitely read this post from Ta-Nehisi Coates. It’s a reminder that part of what drives the conservative meta-narrative about “authentic” working class conservatives versus liberal elites is the belief that black people — a bit over ten percent of the population, and usually closer to twenty percent of the voting base for a Democratic presidential candidate — just basically don’t exist. They’re invisible people. Likewise, Hispanics. And, indeed, white people don’t count either if they’re too poor:

Some of the numbers: Non-college whites in our latest poll split 50-41 percent for McCain over Obama. Advantage McCain. But whites with annual household incomes under $50,000 split by 49-40 percent for Obama. Advantage Obama.

But somehow this is all “inauthentic.” The only way to be a “regular person” is to (a) have white skin, (b) not descend from Spanish-speaking people, (c) not go to college, (d) not be poor, and (e) avoid living in a big city. Nevermind that a large majority of the American public falls into one of the Five Forbidden Categories of Irregularity.