March 22, 2005

"The Trustfunder Left"

Check out the hottest new demographic: the "Trustfunder Left" -- what Joe Malchow calls the "Rich, Fat, Elite Liberals." (Joe, I might be wrong here, but I'm gonna guess you have at least one thing and possibly more in common with the Rich Fat Elite Liberals.)

Malchow writes,

The rich, powerful, private school trustfunders aren't Republicans. It's almost funny to me, as I walk around Dartmouth. From so many angles, the Democrat Party isn't diverse. It is really the most homogenous, monolithic, establishmentarian political group currently extant.

I'd be interested to hear from exactly which angles the "Democrat Party" isn't diverse. 90 % of African Americans voted for Kerry, 10 % Bush. Kerry won the Hispanic vote 56 % to about 41 % [link]. But let's look more broadly at this constituency of trustfunders, or non-Republicans:

The demographer you can thank for this pseudo-scientific breakthrough is Michael Barone. According to him:

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, [Joel] Kotkin says, has the largest percentage of trustfunders of any major metro area in the country.

Seriously, I hate those places. Barone sounds like a real blast -- you can tell from the tone in the rest of the article he's not down with this scene. I haven't read his Almanac of American Politics 2006 but I hope it's a little more revealing about the methodology and statistics behind its "revelation" than his article is. In the latter, Barone just observes that San Francisco and Manhattan voted predominantly for Kerry, and that they have some of the most trustfunders per capita of any metro area. Any info on how many Republicans in Manhattan have trust funds? In the South? In the country? Or what percentage of the trustfunders in Manhattan, in the South, and in the country, voted Republican, vs. the rest of the population in each case?

So we know where to find these trustfunders. Why are they so bad?

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.

I'll ignore, even excuse, the McCarthyist rhetoric here. Wouldn't want to use those university classes to actually examine critically what is arguably the most important social force in the world, would we?

I'm sick of the Republican argument that people who are wealthy, i.e. have some power, can't be Democrats, while the Republican Party, the party of even more and bigger special interests, makes the Democratic Party look poor.

As for the composition of the Dartmouth trustfunders... Joe Malchow, I'll make a bet with you. Let's say the loser owes the winner 1/10 of his and his family's assests -- fair and fitting. (I have a feeling it would profit me to take you up on these odds in a game of coin flip, too.) We'll do a poll the best we can, and if the percentage of Dartmouth Republicans with trust funds is less than the percentage of Dartmouth Democrats with trust funds, you win, and I'll also go make sure hell freezes over.

Edit: Took out some of my needless invective, I got a little carried away, I admit.


  1. Anonymous12:43 AM

    Take it from someone living in San Francisco -- the trustfunder left is a fraud.

    By the by, what's up with all the anonymity? Man, ever since Atrios came out, I thought fretting for one's career was a thing of the past...

    --Brad Plumer

  2. Yeah, I've been thinking about getting rid of the pen names. We thought they were fun at first and envisioned this blog being kind of a social commentary, so we wanted to be able to make fun of people around us with impunity. But half of us have already blown our cover anyway. I'll talk it over with the other posters. I'm Chris Bateman, by the way.