Coates is writing about Rick Perry, that pathetic marionette, but what he says applies to liberals as well as conservatives - the same resentment, the same anxiety, the same longing for the good old days.
Beyond that, there's a question of privilege. It's simply true that white Christian men don't enjoy the kind of luxuries that their grandfathers did, particularly the luxury of knowing, outright, that there is some class of people that -- no matter what -- will always be under you. That must have given people some amount of psychological comfort. Whatever your fights, you knew that you and people like you, always had a place in America. Not so much anymore.
I think back to the great John C. Calhoun:
With us the two great divisions of society are not rich and poor, but white and black; and all the former, the poor as well as the rich, belong to the upper class, and are respected and treated as equals.
What you had, before, was a weird kind of socialism -- exclusive rights for a mass aristocracy. Better neighborhoods, better schools, better water fountains, better rest-rooms, better pools, better everything.
And now you don't. [ Ta-Nehisi Coates in the Atlantic]
(Via Delong )