Disraeli said it 150 years ago. So there's no need for a do-over. Here's what he said, in Sybil or the Two Nations.
Two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are ignorant of each other's habits, thoughts and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by different breeding, are fed by different food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws ... THE RICH AND THE POOR.
In America there are Two Nations, between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy. Nor are they governed by the same laws. I mean the conservatives and the liberals. But there is one difference between Disraeli's England and our America. Liberals may be ignorant of conservative habits, but conservatives know a lot about liberals.
We know that liberals are more optimistic right now. Michael Barone writes that government workers are much more optimistic right now. Maybe that's because the stimulus bill has saved lots of government jobs, but not created many private sector jobs.
We know that liberals are less happy than conservatives. That's what Peter Schweizer tells us in Makers and Takers.
We know that government workers earn more than private-sector workers. Estimates range from 38 percent more to 45 percent more.
And then a chap like Thomas Frank can wonder in What's the Matter With Kansas? why ordinary working Americans are deserting the Democratic Party.
Democrats have been surprised that so many downscale voters oppose their big spending programs. Maybe many of those voters have noticed how much of that spending has gone to public-sector union members, leaving the rest of America with a less than happy new year.
It was always going to end like this. The heart and soul of the Democratic Party since at least the days of the first big city machines has been privilege. That was supposed to be a good thing when government was carving out privilege for the little guy.
For years the little guy believed the stories that Democrats told him. He turned his eyes away from the obvious truth that government is force and that the government that forced others to give to him would one day turn to force him to give to others.
Unsurprisingly, the Democratic privilege game has developed mission creep over the years. Now the notion of privilege extends to all those helping the little guy.
So we have a monster government health program that's supposed to help the little guy but instead creates lots of jobs for credentialed Democrats and makes health care to expensive for the little guy.
We have government education that makes education that is supposed to help the poor get a hand up but instead creates lots of jobs for credentialed Democrats and makes education too expensive for the little guy on his own.
We have welfare that creates lots of jobs for social-worker Democrats but destroys the working class culture of the little guy.
The heavens cry out for justice, and maybe in 2010 the American people will hear the cry, and learn the most important lesson. That people insisting that they want to help you just want to help themselves. Maybe they just want to help themselves to your money or your vote.
There are Two Americas. They are the Makers and the Takers, and, in 2010, most Americans know who they are.