The real problem with what Obama said is that it’s basically untrue. In southwestern Pennsylvania, religion, hunting, and insularity predate the post-industrial era. They’ve have become politically manipulable points in part because of economic decline, but to confuse wedge issues with traditional values is the mark of the high-minded reformer or the political junkie, or both. It’s the kind of mistake one could make only from a great distance, once those voters had become almost entirely abstract—and, again, no one wants to be an abstraction.
This expresses it well. The Democratic mindset that people only hunt or go to church because they are poor is both astonishingly fatuous and rather nauseating. At heart it is a Marxist-style belief that the only thing that matters in the world is money and that everything follows from money. That belief is not unique to Marxists—it seems to be commonly held in Boca Raton and Marin County—but it is in reality puerile and anti-intellectual. Where such spiritually empty money-grubbing disguised as concern for the poor leads can be seen starkly in the case of America's Taliban.