One of the real wonders of modern conservatism -- as Thomas Frank explored in some depth in What's the Matter With Kansas -- is the way it manages to convince working- and middle-class people that looking out for the interests of America's wealthy, in lieu of their own, is really their most important political undertaking. Their chief method for doing this is propaganda that convinces large numbers of people, mostly through culture-war-type appeals, to vote against their own interests.
Glenn Beck put on a really perfect display of this Tuesday on his Fox News show, when he spent the first half telling his audience that the poor in America don't have it so bad because they have TVs and microwaves, compared to what folks looked like back during the Depression.
Then he came back with a segment extolling the virtues of Depression-era poverty, when people canned their own food and made their own clothes. Then he said:
Beck: We think of poverty now as not having enough money for cable or high-speed Internet.
So saith one of the country's richest men -- a guy who has never canned his own food or raised his own garden or even worked an honest day in his life. A guy who knows NOTHING about the conditions of Americans living in poverty today, let alone yesterday or any other day. But he sure can stand back and admire the character of people living in poverty from afar.
FWIW, here's a site, Poverty in America, dedicated to standing up for people living in poverty today. Their main concern today isn't getting cable TV -- it is, indeed, making sure there's food on the table for their children. Just like in the old days.
But Glenn Beck wants us to think there's some nobility in all this -- as in: "Get used to it, suckers! This is how you're gonna live now!" Sounds about right for a rich guy.