2022 is a Contest of The Kitchen Tablet vs. The Kitchen Table
What matters more to most Americans?
At The Spectator, I write on the 2022 midterm election should be best understood as The Kitchen Tablet vs. The Kitchen Table.
It’s useful to think of this election as a contrast between how, in the simplest understanding, people see the world from two very different perspectives. It’s simple, but it’s important.
There was a line on the edge of my memory the other day from a certain victorious congressional candidate:
Carry the word throughout this district, the word we said was true: that we do stand for the people who push a grocery cart and worry about the grocery prices, that we do stand for the people who care about this country and their children’s future. That every American, no matter how young, no matter how old, whether male or female, black, white, yellow, every American has a right to a voice in Washington, and that that voice is appropriately in the Constitution, in the House of Representatives.
That was from a 35-year-old Newt Gingrich in 1978, and my thanks to Steve Kornacki’s podcast for reminding me of it.
The grocery cart thing is back in America in a big way. But if that’s not all that important to you, it’s because other things take precedent.
Think about it as the difference between the people who go to the kitchen table with their screens still in hand, and the people who turn them off.
There are a lot of people today who don’t have kitchen tables anymore, at least as they exist in the popular imagination — where normal, hardworking moms and dads pore over bills and sweat the rent and figure out the next day’s schedule in the same place where they feed the kids.
For those who keep the screens on and the tablets open morning, noon, and night, things are different. Eating a meal while on your phone, refreshing constantly, carries all the ups and downs of social media into the space where workaday concerns once ruled. Everywhere you go, the same people are gaining access to your mind, continuing a fervent, unending, woke conversation where climate change and pronouns and threats to democracy are constant.
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