Thomas Frank is editor of The Baffler magazine and author of One Market Under God and The Conquest of Cool. His essay in this issue is based on the afterword to the paperback edition of his most recent book, What’s the Matter with Kansas? , which will be published in May. (May 2005)

What’s the Matter with Liberals?

For more than thirty-five years, American politics has followed a populist pattern as predictable as a Punch and Judy show and as conducive to enlightened statesmanship as the cycles of a noisy washing machine. The antagonists of this familiar melodrama are instantly recognizable: the average American, humble, long-suffering, working hard, …