THEY are the descendants of Jacksonian America. Once they were the heroes of the American democratic my thology. Walt Whitman catalogued them. Carl Sandburg cel ebrated them. "The people will live on," he wrote — mean ing the workers, the "common man" in a slightly nostalgic sense, the people nowadays referred to as the lower middle class. The traditional American values and ambitions sus tained them. Today, those virtues seem to many to be mocked and perverted. The white lower middle class feels dan gerously ignored, as outdated as Norman Rockwell's folksy icons....

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