I have often asked myself, and heard it asked by others, why so many wealthy people support liberal causes (this is the flip side of the usual election-year frustration of the liberals with the working classes’ clinging to their guns and religion). In this presidential election, as in 2008, the Democratic Party, who claim with less and less credibility to be the champions of the poor, have far more money to spend than the Republican Party, who are said to be the party of the greedy upper classes; how could this be?

The simple answer is this: Wealthy liberals blatantly use social liberalism and big-government regulation to protect their relative position in society. Big-government regulation and taxation thwarts the economic mobility of those trying to move up, allowing the elites to remain elite, while still seeming pious for all their apparent efforts to help the little people.

Note that their idea of political action deals always with outcomes, never with principles: They see the federal government as a charitable organization, or a tool which they can use to reshape society — I’m not impugning motives; this is what they openly profess. Conservatives have an ideal government in mind, one that sticks to the principles of the Founders; liberals have an ideal society in mind, and they will tinker with the government until it creates one.