On the Off-Chance You Have Not Seen Stewart-v.-Kelly

Please watch it when you can. This is as powerful a demonstration of the limited role of "reason," and the much deeper role of first-hand personal experience, in shaping views on public issues as you will ever find. (And see The Atlantic Wire. Also, I see that the clip comes with a 30-second pre-roll ad, but it's worth it.)

This is also related to the theme of the ongoing discussion about Don Peck's "Can the Middle Class Be Saved?" article elsewhere on this site. Countless forces in American life -- residence patterns, increasingly stratified school systems and universities, the relative shortage of cross-class shared experience like the military draft as it functioned from the 1940s through the early 1960s, the differential effects of this recession in leaving some people almost permanently out of work and others doing better than ever -- have made it harder and harder for the "haves" in American society really to imagine, in a non-theoretical way, the daily realities of life and the essential humanity of the have-nots. In a little under five minutes, the video above shows why that separation is so important and damaging.