If present tenancies continue as they are showing every sign of doing I would say they will have to. Traditionally, middle class professionals have been protected by a quasi-religious belief that as long one gets good grades and plays by the rules one can own a “home” and live comfortable life spared the degrading burden of engaging seriously in politics.
But it is not clear this groundless faith can withstand the onslaught of reality the Oracles tell us are in store. The middle class professional evicted following foreclosure provides the most salient illustration at present. Of course the reality of the foreclosure crisis is that, like Hurricane Katrina, the majority of victims and those who are suffering the most are poor ethnic minorities. But it is the middle class homeowners favored by the liberal media who perhaps represent the most significant political evolution.
But it doesn’t end with the foreclosure crisis. The financial burden of the economic bailout as well as the costs of Obama’s proposed healthcare “reform” will be borne primarily by the middle class. The result of the relative impoverishment of the middle class, following a period of denial more than likely, will pretty certainly be political reaction in one form or another. That the middle class may be forced to become politically engaged is of course welcome. The form it takes may not be.
However, since professionals are well-educated and usually liberal there is, I think, a reasonable chance they will engage in collaborative activism rather than crude bigotry. Our responsibility on the left is to encourage these new potential recruits to work toward something constructive rather than pursue a vendetta against a scape goat.