Well, free-market conservatives do. Google the phrase “Country club Republican” and what you will find, by and large, are right-wing types using it as a synonym for “RINO”: fake Republicans who are in it for the snobbery—not out of faith in the relentless, disruptive forces of capitalism.
These same conservatives are also the most likely to understand class conflict in the way “Caddyshack” does: as a rivalry between WASP old money and differently pedigreed new money. In fact, this is one of the themes of George Gilder’s 1981 book “Wealth and Poverty,” the manifesto of the “supply-side” revolution, and of countless wealth-celebrating books that followed. That’s why “Caddyshack” seems in retrospect like a piece of crypto-Reaganite social commentary. Rodney Dangerfield’s character, for example, is a clear symbol of the crude power of markets—proudly showing off one of his tasteless billboards and announcing that he only cares about the “snobatorium” country club because he wants to build condos there. The choice before the white, working-class caddy boils down to the Harvard-proud WASP snob and the earthy, joke-cracking businessman; the side he eventually chooses is the same one that millions of real-life blue-collar workers were also choosing in those confused days.
There is nothing “crypto” about Ramis’s 1984 hit, “Ghostbusters”: Its Reaganism is fully developed, as numerous critics have pointed out. Here the martinet is none other than a troublemaking EPA bureaucrat; the righteous, rule-breaking slobs are small businessmen—ghost-hunting businessmen, that is, who have launched themselves deliriously into the world of entrepreneurship. Eventually, after the buffoon from the EPA gets needlessly into the businessmen’s mix and blunders the world into catastrophe, the forces of order find they must outsource public safety itself to the hired ghost-guns because government can’t do the job on its own.
Both Reagan and his closest advisers were transfixed by the film, Sidney Blumenthal tells us; “Ghostbusters” fit nicely into their idea of an America guided by “fantasy and myth.” And while the film itself piled up its stupendous box-office returns in that summer of ‘84, Jack Abramoff and his College Republican pals got together a troupe of “Fritzbusters” to warm up the crowds at Republican events, mocking Democratic presidential candidate “Fritz” Mondale with an offensive take-off on the catchy “Ghostbusters” theme song. And why not? What Mondale was promising—yes, promising—was to raise taxes, balance the budget, get responsible, and close down the party. What a Niedermeyer.