In his book The Theory of the Leisure Class, Thorstein Veblen explained that there were two classes, the class that did actual productive work, and the class that didn't. The class that didn't do any real work was always considered the more prestigious class. The non-working high prestige classes have usually included the leaders and the priests. In India, the highest class, the Brahmins, are the priest class. It's actually rather an anomaly that priests (and that includes Protestant ministers and Rabbis) don't have the prestige that they once did.
The traditional class struggle involved the workers against the capitalists. The leftists supported the workers, the people who did the real work. The other class in the Marxist scheme was the non-working capitalist class, who profited merely from owning the means of production.
Leftism has evolved since those days, and the modern left no longer idolizes the working class. The left now idolizes the non-working leisure class, and the left-right struggle has now come down to whether you support one of the two types of leisure classes. There is the intelligentsia/creative/artist class supported by the left, which includes college professors, artists, writers, television people, and the like. And there's the traditional capitalist class. Both of these classes have in common that they don't have to do disgusting things like shovel coal in order to earn a living. The modern leftist would now look down upon the coal worker for eating disgusting food like McDonalds and having vulgar tastes in entertainment like watching NASCAR. It serves him right for not going to college (unless, of course, the coal worker is black, in which case the white racist society prevented him from going to college).
Somewhere in between are people like computer programmers. They are doing real work that produces value, so they are not part of the leisure class, but they are way better off than the people shoveling coal for a living. They tend to vote Republican.
(Special thanks to commenter fwood1 for pointing me in this direction.)