The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, November 06, 2017

The Elites

The elites in politics, the media, entertainment, academia, and increasingly, even sports are doing what they always seem to do: Tell us that their breeding, background, and experience give them a unique ability to dictate how the rest of us (the people who Kurt Schlichter calls, "the normals") conduct our lives. They tell us how important top down governance is, what we can and can't say, how we should perceive the world, what freedoms are good and which are verboten, and on and on.

There's only one problem: When you look at the accomplishments of the elites over the past decade, the results aren't pretty. In politics, there are few accomplishments that benefit us normals. In the media, we see a landscape littered with bias and increasingly populated by fake news. In entertainment, we've now encountered a bleak moral landscape in which predators rule and some of the "victims" are at least a little complicit in the predation. In academia, there is far greater emphasis on political correctness than on free speech or the search for "the truth." And in sports, there is a tendency to skew toward "social justice" rather than playing a game.

Glen Reynolds comments:
I’ve been watching a lot of institutions fail, lately, from Hollywood, to the news media, to the NFL and ESPN, to political parties and academia, and I see a common factor. The problem is that whatever job its members are supposed to be doing at the moment, our ruling class cares more about what the rest of the ruling class thinks about it, than about the job it’s supposed to be doing. The result, quite often, is a debacle ...

The current hip term for this behavior is “virtue signaling” — the effort to demonstrate to one’s peer groups that one holds all the right views and positions. But of course, all humans virtue signal to a degree. What makes it worse today is that our ruling class is such a monoculture. In the words of Angelo Codevilla:

“Today’s ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters — speaking the ‘in’ language — serves as a badge of identity."

And it’s an intensely tribal group, one with great fear of ostracism. A century ago, America had different, overlapping ruling classes with different values: Corporate moguls seldom sought the approval of press barons who seldom cared what academics thought about them and vice versa. Now they’re all cut from the same cloth, which makes this phenomenon much more pronounced, and much more dangerous.
The Trump phenomenon is nothing if it isn't big-time pushback against the elites. The normals used Donald Trump as their way of saying that the elites have failed. And the elites near unanimous hatred (that is the right word) of Trump isn't because he's a "racist" (he isn't) or a xenophobe (hardly) or a Russian stooge (laughable), but rather because Trump represents a rejection of the elites' monopoly on "leadership." They're threatened and have reacted viciously. After all, no one, particularly our ruling class, likes to lose power.

Conservative firebrand, Kurt Schlichter, discusses progressives when he writes:
It’s important to understand why liberals are so angry and so scared. They are angry because they believe they have a moral right to command us, apparently bestowed by Gaia or #Science or having gone to Yale, and we are irredeemably deplorable for not submitting to their benevolent dictatorship.

They are scared because they fear we will wage the same kind of campaign of petty (and not so petty) oppression, intimidation, and bullying that they intended to wage upon us.

And their fear tastes like sunshine puked up by a unicorn.
In reality, Schlichter's comments apply equally to conservative elites. In every case, the 2016 election was a repudiation of their perceived "moral right to command us." They can't get past that repudiation and don't have the true intelligence required to try to understand the real failures (on their part) that caused it to happen.