Cal Thomas: Elites and their elitism
Summary: The definition of "elitist" helps focus the mind. Dictionary.com: "(of a person or class of persons) considered superior by others or by themselves, as in intellect, talent, power, wealth, or position in society." The "by themselves" part is what many Americans think of these elitists. Call it the Leona Helmsley attitude. The late New York hotelier once claimed, "We don't pay taxes; only the little people pay taxes." You can't get more elitist than that.
"They said you were high class, but that was just a lie." — Elvis Presley, "Hound Dog"
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain brought criticism on himself last week when he retweeted a post from Harvard economist Jason Furman. Furman claimed that rising inflation and nationwide supply chain issues that have delayed products from reaching store shelves is a "high-class problem." Klain's retweet was accompanied by two emoji hands pointing at the original tweet, so is it safe to say he agreed with Furman?
This is the kind of attitude that has turned off many Americans to Washington politics. Despite what they often say, politicians are mostly looking out for themselves, not average people, who constitute the majority. It is a major reason why Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 and still has a faithful and unquestioning following.
The definition of "elitist" helps focus the mind. Dictionary.com: "(of a person or class of persons) considered superior by others or by themselves, as in intellect, talent, power, wealth, or position in society." The "by themselves" part is what many Americans think of these elitists. Call it the Leona Helmsley attitude. The late New York hotelier once claimed, "We don't pay taxes; only the little people pay taxes." You can't get more elitist than that.
Washington elites at the highest levels ride in chauffeured limousines. They also get security to accompany them everywhere they wish to travel. They don't have to worry about finding a parking spot in garages where rates can be $40 or more, much less pay for them. They have staff fawning over them, meeting their every desire (some of which get them into trouble). All these perks are paid for by taxpayers. When members of the congressional elite retire, or on rare occasions are defeated, many get pensions and other retirement benefits subsidized by taxpayers.
Then we have the vaccine elitists, headed by President Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci. Do I need to explain this one?
Elitists are not limited to "the swamp." They are everywhere. Terry McAuliffe, the democratic candidate for governor in Virginia, said in a debate with his Republican opponent, Glenn Youngkin, "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach." Youngkin believes more parents should be involved in their children's education, especially on subjects such as critical race theory and transgender policies, with which many disagree. Elitists like McAuliffe apparently think parents should turn their kids over to the state education system and then mind their own business.
NBC News reported on a top administrator at the Southlake, Texas Independent School District who advised teachers to offer their students an "opposing" perspective about the Holocaust. And what might an opposing perspective be? That it never happened? That Jews had it coming? There are those kinds of opposing books.
East Lansing, Michigan, public school elitists have announced they are canceling observances of Halloween and Valentine's Day. In a letter reportedly sent to parents, officials said they were doing so out of concerns over hurt feelings and families that felt "uncomfortable" with the observances. What about families and children — likely a large majority — who feel quite comfortable with these observances and have become used to them over years past? Too bad for them. The elitists don't care.
The late author Tom Clancy may have said it best, though somewhat inelegantly:
"There are people in government who don't want other people to know what they know. It's just another example of elitism. And I spit on elitism. Show me an elitist, and I'll show you a loser."
Cal Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.