Donald Trump’s presidency has done a lot of things, but perhaps one of its most striking effects has been unmasking the contempt with which the elites view the rest of us.
By “elites,” I mean the group of people who, for decades, have rested comfortably in their Hollywood mansions, New York brownstones, and D.C. rowhouses, confident in their ability to control the media and cultural discourse, groom and anoint the “right” politicians, and occasionally tut-tut about the rubes in middle America, but who otherwise give little thought to the vast swaths of land and people outside of the wealth and privilege in their upper-class urban bubbles.
That is, as Barack Obama accidentally said aloud in 2008, the “others.” The ones that “cling” to their guns and religion.
But Trump’s election has upended the system, fracturing and to some extent, toppling, the idea of a ruling class. He was swept into office by a populist coalition of working-class Republicans and blue-collar Democrats who, in large part, felt demeaned, taken advantage of, or just completely forgotten by the ruling class in their political parties.
Aghast that their plans have gone so awry, the elites have spent the better part of the last four years either completely melting down or trying desperately to force the country back into the mold of their choosing.
Dripping With Contempt
The Democrats’ impeachment efforts have become a case study in the latter, as bureaucrat after mid-level bureaucrat traipses before Congress to puff, preen, and demand that a popularly elected president be removed from office for the high crime and misdemeanor of failing to heed their policy advice.
Occasionally the mask of righteous indignation slips and their utter contempt, kept at a simmer, boils over. You can see it as they roll their eyes at having their assertions questioned, engage in petulant sniping over titles, and angrily dismiss the inquiries of elected members of Congress as “Fox News questions.”
These impeachment efforts have brought into focus how sincerely the unelected bureaucracy believes that they run this country—and worse, that they are entitled to do so. And how dare you, or your elected representative think otherwise.
But rather than be chastened by the 2016 election, or engaging in any form of self-reflection, the elites have learned nothing. And this week, in particular, was a clear demonstration.
It began predictably enough, with self-identified foreign policy expert Ian Bremmer bemoaning how President Trump was mocked at the NATO summit, after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was caught on a hot mic making fun of Trump to French President Emmanuel Macron.
Trump apparently raised the ire of Trudeau by spending too much time talking to the press, which made Trudeau late for cocktail hour. “He’s two-faced,” Trump replied, when asked about Trudeau’s comments.
He is, indeed, and one of them happens to be black-face—a fact that apparently neither Bremmer nor anyone thinks matters because Trudeau has all the “right” opinions about Trump.
Macron, for his part, is facing massive riots in France as the working class rebels against the urban elite agenda which includes a massive gas tax because people can just “take public transport” . . . or something. The rural French (that is, the rest of the country outside of Paris), whose only method of transport anywhere is a car, are understandably at odds.
Also in the group of Trump mockers was Princess Anne, sister of Prince Andrew, who recently has been removed from public appearances by the Queen for his alleged dalliances with underage prostitutes, fetched for him by the recently deceased serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Ah, but yes, the person who deserves mockery here is the “uncouth” U.S. president. Not the black-face wearing Canadian prime minister, the French president rapidly losing his political legitimacy, or any of the international elites who looked the other way while Epstein preyed on young girls for decades. But sure, Ian Bremmer, it’s definitely Trump who is the problem.
A Clown Show Nobody Is Watching
We were then treated to yet another impeachment hearing, this time in the House Judiciary Committee. House Democrats apparently thought the best way to convince the country that this impeachment isn’t completely partisan and one-sided was to march in three left-leaning law professors, one of whom has been publishing articles pushing impeachment since 2017; one who had previously stated she couldn’t stand to be on the same side of the street as Trump’s hotel; and one who had helped Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) run an anti-Brett Kavanaugh smear operation in 2018.
No wonder support for impeachment is dropping among independents. Even if they don’t particularly like the president, being finger-wagged at by a bunch of bureaucrats and ivory tower liberals is unlikely to compel anyone. More like repulse them.
Finally, there was former Vice President Joe Biden beclowning himself in Iowa after being confronted by a voter who raised concerns about his son Hunter’s tenure on the board of a notoriously corrupt Ukrainian gas company at the same time that his father was directing $3 billion in aid to the country.
Instead of addressing the issue, Biden fat-shamed the voter, called him a damn liar, and then bizarrely challenged him to a push up contest. Because who needs voters in Iowa, anyway? Why should their opinions be treated with any respect? No wonder Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants to ditch the Electoral College—the one institution that requires candidates to care about voters in Iowa, not just voters in big states like New York and California.
They’re Not Going Quietly
But if we really want to end on a high and hopeful note that maybe the elites are finally “getting it” after all, look no further than this tweet from Time magazine contributor and former Obama administration staffer, Chris Jolly. “I say this with total sincerity,” he said. “Nancy Pelosi reminds me of Jesus.”
Actually, scratch that. The elites have learned nothing. The epic tenfold ratio that Jolly received on the now-deleted tweet—even on a notoriously liberal platform like Twitter—is just more proof of how wildly removed they are from the rest of the country. And how lacking in self-awareness they are about it.
Yes, when it comes down to it, Trump’s tenure has put a giant crack in the foundations of the media studios, silver screens, and private clubs that thought they were running this place. As amusing as it is to watch them flail so publicly, it should also concern us. By and large, an elitist group still manages the cultural megaphones and most of the political offices. And they aren’t going quietly, even as the institutions they have overseen for decades rot from the inside.
More and more, the 2020 election is shaping up to be a referendum on who will rule. The people who cast their votes from all around the country? Or the self-appointed demigods who are nothing if not appalled by anything resembling the popular will.