These punching bag elites – WSJ

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Who are these elites that I keep hearing about? Is there a higher set that manages everything? “It’s time to hold America’s elites accountable for their abuses,” yelled former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel in the Atlantic of the 2019 college admissions scandal. Best line: “America’s middle class is Cinderella, and the nation’s elites are her evil stepsisters. “So ok.

So who are they – the “sophisticated, vaccinated crowd” at Obama’s birthday party that a New York Times reporter raved about? May be. “You know, I always hear ‘the elite, the elite’,” Donald Trump told a 2019 crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “I have a better education than them, I’m smarter than them, I went to the best schools, they didn’t. [I have a] much nicer house. Mirror Mirror. . .

America hasn’t had a kingship since the overthrow of King George III, but is there a secret cabal of wealthy and like-minded elites that controls everything? An American Illuminati? I keep looking. What I discovered is that the “elites” are mostly made-up groups that everyone uses as punch bags of envy for plaintive complaints.

A federal criminal record notes that many Oath Keepers, a right-wing group, believe that “the government has been co-opted by an elite cabal actively trying to deprive American citizens of their rights.” Hillary Clinton wanted to collect “taxes fairly, especially from the elites.”

Ancient Rome also had patricians and plebeians. Look what happened to them. Ditto for Florence grandiose, made famous by Machiavelli. The French stupidly channel the university elites into government. The Chinese Communist Party elites are now cracking down on their wealthy entrepreneurial elites. And the British still have sacred duchesses, lords, knights and ladies.

But we Americans? It is the land of meritocracy, for now anyway. Maybe we are just dreaming about our elites. Our politicians? Some are nice and even well-meaning, but elite? Barely. They just hope to be re-elected in the next cycle. The Ivy-League educated? OK, that’s even funnier. Sure, they’re a bunch of essays with overpriced degrees devalued by “holistic” admissions – but certainly more of our best and brightest.

Is there a Hollywood elite? I used to think that until a movie producer told me, “I’m hiring the latest meat puppet that’s hot. Oof, expectations have collapsed. Media elite? Have you seen the notes since Trump left? Social elite? It’s just the envy of high school. And the digital elite: Instagram and Twitter influencers‘s

blue check marks? About as big as a list in Marquis Who’s Who in America, which means not at all.

Maybe it’s the 1% and billionaire class? Most of the successful people I have met have made their fortunes on their own and worked hard to move forward, not through legacy credentials or limitless credit cards. Of course, if you venture into any Nobu or Daniel Boulud restaurant and watch the staggering diners at the corner table order their fourth bottle of Romanée-Conti Grand Cru 1995, you might think they’re part of the elite, but they are more likely the offspring of some tough guys. -entrepreneur or financier in activity, unaware that the 1990 is 10 times better. Pompous? Yes. Elite? No.

The wealthy love to attend black-tie self-congratulation events for opera, ballet, or charity that should be hampered by such effervescent excess. Dressed in tuxedos and jeweled dresses, most are self-doubting penguins or peacocks, waddling around trying to impress others, but especially themselves, with Audemars Piguet Royal Oak chronograph watches. or Harry Winston Round Brilliant Riviere diamond necklaces.

The real problem is that the rich donate money to causes, policy workshops, and think tanks that offer to solve the world’s problems in a way that you don’t know fits the dots. view of their donors. Unfortunately, these donations create a shadow government waiting for its party to come to power so that it can in turn rule the world. This is how the rich created what my colleague Gérard Baker calls the expert class. They will make the decisions for you: carbon production, cultural issues, exits from Afghanistan, even if you are racist or not. These people scare me the most.

Fortunately, it is the entrepreneurs, not the tanks full of elite thinkers, who rule our meritocracy. Despite all the takeover attempts by politicians, academics, and grumblers carrying vines and vines in country clubs, America is still a society that works hard to move forward. And for the most part, the voters are in control. Politicians are obsessed with poll numbers. Of course, voters can be manipulated, but never for long – the California governor’s recall election is proof of that.

Yes, there are successful Americans, but an elite? I do not think so. There are ordinary people that we put on pedestals so that we can tear them down. Every time I hear the word “elite” I think of a phrase from the 1983 film “Eddie and the Cruisers”. Vocalist Eddie Wilson says he wants to do something big, to which bassist Sal Amato says, “Why? We are not great. We’re just Jersey guys.

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