Elitism’s ubiquitous. Some think that the problem with elitist is not their existence, but their influence. They obscure their agenda with faux self righteousness and moral authority, which they know is indispensable to their cover. We’ve all watched the “cable darlings” from MSNBC, CNN, and NBC, who collectively look down their nose in scorn at anyone who dares to disagree with them. Most notably, President Trump. He wasn’t in the same league socially as they. And they knew it. Most troubling to them, was that he didn’t.
Webster defines elitist, “One who is an adherent of elitism; one whose attitudes and beliefs are biased in favor of a socially elite class of people.” What does CNN’s Jeff Zucker, George Soros, and Alexandria Cortez have in common? Ineradicable sense of indispensability. This culture can’t do without them. Like the New York Times and Washington Post, elitist ruled the roost of journalism. They were undaunted and unchallenged for decades. Now they face competition from myriad of podcast and blogs that go viral, and deign to question those elitist with a different slant and narrative on politics, religion, culture and the economy.
Our Founding fathers were in an elite class, most of whom, in Madison’s words, had the “wisdom to discern and the virtue to pursue common good.” That didn’t make them elitist in their conduct or comportment and regard for citizens outcomes. They were lawyers, merchants, landowners, soldiers and clergy leading us when we declared independence from Great Britain’s tyranny, and drafted the U.S. Constitution, or served in the new government. Most Americans then were painfully aware of the abuses of monarchy and aristocracy that were determined to avoid the evils of those systems, and thus suspect of any proposals that might perpetuate them under republican forms. Without balance in government, they understood there can be no true law; and without law, no liberty.
One may recall, much of the opposition to the proposed U.S. Constitution was grounded in those sentiments. Trusting in a new form of government of our nation’s soon-to-be “supremes law of the land” was measured and thoughtful, but troubling to the average observer. Our Founders were not elitist in the sense that they understood and agreed that certain classes of men would likely dominate, as Alexander Hamilton observed. Conservative thinkers like Sir Edmund Burke influenced Founders to reject the onslaught of French elitist, like Condorcet’s intoxicated trust in man’s natural benevolence and perfectibility of human character. It was counter-intuitive to Providences’ divine revelation, for end the purposes for mankind.
Today, many deplore the ubiquity of more lawyers, though John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Henry Clay, Daniel Weber, and Lincoln, were all lawyers. They did however, believe in checks and balances to counteract the ever present threat of corruption, and wrote laws that strengthened that threat, which includes capital punishment for treason and murder. They were men of immense faith, not moral and political relativists, who understood the capability of human accomplishment, but knew well the depths of human depravity that is ever present in the bosom of fallen men.
Equivocating on virtue and vice was a sure elixir for losing our liberties and our character as a people. John Adams referred to “virtuous liberty” as the only guard rail of our Republic. Contrast that to today’s elitist couldn’t be more stark, with assaults on individual liberty, family, religious faith, Patriotism, our Second Amendment, and growing doctrinaire mandates on our individual ability to determine our own heath choices, with contempt from elitist, rouge medical “experts” like Dr. Fauci, and the CDC, who play Russian roulette with our lives, using COVID-19 as their cover for tyranny, masquerading as “concern for our fellow citizens.”
In academe it’s true that degrees from Yale or Harvard open more doors than a degree from Boise State or Liberty University generally. UCLA’s 88 game winning streak, under coach John Wooden’s dynasty of college hoops by dominating the NCAA championship ten times in twelve years, is unprecedented. Their reign at the time was unchallenged. However, for those who knew him intimately, “Coach” was no elitist. At one time Notre Dame football was the elite program in the NCAA gridiron dynasty from 1943 to 1949. It appears the Crimson Tide’s the elite program now.
On the scholastic side of higher education, now, the most intriguing question of those formerly hallowed halls of learning, is “What’s behind those doors?” Many students return home from those elitist bastions, morally, spiritually and financially bankrupt, handcuffed to student loans for decades. Is it worth it? Those demanding halls of ivy, have gone from puritan Harvard to pagan Harvard, and formerly staunch Catholic Notre Dame University, turned modernist, covers-up classical paintings of Christoper Columbus to avoid public embarrassment. Dartmouth was a frontier school in 1769, found by a congregational minister to educate Native Americans. Elite institutions turned elitist have two predicable casualties-atrophy of individual liberty and narrowing of the mind.
Some readers deplore what secular elitism has done to the former glory of those founding institutions. Yale was founded after Harvard jettisoned its’ historical theological moorings. Princeton was founded after Yale followed suit. Many Jesuit universities are hollow shells of their former glory, with low theological expectations and an exorbitantly high price tags. Former Drug Czar and Secretary of Education, Bill Bennett noted that as early as 1986, Stanford University, under pressure by a vocal group of dissent students, demanded the administration abolish freshman course called “Western Civilization.”
This marked the end of the Western tradition in favor of trendy course on feminism, race and gender studies, and dead end degrees, without debate. Stanford dropped Homer, Dante, Sir Thomas More, and humanities like a bad habit. Progressive, aristocratic elitist administrations, are convinced, of course, they know best. Identical twins of power and control are conspicuously in charge. Elitist are quite content to leave the lamb to the custody of the wolf, to reach its end.
Elitism isn’t confined to politics. It’s in nearly every nook and cranny of society-from the Pentagon to primary school. The 2019 scandal of Hollywood elitist and billionaires scamming university admission systems, with bribes to well-connected higher education low-lifes, to ensure their offspring gets into the not-so-hallowed halls of university life, confirms that there’s a vestige of “aristocratic elitist” who are convinced that established rules don’t apply to them. The shocker isn’t that it happened, but those engaged in this swindle were stupid enough to lie to the IRS about it.
Tinsel Town celebs believe their children have a “right” to be in the best schools. If they can’t get them in the front door, they go through the back door, using illegal bribes, or photo cropping of their non-athletic kid as a stellar performer in a sport they never participated. The playing field is definitely unequal, and the economic divide grows, as institutions continue to hike their grotesquely high tuition.
Legitimate hierarchies exist of power, knowledge, income and wealth, for those with legitimate wealth and substantial means, who wield an arch of influence, permitting different choices than middle income America. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who attends meetings in tee shirts and flops, except when he’s lying to Congress, though filthy rich, dresses unlike financial tycoons of yesteryear, is an an elitist tech giant. A consummate ruler of social media and cultural domination. What about Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, owner of the Washington Post? What could stop him? His ex-wife, who clipped him for half of his vast fortune.
Have you watched Orson Wells’s classic 1941, film, “Citizen Kane,” with publisher magnate elite William Randolph Hearst, as fodder for his main character? Newspapers, filthy lucre and politics appear to be a potent elixir for fostering elitism. In Wyoming and nationwide, unelected city, county and state health officials, true to their elitist mindset, invade and bully individual health decisions when unchallenged. It’s medical tyranny. Elitist morons, like MSNBC’s Harvard trained Joy Reid, shame the non-Vaxed as a greater existential threat to America than the Taliban. She might prefer to gas us.
One needn’t be a wealthy “one percenter” to be a inveterate elitist snob. It’s a state of mind: one who deliberately ignore rules and principles; operating above any law; looking down one’s nose at others from a lofty, erudite balcony, and appear wholly indispensable. C.S. Lewis artfully described the range and reach of elitism, in one of his classics, “The master demon Screwtape identifies elitist humanity’s tendency toward an ingrained habit of belittling anything that concerns the great mass of their fellow man.” Tocqueville warned that the public detests artificial aristocracy and elitism, “However great its merits.” What’s the odious stench of elitism? Never for a millisecond have they ever considered they could be wrong. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org