Who Are the "Elites" Anyway?
More condescension from the New York Times
Are we the baddies? Mitchell & Webb Nazis - YouTube
A recent column (subscription required) by the New York Times’ faux conservative, David Brooks, titled “What if We’re the Bad Guys Here?” has garnered criticism from both the left and right. The left doesn’t like it because it suggests that maybe they are “the baddies.” Some on the right have criticized it for a variety of reasons. This author has a somewhat different take on it. Brooks does offer some criticism of the progressives’ policies and world view, but in doing so he unintentionally reveals the mind-set that is at the core of the problem. And he does not answer the question posed by his title, because his conclusion is that he and the other self-styled “elites” are not the baddies. The baddies remain Trump and those who support him. It is, in Brooks’ view, up to the “earnest, kind and public-spirited” people in his “class” of supposed “elites” to deter the lower classes from voting for “Trumpism.” (Words in italics here are those of Brooks in his article.)
Brooks begins by noting that Trump seems to be getting stronger with each indictment. What could possibly be the cause? Could it be the common perception that we are living under a two-tiered justice system, one standard for the “elites” and another one for unfortunates who espouse the wrong political views? Could it be that the indictments are widely perceived as political hit jobs and that this perception is fueled by similar hit jobs on politically disfavored people whose views run counter to those of the Biden administration? Could it possibly be that millions of Americans believe that the federal justice system is administered by a corrupt attorney general who refuses to legitimately investigate and prosecute Joe Biden’s family and friends?
No, Brooks considers none of those as possible causes. He does ask his readers to consider another “story” – “That we anti-Trumpers are not the eternal good guys. In fact, we’re the bad guys.”
He follows that question with examples of policies and inequities implemented by his class of “elites” that cause people “in less-educated classes [to] conclude that they are under economic, political, cultural and moral assault – and that’s why they’ve rallied around Trump as their best warrior against the educated class.
That rhetorical question and answer, however, are a false front. Like a false front of saloons and storefronts on a Western movie set, when you go behind it you see that it is not real.
The reality behind Brooks’ false front is that he and his class do not think they are the baddies. As he says, “the people in my class” are not “vicious and evil.” Rather, most are “earnest, kind and public-spirited.” So, rest easy progs, David Brooks and the New York Times are not really calling you the baddies. No, as all good progressives know, it is Trump who is (in Brooks’ words) the real “monster.”
Even as he pretends to decry it, Brooks unintentionally reveals his approval of the “ethos” that inform the policies of the
left progressives totalitarians. He repeatedly refers to the “elites” and to his “class” of people. In doing so, Brooks unintentionally reveals his biases.
For example, he equates the “meritocracy” and the “super elites” with an Ivy League (plus a few others1) education. With no sense of irony or self-awareness, he notes that most of the writers for the “beloved” New York Times are graduates of the “most elite universities in the nation.”
Why is a skilled architect from, say, Ohio State, who creates unique designs for buildings or houses, not “elite” or part of the Times’ meritocracy? Brooks does not explain. But we know from his description of the elite that a man who obtained a degree in, say, agricultural science from a midwestern state university could not possibly aspire to be part of the Brooks’ class or the meritocracy. Sorry, George Washington Carver, you don’t qualify. Or what about a master carpenter who never even began college anywhere. Could he not be part of Brooks’ class or the meritocracy? For those of you who think not, think again.
Or consider an officer or NCO in the Army’s Special Forces who is responsible for life and death decisions for hundreds of people with whom they interact daily. They deal daily with complex conflicts and situations that may simultaneously involve Russia, Iran, Iraq, the Kurds, the Turks, ISIS, Syria, and others. Are they not part of the “elite” because they did not go to Yale or Brown? Brooks presumes that such people are neither “elite” nor a member of the “meritocracy.”
For that matter it is revealing that Brooks defines the “super-elite” universities as the Ivy League, plus Stanford, Duke, M.I.T., and University of Chicago. So, he dismisses, to take just one example, all the service academies. To examine just one accepted measure of elite schools, West Point ranks 4th in the nation in the number of Rhodes Scholars (102) behind only Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford (barely, 104 - 102). And it has more than twice as many as “super-elite” Duke (47), and four times as many as the Ivy League’s Penn (24). But the graduates of West Point and the other service academies do not “segregate [themselves] into a few booming metro areas: San Francisco, D.C., Austin and so on” as do the members of what Brooks calls “my class.” Upon graduation they disperse across the globe in the service of the nation, often in circumstances of extreme stress and danger. No meritocracy for them.
It should be added that this author is a West Point graduate, and the point of this comparison is not to contend that one school is better or worse than another or to instigate other rivalries. They serve different purposes. The point is Brooks’ parochial mindset and unthinking characterization of the Ivys + 4 as the “super-elite” illustrates the progressive/leftist mind-set: Graduates of the small number of “elite” schools are the members of “our class” – the “highly educated” class – while everyone else is lumped in as the “less educated.”
Finally, Brooks concludes by hauling down his false flag and showing his true colors in his penultimate paragraph:
Are Trump supporters right that the indictments are just a political witch hunt? Of course not. As a card-carrying member of my class, I still basically trust the legal system and the neutral arbiters of justice. Trump is a monster in the way we’ve all been saying for years and deserves to go to prison.
Nota bene the “Of course not.” In other words, “How could you be so stupid as to possibly think so?” The “Of course not” is intended to tell us that there is no possible legitimate dispute over whether the Trump indictments are a “political witch hunt.” If you disagree, you must be stupid or at least “less educated.” With all the disclosures on that subject, Brooks’ suggestion that it is outside the boundaries of rational discourse even to consider the mere possibility that the prosecution of Trump is a political witch hunt, reveals Brooks’ bias and blindness.
So, when you look behind Brooks’ false front, effectively he is arguing, “No, the members of our class are not the bad guys. Au contraire, we are earnest, kind and public-spirited. But because Trump is a monster, we elites must wake up because we are causing the less-educated classes to vote for him and we need to change that.”
This member of the “less-educated class” disagrees. The real monsters are those self-styled “elites” who prey upon our children, who have promoted and facilitated the invasion of our country across our southern border and then lied about it, who converted us virtually overnight to an energy-dependent country, who ran roughshod over our Constitutional rights to lock us in our homes, close our schools, deprive families of their final days with their aged parents while destroying businesses, livelihoods and lives, who are Balkanizing our country and are actively promoting racial strife and division, who have destroyed our faith in our government and key institutions, who have corrupted our educational system with Marxism, and who installed a corruptocrat in the White House who has brought us to the brink of war with Russia.
They are the baddies.
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Duke, Stanford, M.I.T. and University of Chicago