We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I suppose people would classify me as a member of the American "elite."
Like several of us Maggie's Farmers, WASP New England roots, prep school and double-Ivy-educated, fairly well-bred with a good pedigree, decent table manners when sober, a semi-entertaining but pedantic dinner companion, and in a supposedly-respectable profession. I am a member of blue blood clubs (and clubs that used to be), and I try to watch my grammar. I wear tweed jackets and a bow tie in order to emphasize my existence - and my adherence to tradition. I avoid a flashy life style, and buy my work clothes at good old, fashionless Brooks Brothers like my Dad and Grandpa. I am not wealthy, but relatively comfortable for now, with my kids through with college.
Yes, I am in some elite category, for better or worse. But not an elitist, I think.
In my life, since my arrogant youth, I have dedicated myself to learning new things every day. We isolated and insulated elites can learn a heck of a lot of wisdom, and a lot about life, from getting away from the elites. America has no class system. Wise and savvy people are found everywhere, in equal proportions. Fools, also.
Most people are like me, just another human: Part fool, part smart, part insane, and a teeny bit wise. The latter came from life, not school.
The regular American fellow with his boots on the American ground and struggling on the American soil knows more about life than any elites in Washington. The "problem" is that most regular American folks do not seek power over others - and thus do not seek political careers unless they are personally insecure or failures (there are rare exceptions).
Actually, Victor Davis Hanson has written several essays the "new elites" although I don't know that he has used that term. One of his running observations/complaints is that they want to control/lead/manage everything but due to their sheltered upbringing they have no actual understanding of how things work, or get done. They have no actual understanding of the real work and processes that enable them to live the lifestyle they do. Everything is just a concept.
BTW, Mr. Barrister, there is big difference between being an "elite" and being "elitist."
I share a lot of your background, but something happened to me. In the 70's, after I graduated from Stanford, I went to work for my father, who owned a small manufacturing company, and I got totally involved in the world of small business, where I stil reside. Most of my friends became "new elitist", but I was in a differnet world, and came to have a lot of contempt for them, and a lot of respect for real workers, other small busienss owners etc., and I moved steadily to the right, until I am a happy Tea Partier.
Most of the people I went to college with went to work for the government, universities, etc., and stayed buried in their little elitist cocoons, which are about to explode next Tuesday.
I was just lucky that my father owned the kind of business he did. It's been a pleasure to get to know real Americans.
Well said Mr Barrister and also Park Slope. I also have a high faluting education and work in a small family business.
I find that I have little time for and nothing in common with the elitists and professors that I come into contact with. For the most part they are the most ignorant, arrogant, self righteous, and rude people I know.
I have often said that some of the smartest people I come across are mechanics. They understand how things work, how to diagnose problems, and generally have a wonderful grasp of critical thinking. Solving vexing mechanical problems, I think, creates nimble minds.
I think, and hope, the common man has begun to realize that the elites are the media know nothings frauds, who have perpetrated a great hoax on the country.
The average man is very smart, and once his curiosity is peaked there is nothing he can't learn or understand. I think he has begun to be curious about government and politicians. They should be scared - very scared - that they have awoken a sleeping giant.
What they miscall "the elite" (our New Class) is actually a gentry, not an elite.
An elite has something to be arrogant (or, conversely, "noblesse oblige") about.
The so-called "elite" consists mostly of over-credentialed, under-educated, toffee-noses who admit others based mostly on having a desirable social profile, coming from the right schools, and parroting the right orthodoxies, not actual superior expertise or intelligence.
They themselves, in their heart of hearts, know they're not all that much smarter or erudite than the average Joe --- which is precisely why they so jealously guard their markers of "elite" status.
New Class Traitor