There’s an important Angelo Codevilla essay in Forbes: As Country Club Republicans Link Up With The Democratic Ruling Class, Millions Of Voters Are Orphaned. Not sure if I agree of his analysis of the Republican Party, which is obviously the main point of the essay, but I do agree with his analysis of the Liberal-Ivy Establishment, or really half-establishment, since it rules in open defiance of and contempt towards nearly half of the nation:
“…The Republican Party never fully adapted itself to the fact that modern big government is an interest group in and of itself, inherently at odds with the rest of society…”
“…It is impossible to overstate the importance of American education’s centralization, intellectual homogenization and partisanship in the formation of the ruling class’ leadership. Many have noted the increasing stratification of American society and that, unlike in decades past, entry into its top levels now depends largely on graduation from elite universities. As Charles Murray has noted, their graduates tend to marry one another, perpetuating what they like to call a “meritocracy.” But this is rule not by the meritorious, rather by the merely credentialed – because the credentials are suspect. As Ron Unz has shown, nowadays entry into the ivied gateways to power is by co-option, not merit. Moreover, the amount of study required at these universities leaves their products with more pretense than knowledge or skill.” [links available to the Unz and Murray stuff in the original]
And I must add, the kind of study.
“Thus by the turn of the twenty first century America had a bona fide ruling class that transcends government and sees itself at once as distinct from the rest of society – and as the only element thereof that may act on its behalf. It rules – to use New York Times columnist David Brooks’ characterization of Barack Obama – ‘as a visitor from a morally superior civilization.’ The civilization of the ruling class does not concede that those who resist it have any moral or intellectual right, and only reluctantly any civil right, to do so. Resistance is illegitimate because it can come only from low motives. President Obama’s statement that Republican legislators – and hence the people who elect them – don’t care whether ‘seniors have decent health care…children have enough to eat’ is typical.”
Typical, but let us remind ourselves, sickening. Morally bankrupt. Infected with a spirit productive of civil war.
And most shocking, perhaps, we get this on a near daily basis without any substantial push-back from moderates. The many decently moderate Democrats you meet…nice people, but truth is, especially about the older and more educated ones, they are grossly abdicating their duty to their party’s and their nation’s future health.
I cannot repeat that point enough.
One thing I would say to them, if per chance any of them read this, is that Codevilla’s characterization of an elite liberal ruling class, which feels slightly but significantly off for characterizing the social physiognomy of the whole nation, nearly entirely rings true with what I’ve seen in academia. And it is now quite obviously the truth about the legacy media, aka the MSM.
I won’t go here into Codevilla’s characterizations of a “country class,” excluded both from the liberal-ivy elite and the ever-diminishing but still-tenacious Republican “country-club” club, but you’ll get the basic idea from this:
“The common, unifying element of the several country class’ sectors is the ruling class’ insistence, founded on force rather than reason, that their concerns are illegitimate, that they are illegitimate. The ruling class demonizes the country class piece by piece. Piece by piece it cannot defend itself, much less can it set the country on a course of domestic and international peace, freedom and solvency. None of the country class’ politically active elements can, by themselves, hope to achieve any of their goals because they can be sure that the entire ruling class’ resources will be focused on them whenever circumstances seem propitious. In 2012 for example, the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms seemed politically safe. Then, one disaster brought seemingly endless resources from every corner of the ruling class to bear on its defenders. The rest of the country class’ politically active elements stood by, sympathetically, but without a vehicle for helping. Each of these elements should have learned that none can hope for indulgence from any part of the ruling class. They can look only to others who are under attack as they themselves are.”
So pro-lifers, Porchers, real liberal educators, etc., don’t mock the NRA even as you seek to engage everyone in civil discussions about gun control that tend to arrive at conclusions against the current frenzy of proposals, support it! Don’t do the usual “I agree with 90% of what Rush Limbaugh says, but…” schtick! I actually think it’s more than a schtick, but Codevilla has a point, even if it is not the most important one from the essay anyhow. So let’s give him the last word here:
“Yet the country class, to defend itself, to cut down the forest of subsidies and privileges that choke America, to curb the arrogance of modern government, cannot shy away from offending the ruling class’ intellectual and moral pretenses. Events themselves show how dysfunctional the ruling class is.”
Well, not quite the last word. The silver lining about dysfunctionality is that it brings with it a great deal of ineffectiveness—consider the recent and very thorough Weekly Standard piece on Eric Holder, for example. Awful ideologue with horrible agenda, but he can’t get much of it enacted.