Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Western Elites Dominated By Filthy-Rich Moral Degenerates

bostonglobe |  While most of us were ignoring the long anti-elite crusade that began as a cynical attempt to paint opposing politicians as arrogant East Coast dilettantes, it morphed into a far more dangerous jihad against expertise at any level of government. To put it in Gilligan’s Island terms, they have taken the Professor and repackaged him as Thurston Howell III.

That helps explain Trump’s response to Vladimir Putin’s expulsion this summer of hundreds of American diplomats and embassy staff from Russia. Bizarrely, the American president thanked the Russian dictator, saying these professionals aren’t needed anyway and the expulsion will save the United States money. (Wrong on both counts. Career foreign-service officers are entitled by law to reassignment.) Yet somehow Trump faced absolutely no blowback from a Republican Party that historically viewed Russia as America’s most dangerous foe. Maybe the diplomats don’t like cheeseburgers.

Of course, the establishment elites are not blameless. Over the years, many of them made confident predictions, about everything from free trade agreements to Middle East strategy, that turned out to be disastrously wrong. After all, it wasn’t just Trump who brilliantly tapped into anti-elite sentiment in the 2016 campaign and turned it into electoral success. So did Bernie Sanders, a septuagenarian socialist who managed to win 23 primaries and caucuses and 13.2 million votes. 

Still, we have reached a dangerous point when an administration whose party controls the White House, both houses of Congress, and two-thirds of the state legislatures can scapegoat thousands of highly experienced government scientists, diplomats, and intelligence specialists, tossing them all into a basket of deplored elites.

It’s time to wage a new war in defense of expertise in government. And if it’s too late to prevent the word elite from being used as a weapon, it’s time to embrace it and redefine it as something good.