The elites have many stunning “achievements” to their credit. One that really amazes me is the extent to which they have convinced ordinary people—workers, laborors, government workers and the like—that the neo-liberals represent them against the elites. They constantly criticize the elites, especially the elites in the media, academia, and “the east.”
One of the neo-liberal politicians in the U.S. dwho was most adept at this approach was Newt Gingrich. Just like he could persuade socially conservative voters that too him marriage was a sacred institution on which all of society was based, even though Newt was married 3 times and divorced twice, under morally dubious circumstances.
Gingrich clearly had the abilty to say, with a straight face that black was white and white was black. This was dialectics that the most fervid Marxist would be impressed with.
As a result he could say—convincingly say—that he was a staunch of opponent of those elites from down east. After declaring victory in the South Carolina primary in 2012, he announced that he was separate and apart from the “elites in Washington and New York.” “Those elites,” he declared, have no understanding, no care, no concern, no reliabilituy” and are trying to “force us to quit being American.” What an astonishing statement for him to make.
Such statements are not really that unusual. Especially in the United States such derogatory remarks are common. Richard Nixon often painted himself as an opponent of that same “Eastern establishment” even though he had been a New York lawyer. At least he always had a resentful chip on his shoulder. So did his Vice President, Spiro Agnew who attacked the media elites as the “nattering nabobs of negativity.”
Of course the most astonishing case was Donald Trump. He said he would drain the swamp of Wall Street barons on behalf of working people. After getting elected he decided instead to pick cabinet minsters and advisors from those Wall Streeters. He picked the wealthiest cabinet in the history of the U.S. Is that draining the swamp?
This has also often happened in Canada. We are hardly immune to political hypocricy. Stephen Harper in Canada made similar remarks about “Professor” Michael Ignatieff. Similar attacks were made by the Conservatives against the former Liberal leader, another evil high brow academic, Stephan Dion. After all these people might read books!
Yet it takes a lot of overly ripe gaul for someone like Newt Gingrich to play the role of an anti-elitist. After all he served 10 terms in Congress while rising to its highest position, Speaker of the House where he was 2 heart beats away from the presidency. He was not just near the top of eastern power. He was there. The elite of the elites!
As if that was not enough he receieved a $4.5 million dollar advance for a proposed book which he was compelled to refuse after a political storm that resulted in an ethical investigation of the transaction. Added to that, he wrote numerous books for which he was very well paid. His income always exceeded 1 million each year mainly from books and speaking engagements. If only the common man could do so well in America!
Moreover, Gingrich earned his fortune by giving “strategic advice” to businesses who wanted to learn how to influence government to work in their favor. In that capacity he earned $1.6 million from Freddie Mac, one of of the quasi-governmental companies that was an important force in the financial melt-down of 2008. Of course, Gingrich did not suffer from that financial collapse. The elites don’t suffer. Suffering is for the peasants.
According to federal tax data in the US the average household income of the top one per cent in 2008 was $1.2 million. So Gingrich would fit in. Romeny of course would be in the upper echelons of that. In either case these two political leaders are a very long way indeed from the common man that they claim to represent against those awful elites.
Even though he characterizes himself as an outsider attacking those arrogant elites he also commony brags about how he helped Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton create jobs. How can he be outside the elites and do all that with such elites? The answer of course, is that he can’t. He is the elite! He is the quintessential elite. He has been at the heart of the eastern elite for decades. He is no common man. That is absurd.
Of course his main opponent is not outside those elites either. Mitt Romney’s tax returns, that he divulged only after enornous pressure, showed that he earned $20 million the previous year. His net worth was estimated at $250 million. How rich or how powerful does one have to be to be part of the elite? As the Los Angeles Times said, “Now, a multimillionaire private equity manager whose tax rate is about 15 per cent will compete with a mult-millionaire Washington politician who relishes his access to power. And the two will, amusingly, compete to convince voters that each is an authentic outsider with a common touch.”
If these are the best elite fighters the common people of America can muster they are in for massive oblivion. Deserved obliteration. Or perhaps even worse, Donald Trump.