Hanson: Ruling class supremely qualified at making America mediocre

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by WorldTribune Staff, January 3, 2019

The lesson of President Donald Trump’s election “was that the past record of governance and the current stature of our assumed best and brightest certainly did not justify their reputations or authority, much less their outsized self-regard. In short, instead of being a meritocracy, they amount to a mediocracy, neither great nor awful, but mostly mediocre,” columnist Victor Davis Hanson wrote.

The elite’s “furious venom directed at Trump, couched in ethical pretense, has had the odd effect to remind the American people how unethical and incompetent these people were, are, and likely will continue to be,” Hanson wrote for the Center for American Greatness on Dec. 30.

‘Doing mostly the opposite of what elite conventional wisdom advocated since January 2017 has made the nation stronger, not weaker.’ / AP

“Remember the ‘new normal’? Our economic czars had simply decided anemic economic growth was the best Americans could expect and that 3 percent annualized GDP growth was out of the realm of possibility,” Hanson wrote. “Big government incompetence combined with Wall Street buccaneerism had almost melted down the economy in 2008. Recent presidents had doubled the debt – twice.”

Hanson continued: “Few could explain how recent agreements such as the Paris Climate Accord or Iran deal could ever have achieved their stated aims, much less were in America’s interest. War planners had not translated interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya into strategic advantage – much less lasting victory – and never offered reasons to be in such places that appealed to half the country.”

Most ruling class elites “had assumed the deindustrialized red-state interior was doomed to a sort of preordained and irreversible decline, much of it supposedly self-induced,” Hanson wrote. “In more candid moments, elites jested that red-state losers might be better replaced by new immigrants, both legal and illegal.”

The elites “could not or would not defend American traditions and civilization in our colleges, in our government, and in our popular culture – and they were increasingly accepting of the globalist consensus that America had a flawed past requiring some sort of reparatory future,” Hanson wrote.

And when the charge of hypocrisy was raised against the elites, it was written off as “juvenile,” Hanson noted, “given that exemptions were needed for the ruling class to serve us all the better.”

“How could Al Gore save us from our carbon emissions without his private jet? How could Nancy Pelosi craft drastic climate change legislation without flying to a Kona resort over the holidays?”

“How could Eric Holder stop prejudice without a jet junket to the Belmont Stakes with his kids? How could our Malibu elite nobly sermonize about their loyal gardeners and dutiful maids without walled estates?”

“How could Silicon Valley wizards pontificate about the evils of charter schools and the need for teacher unions, without private academies for their own? And how exactly could the heads of our intelligence agencies and justice department officials track down the crimes of Donald Trump without committing greater ones themselves?”

Hanson wrote that “it is hard to calibrate whether any president has faced, from the moment of his election, the level of venom shown Trump by both political parties, and by the elite media, and the centers of progressivism on Wall Street, in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Washington, and New York.”

“A country that once banned for life a clown from a state fair for wearing in puerile fashion a Barack Obama mask now ritually talks of impeaching, committing to an institution, overthrowing, or beating, burning, decapitating, blowing up, and shooting the elected president.”

Examples of elitist exceptionalism:

  • Trump critic James Comey told Congress on 245 occasions during a single appearance that he does not know or cannot remember the answers when asked questions.
  • The cable television critic and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had lied under oath to Congress and claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was largely secular.
  • John Brennan, “another cable television consultant and the former CIA head, has trumped Clapper by lying twice to Congress. Brennan also claimed that jihad was little more than a personal introspective religious journey.”
  • “Both Hillary and Bill Clinton, by education, careers, and service, are advertisements of the ruling class. Yet, she was the godmother of the disastrous Libyan incursion, knee-deep in scandal from cattlegate to Benghazi to Uranium One, and hired a foreign national during the 2016 election to find dirt on her political opponent through the paid services of foreign sources. Bill was impeached and somehow ended up worth well over $100 million largely by selling influence on the premise he and his spouse would one day be back in the White House. The Clinton Foundation is synonymous with corruption.”

So, Hanson asked, “do the most acerbic critics of Trump and iconic members of our aristocracy inspire confidence?”

“The point of this tour of our elite is not to excuse Trump’s often retaliatory crassness or bombast, but to remind us that our self-righteous anti- and pre-Trump aristocracy was so often a mediocracy …. and has made the nation stronger, not weaker,” he concluded.

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