Elitism Finally Defined

This year we’ve heard numerous attacks based upon elitism from politicians who preferred to avoid campaigning based upon the real issues. First we heard it from Hillary Clinton during the primaries, and more recently John McCain and Sarah Palin have been making similar attacks. Maybe Brian Williams was wondering about who were really the elitists if John McCain, who owns at least seven homes and thirteen cars, and Sarah Palin, who has recently been on a $150,000 shopping spree, are not elitists. Williams asked about this in tonight’s installment of his interview with the GOP candidates:

“Who is a member of the elite?” Williams asked, according to excerpts of the interview, which will air this evening on “Nightly News.”

“Oh, I guess just people who think that they’re better than anyone else. And– John McCain and I are so committed to serving every American. Hard-working, middle-class Americans who are so desiring of this economy getting put back on the right track. And winning these wars. And America’s starting to reach her potential. And that is opportunity and hope provided everyone equally. So anyone who thinks that they are– I guess– better than anyone else, that’s– that’s my definition of elitism,” Palin replied.

“So it’s not education? It’s not income-based?” Williams inquired.

“Anyone who thinks that they’re better than someone else,” Palin said.

“It’s not a state of mind? It’s not geography?” Williams asked again.

“‘course not,” Palin answered.

“I know where a lot of ’em live,” McCain added with a laugh.

“Where’s that?” Williams asked.

“Well, in our nation’s capital and New York City,” McCain replied. “I’ve seen it. I’ve lived there. I know the town. I know– I know what a lot of these elitists are. The ones that she never went to a cocktail party with in Georgetown. I’ll be very frank with you. Who think that they can dictate what they believe to America rather than let Americans decide for themselves.”

So instead of owning lots of houses, cars, and designer clothes the definition comes down to attending Georgetown cocktail parties. As Steve Benen pointed out, this is not the first time Gerogetown cocktail parties have come up. He also raised this in an interview with The Des Moines Register but The Trail outed McCain as an elitist:

For what it’s worth, our colleague Sally Quinn said that McCain himself hasn’t been a stranger on the circuit.

“I’ve sat next to him many times at dinner parties in Georgetown,” Quinn said. “He’s an absolutely delightful dinner partner.”

Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Sarah Palin have all raised these nonsense attacks based upon elitism. They all have one thing in common, assuming the current polls hold. None of them are going to win the presidential election this year. Becoming elected president or vice president makes one a member of an elite which Clinton, McCain, and Palin are unlikely to become a member of, but I don’t think this is what they had in mind when they launched their attacks on elitism.

1 Comment

  1. 1
    Start Loving says:

    Democracy Now; Amy Goodman





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