Our New Left is run by Antoinettes who feel just terrible about the sins of America, but not enough to sacrifice any element of their privileged lifestyles

Our New Left is run by Antoinettes who feel just terrible about the sins of America, but not enough to sacrifice any element of their privileged lifestyles. By Victor Davis Hanson.

Americans, almost uniquely among modern nations, mostly do not envy, much less despise the rich.

But there is a certain sort of privilege that they do not like: the sanctimonious and hypercritical rich whose rhetoric is at odds with their own lifestyles and the methods by which they inherited or made vast sums. And they especially are turned off by those who exude open disdain for the clinger/deplorable/dregs class — to paraphrase the Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden nomenclature.

An especially grating habit of the left-wing wealthy is to lecture the middle class on their supposed illiberality. Often, those struggling are told they need to pay more for what White House economic advisor Brian Deese recently called the “liberal world order.”

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or George Soros, to take a few examples, are multibillionaires who live lives unlike any in the history of civilization. They also fund various agendas through multibillion-dollar foundations and their own personal riches.

Their causes are all deemed critical to the nation and planet, but unfortunately not fully appreciated as so vital by the peasant classes — whether they be global governance, massive restructuring of the economy to stop carbon releases, radical abortion on demand, or the sponsoring of critical legal theory prosecutors who feel crime is but a rich man’s construct. …

As a result, voters have concluded that the Left “just doesn’t care.”

By that, they conclude that the drivers of modern hard progressivism — the billionaire donor class, the highly compensated professional bicoastal elites, the ideologues who have captured and transformed the old Democratic Party — ignore criticism of their policies. Or they claim that their disasters are unappreciated benefits, or mere PR problems, or shift blame to the Russians, the Emmanuel-Goldstein Trump, the toadish media, or the victims of their disastrous policies.

Example 1:

The border is overrun by illegal aliens. Lethal drugs, cartels, gangs, and child traffickers enter at will without consequences. American towns and cities are being swamped by hundreds of thousands of unlawful border crossers. In response to public outcries, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas either ignores the anguished or falsely claims that the border is “secure.” Translated that means Americans either are racists or should get over the fossilized idea of a border itself.

Example 2:

Gasoline is at all-time highs. Joe Biden tells the public “Putin did it” — although prices soared well before the Ukraine War. … When Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was asked whether she might take measures to ease the fuel burden on American commuters, she laughed and thought it “hilarious” that she either could or would consider such action. U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) scoffed that clueless gas-guzzling motorists should buy a Tesla (base price for a low-end Model 3: $46,990) like she drives and so skip the greedy service stations. …

Example 3:

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg presumably oversees our nearly ruined commercial air travel system, ports where cargo ships are backed up to the horizon, and gas and diesel prices that are impoverishing the middle classes. In response, when he is not on paternity leave, Buttigieg brags that he rides a bike, and lectures Americans on the racist origins of their once modern but now ossified freeway system. …

The new left sure ain’t like the old left:

They have lost any empathy for those who endure firsthand the consequences of the elites’ ideological rigidity. So, this is not the Democratic Party of Harry Truman or even of Bill Clinton. … How strange that the more millions of dollars the Obamas earn, the more castles they acquire, the louder they hector the struggling middle classes. …

The Democratic Party is run by billionaires and is the sanctimonious party of highly compensated bicoastal professionals.

Both have agendas that transcend the middle class and reflect the reality that they care little for those who cannot match their wealth and tastes. The “crazies” and “clingers” lack the elite’s supposed empathy, superior talent, and wisdom. More bothersome, our left-wing elite has the means to ensure that it is never subject to the disasters that naturally follow from its own ideological bankruptcy.

In other words, the left-wing has a problem. These humanitarian rich feel just terrible about the sins of America, but not terrible enough to sacrifice any element of their privileged lifestyles — the just desserts they feel for being so righteous. To square that circle, of indulgence for their rich selves, and sacrifice for poorer others, they hector and preach — and thereby find medieval penance and indulgence that excuses their own spectacular levels of illiberal consumption.

It’s all about class and money. Race, gender, and other identity issues are just distractions, so we won’t notice how they make and keep their wealth.

They know their wealth is terribly unfair, and they feel some guilt. Today’s rich didn’t get most of their riches by providing goods and services to other people, but simply rode the asset inflation fueled by the flood of new money coming out of the banking system.