Are Our Current Elites the Worst and the Stupidest?

Are Our Current Elites the Worst and the Stupidest? By Victor Davis Hanson.

Elites have always been ambiguous about the muscular classes who replace their tires, paint their homes, and cook their food. And the masses who tend to them likewise have been ambivalent about those who hire them: appreciative of the work and pay, but also either a bit envious of those with seemingly unlimited resources or turned off by perceived superciliousness arising from their status and affluence.

Yet the divide has grown far wider in the 21st century. Globalization fueled the separation in a number of ways. …

Half the country looked to Asia and Europe for profits and indeed cultural “diversity,” while the other half stuck with tradition, values, and custom — as they became poorer.

The elite found in the truly poor — neglecting their old union-member, blue-collar Democratic base — an outlet for their guilt, noblesse oblige, condescension at a safe distance, call it what you will. The poor if kept distant were fetishized, while the middle class was demonized for lacking the taste of the professional classes, and romance of the far distant underclass. …

Why are they so damn incompetent?

But there was a third catalyst that explained the mutual animosity in the pre-Trump years. The masses increasingly could not see any reason for elite status other than expertise in navigating the system for lucrative compensation.

In short, money and education certification were no longer synonymous with any sense of competency or expertise. Just the opposite often became true. Those who thought up some of the most destructive, crackpot, and dangerous policies in American history were precisely those who were degreed and well-off and careful to ensure they were never subject to the destructive consequences of their own pernicious ideologies.

The masses never understood why their children should attend colleges where obsessions with superficial appearances were celebrated as “diversity,” graduation ceremonies matter-of-factly were segregated by race, dorms that were racially exclusive were lauded as “theme houses,” Jim-Crow-style set-aside zones were rebranded “safe spaces,” and racial quotas were merely “affirmative action.”

Ancient notions such as that punishment deters crime were laughed at by the degreed who gave us the current big-city district attorneys. Their experiments with decriminalizing violent acts, defunding the police, and delegitimizing incarceration led to a Lord of the Flies-style anarchy in our major cities. Note well, those with advanced or professional degrees who dreamed all this up did not often live in defunded police zones, did not have homeless people on their lawns, and found ways for their children to navigate around racial quotes in elite college admissions.

So, the credentialed lost their marginal reputations for competency. …

Like a parasitic aristocracy of fools:

Militarily, the middle classes in the armed forces proved as lethal as ever, despite being demonized as racists and white supremacists. But their generals, diplomats and politicians proved so often incompetent in translating their tactical victories in the Middle East and elsewhere into strategic success or even mere advantage.

Nationally, the failure of the elite that transcends politics is even more manifest. The country is $30 trillion in debt. No one has the courage to simply stop printing money. The border is nonexistent, downtown America is a No Man’s Land, and our air travel is a circus — and not an “expert” can be found willing or able to fix things. Is Pete Buttigieg the answer to thousands of canceled flights or backed-up ports? Is Alejandro Mayorkas to be believed when he assures the border is “closed” and “secure” as millions flood across?

The universities are turning out mediocre graduates without the skills or knowledge of a generation ago, but certainly with both greater debt and arrogance.

Our bureaucratic fixers can only regulate, stop, retard, slow-down, or destroy freeways, dams, reservoirs, aqueducts, ports, and refineries—and yet never seem to give up their own driving, enjoyment of stored water, or buying of imported goods.

Is it easier to topple than to sculpt a statue? …

The middle class, not addled by left ideology, are still competent:

Homes are built better than they were in the 1970s. Cars are better assembled than in the 1960s. The electrician, the plumber, and the roofer are as good or better than ever. The soldier stuck in the messy labyrinth of Baghdad or on patrol in the wilds of Afghanistan was every bit as brave and perhaps far more lethal than his Korean War or World War II counterpart.

How does this translate to the American people? They navigate around the detritus of the elite, avoiding big-city downtown USA.

They are skipping movies at theaters. They are passing on watching professional sports. They don’t watch the network news. They think the CDC, NIAID, and NIH are incompetent — and fear their incompetence can prove deadly.

Millions increasingly doubt their children should enroll in either a four-year college or the military, and they assume the FBI, CIA, and Justice Department are as likely to monitor Americans as they are unlikely to find and arrest those engaged in terrorism or espionage.

When the elite peddles its current civil-war or secession porn — projecting onto the middle classes their own fantasies of a red/blue violent confrontation, or their own desires to see a California or New York detached from Mississippi and Wyoming — they have no idea that America’s recent failures are their own failures.

The reason why the United States begs Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia to pump more oil is not because of lazy frackers in Texas or incompetent rig hands in North Dakota, but because of utterly incompetent diplomats, green zealots, and ideological “scientists.”

Had the views of majors and colonels in Afghanistan rather than their superiors in the Pentagon and White House prevailed, there would have been no mass flight or humiliation in Kabul.

Crime is out of control not because we have either sadistic or incompetent police forces but sinister DAs, and mostly failed, limited academics who fabricated their policies.

This is what the tail end of a great civilization looks like. Perhaps a revolution will turn it around. It is possible.