It highlighted what surfaced last year in the election; a very strong disaffection by the white working class towards the new upper class, fueled in large part, in substantial part by the open contempt and disdain that the new upper class has for the working class, and especially for the white working class, and most especially for the white male working class.
William Kristol, founding editor of The Weekly Standard, neo-conservative (a.k.a. member of any war party), pretentious pseudo-intellectual, and a living facsimile of Rich Uncle Pennybags in the spirit of Sinclair Lewis’ Babbitt (1922), apparently failed to pick up on his colleague Charles Murray’s comments concerning elitist contempt for the working class in an event sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute on February 7, 2017.
Within the hour, he would be explicitly suggest that “new immigrants” were superior to the decadent, lazy, spoiled, coupon-clipping working class Americans and insinuated their replacement.
Look, to be totally honest, if things are so bad as you say with the white working class, don’t you want to get new Americans in?
You can make a case that America has been great because every — I think John Adams said this — basically if you are in free society, a capitalist society, after two, three, four generations of hard work, everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled — whatever.
Then, luckily, you have these waves of people coming in from Italy, Ireland, Russia, and now Mexico, who really want to work hard and really want to succeed, and really want their kids to live better lives than them, and aren’t sort of clipping coupons or hoping that they can hang on and, meanwhile, grew up as spoiled kids and so forth. In that respect, I don’t know why this moment is that different from the early 20th century.
Vaguely aware, half-way through his spiel, that putting his foot into his mouth might become a PR blooper, he expressed hopes that “this thing isn’t being videotaped or ever shown anywhere,” before barreling on to shove every other appendage into that voluminous albeit vacuous cavity.
Sure enough, within the day, Tucker Carson’s “The Daily Caller” had indeed picked up on it and it was played up in conservative and alt-right websites and blogs before hitting the big time in the Washington Times.
Bill Kristol seems to be one of those members of the new upper class, cultural isolated and ignorant of the travails of Middle America, who . . .
. . . are the children of upper-middle-class parents, have always lived in upper-middle-class neighborhoods and gone to upper-middle-class schools. Many have never worked at a job that caused a body part to hurt at the end of the day, never had a conversation with an evangelical Christian, never seen a factory floor, never had a friend who didn’t have a college degree, never hunted or fished.
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Immigrants do have more of the old-fashioned America virtues than lots of old-fashioned Americans.
Being from a more recent immigrant family, he has the immigrant’s pecuniary and decadent concept of the American Dream (success defined in material terms), rather than the now archaic and anachronistic Commonwealth of Christian Virtue and Charity, iconized in the “city on a hill” metaphor; or the 19th century small-d Democratic Man, the working-class Renaissance Man who neither kowtows nor panders to any social class “superior.”
And being of Jewish identity, who because of that Mosaic-inspired ethical code and cultural heritage, he belongs to the ever nomadic diaspora who always initially do well within their hosts’ society, well after they have repudiated the Source of that wisdom.
My grandparents, immigrants from Poland and Romania, were Orthodox Jews and deeply observant. My parents, born here, joined a Conservative shul (mixed seating), and kept a traditionally Jewish home. My husband and I joined a Reconstructionist synagogue (liturgically traditional, theologically agnostic, anchored in Jewish “peoplehood”), and mainly express ourselves Jewishly through community volunteerism and Zionism. My children both married non-Jews and almost never attend any synagogue. It is quite possible that some of my great-grandchildren will have no attachment to Judaism or Israel altogether.
But because of arrogance that is the natural human response of relative success over the host population (the Jews are not Exceptionalist who transcend this natural propensity), and the greater economic, sociopolitical and cultural influence that Jews eventually acquire, well above their numbers; they contribute to their own demise as the resentments of their hosts and the legitimate anxieties, of having one’s native heritage corrupted and replaced by the Diaspora’s self-serving cosmopolitan ethic, mature.
I have already registered a belief and premonition that the Jewish Diaspora in America may soon be expelled again in an ever ongoing fulfillment of the Mosaic prophecy (Deuteronomy 28:65-67). And Jonah Goldberg and others have registered a radical uptick in the number of anti-Semitic remarks and crude depictions directed at them as the dam has broken on the civic and public repression of anti-Semitism.
One would think that Kristol might be a little more circumspect and cautious in his expressions about upstaging and replacing long-time natives of the host country, when Jews themselves have a long history of been expelled from one country after another. But then again, Christ Jesus warned his countryman about their lack of astuteness in interpreting the Signs of the Times (Matthew 16:3).