(HT Tyler Cowen)
...the campaign against Obama has metastasized into a variant of class warfare. It's the resentment of the meritocracy. What the GOP realized was that Obama did come across different than the average American, but not so much because he was black as because he was effortless. The very set of supercharged talents and qualities that allowed Obama to levitate past the boundaries of race and class make him different than those who haven't rocketed upward on the strength of their intelligence and charisma and charm. After all, if you're a fumbling, struggling individual out in suburban Ohio, how can you believe that this guy who doesn't look to have struggled a day in his life cares about your pathetic problems? Obama, in other words, is elite. As in "A group or class of persons enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status." Obama isn't an economic elite, but he is a social and intellectual elite. And it's that creeping sense that he's different, that he's better and knows it, that McCain is trying to exploit.
The Obama campaign, similarly, has realized that McCain is an elite, and that voters won't believe that a guy who has so many houses that he can't keep track of them will care if they lose the small condo they call home. This election, in other words, is becoming a contest to decide which type of elite voters hate -- or fear, or mistrust -- more: A social elite or an economic elite?
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The Election of the Elites