|The protectors of our industries: Jay Gould, Cornelius Vanderbilt|
It's an interesting development when two members of the cultural elite, albeit one more conservative and the other more progressive both decry the advent of Trump, but have divergent views on the political reality on the ground: one - Shivani - moving towards the people and the other - Andrew Sullivan, conservative Anglo-US blogger - towards the elites. This may be a sign of the times relevant to the upcoming Brexit referendum next month, the US presidential conventions during the summer and the French, German and Dutch elections next year.
Anis Shivani starts his article with a personal attack on Andrew Sullivan, who had just proclaimed in an article in New York Magazine - Democracies end when they are too democratic - that the election of Trump would be an “extinction-level” event.
"........But the extinction Sullivan is most worried about is clearly that of his own breed of callous elites, who could care less about normal human beings who do not have decent jobs and who live in crappy housing and who are so desperate to find a way out of the trap that even someone like Trump starts sounding rational to them.....
.....No, the danger is the elites, who have made such a joke of the democratic process, who have so perverted and rotted it from within, that the entire edifice is crumbling (to the consternation of the elites). Both parties are in terminal decline after forty years of ignoring the travails of the average worker (the Republicans admit they’re in the intensive care unit, while the Democrats calling for Sanders to quit already have yet to come around to admitting that they might have the flu), and voters on both right and left have at last—and this is a breath of relief—stopped caring about the cultural distractions that have kept the elites in power. No, they want their jobs back, even if it means building a wall, keeping Muslims out, deporting the illegals, and starting trade wars with China and Japan—because what else did the elites give them, they’re still opposing a living wage!"
Then Shivani continues his criticism on Sullivan's statement that it’s all because of too much democracy:
"You, Andrew Sullivan, and the Democratic party flacks who want the Bernie supporters to throw our lot behind the most compromised Democratic candidate of all time, Hillary Clinton, and you, who are so worried about the wall and the ban on Muslims and the attack on civil liberties, will you please tell us who started it all?
.....Bush is the one who actually implemented, with your full support, plans to surveil, discriminate against (in immigration proceedings), and impose a de facto bar on Muslims from the “wrong countries” that is still, under Barack Obama, a severe disability on Muslims who may want to emigrate to this country.
.....Where were you elites when Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic party elite spoke as one with Republicans on endlessly strengthening border security, on the need to mercilessly enforce immigration laws, on imposing such punitive measures against potential legalization that it becomes possible only in theory not in reality?
...The natural conclusion of these ideas is the literal wall, but Trump didn’t start it, he’s only putting the finishing touches on the discourse that you elites, on both sides, have inflamed for twenty-plus years.............Elites on both sides insisted on not addressing the root causes of economic dissatisfaction, hence the long-foreseen rise of Trump.
.....The worst offenders of all are the American left’s cultural warriors, who daily wage some new battle over some imagined cultural offense, which has nothing to do with the lives of normal people but only the highly tuned sensibilities of those in the academic, publishing, and media ecospheres.
.......Elites on both sides have collaborated to engineer a revolution of economic decline for the working person, until the situation has reached unbearable proportions. The stock market may be doing well, and unemployment may theoretically be low, but people can’t afford housing and food, they can’t pay back student loans and other debts, their lives, wherever they live in this transformed country, are full of such misery that there is not a single word that an establishment candidate like Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush says that makes sense to them.
.....The election of Trump would end the Republican party as we know it, but more refreshingly it would also end the Democratic party as we know it. The limits of the academic left’s distracting cultural discourse in keeping economic dissatisfaction in check would be fully exposed. Trump threatens the stability of the fearmongering discourse of Sullivan and his like. The threat to their monopoly of discourse is the real reason for the panic.
Oh, and Hillary, good luck fighting Trump with your poll-tested reactions.......You won’t be able to take on Trump because you do not speak the truth, you speak only elite mumbo-jumbo. Trump doesn’t speak the truth either, but he’s responding to something in the air that has an element of truth, and you don’t even go that far, you speak to a state of affairs—a meritocratic, democratic, pluralist America—that doesn’t even exist."
Clearly, Shivani's criticism of US political elites is another sign of the battles being waged among different groups in US politics and beyond. The coming months we'll see whether these battles will remain on the surface or will explode further.