Elitism vs Elite

Posted: May 5, 2008 in clinton, hillary, Uncategorized
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Barack Obama has come under a lot of fire for being “elitist” because he spoke the truth about a certain segment of society. But you have to look pretty hard to find any similar reference to Hillary Clinton, even despite her recent appearance on Bill O’Really’s show on Fox Noise (see my earlier post). So, I thought it was time to discuss what it means to be an elitist and what it means to be truly elite.

To be one of the elite means you have been trained or taught in ways that are different or superior to other people. You have been given something that other people don’t have, and are the better for it. When we talk about “elite military units”, it’s a good thing. It means they’ve been trained to fight and operate in ways that other units don’t, and that sets them apart from the rest. The other units don’t begrudge them this because they know the hardships and intensity of training that the elite go through. At the same time, the elite don’t hold their status over other troops because they know everyone has a role to play in combat and everyone is deserving of respect. In the same vein, the social and cultural elite (should) have received better education or training than the rest of us and (should) not lord it over us because of their experiences or opportunities.

Being the elite is a good thing. It means you’re better than the rest, but you’re not an arrogant asshole.

To be an “elitist”, one must think he’s better than everyone else, despite all evidence to the contrary. Having wealth doesn’t grant one “elite” status. But when one equates wealth and status with social superiority, then that is elitism. When a politician invokes God in reference to her own wealth, power and position (“Rich people – God bless us”), then that is elitism. When no one in the press or punditry calls her on it, they are both accepting and defending the outrageousness of the remark. They are being elitist.

Being an elitist is bad. It means you’re an arrogant, self-righteous asshole who thinks you’re better than everyone else.

So, to recap:

Elite = Good

Elitists = Bad

Elitists = Bad

The Elite = Good

Elite = Good

Elitist = Bad

Elite = Good

Elitist = Bad

I hope that’s clear.

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Comments
  1. Mike says:

    Crystal clear!