Victor Davis Hanson, after describing the disconnect between America’s most heated critics and their own lifestyles, sums up the reason at least a few Americans are tuning out the grievance mongers:
In the old days, critics for the most part of what we called the “system” were at least blue-collar workers, underpaid teachers, or grassroots politicians whose rather modest lives matched their angry populist rhetoric. Now the most vehement critics of America’s purported sins are among the upper classes. And their parlor game has confused Americans about why they are being called polluters, racists, and exploiters by those who have fared the best in America.
Do the wealthy and the powerful lecture us about our wrongs because they know their own insider status ensures that they are exempt from the harsh medicine they advocate for others? Millionaire Gore is not much affected by higher taxes for his cap-and-trade crusade.
Or does the hypocrisy grow out of a sort of class snobbery? Do elites hector the crass middle class because it lacks their own taste, rare insight, and privileged style? Judging from the police report, Gates seemed flabbergasted that the white Cambridge cop did not know who he was “messing” with.
Or is the new hypocrisy an eerie sort of psychological compensation at work? Perhaps the more Al Gore rails about carbon emissions, the more he can without guilt enjoy what emits them. The more Professor Gates can cite racism, the more he himself is paid to spot it. And the more a Tom Daschle wants to tax and spend for health care, the less badly he feels about his own chauffer and tax avoidance?