Cheap Seats 2019
The Elitists - 12/11
By Rich Trzupek
The leadership of the so-called progressive movement is, in my not so humble opinion, dominated by elitists. They might be Hollywood millionaires, technology billionaires or pointy-headed academics who’ve never broken a sweat during a workday in their lives, but they are all sure of one thing: They know better than you and better than me.
Billionaire Tom Steyer, currently trying for the nomination of the Socialist – er, excuse me, Democrat – Party is typical of the breed. In one of his commercials Steyer assures viewers that he trusts the American people. He believes the answers to our problems begin with listening to the masses. He trusts us!
History tells us that whenever a candidate for any office, but especially for President of the United States, says he or she “trusts the people” alarm bells should go off quickly and loudly. From Huey Long through Marion Berry, from Andrew Jackson to Ross Perot, populists have been about the worst sort of political creature that the American system of governance has been able to create.
Steyer is another. When he says he trusts us, you can be sure he does not. For, what does he believe is the most important issue facing America today? Climate change. He makes that claim over and over again. What is consistently near the bottom of the issues that Americans worry about in polls? Climate change. So, are we to expect that President Steyer would accede to the will of the American people and drop his obsession with the climate?
Of course he wouldn’t. He would rather use the power of the office to convince us ignorant rubes how right he is and how foolish we have been. Steyer doesn’t trust you Mr. and Mrs. America, he trusts in his ability to bully or cajole you, as necessary, to go along with him when he has all the power of the Executive Branch at his beck and call.
Another billionaire in the race on the left is Democrat turned Republican turned Democrat, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. While leading the Big Apple, it must be said that Bloomberg did a lot of good. Though he now claims to regret continuing the “stop and frisk” policy that his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani, initiated, it was demonstrably effective at reducing violent crime during his tenure.
In other ways, Bloomberg was as much of an elitist as the worst of the progressive crowd. Convinced that he knew better than them, he tried to regulate the diets of New York citizens, trans-fat and soda being among his favorite targets.
I have no quarrel with government when it attempts to expose me to information about risks associated with certain foods, so long as it does so in a reasoned manner, not with the hysterics and hyperbole that characterize so many public interest groups in the environmental, health, animal-welfare and other popular arenas.
But there is obviously a big difference between government advising me that a particular otherwise legal activity presents a certain risk to me should I engage in said activity, and a government that makes that activity illegal. I’m an intelligent, reasonable adult. If I want to have a bowl of trans-fat for breakfast with a corn-syrup and sucrose chaser, that’s my choice. Just as nobody wants government in their bedroom, we should keep them the hell out of our kitchen is well.
This is not to say, if I need to say it, that I believe government does not have an important role to play in ensuring food safety. Of course they do. The work that USDA and FDA do to ensure that our food is properly handled and free of acutely dangerous natural and man-made contaminants is vital. But there is a line between food safety and diet choices that government should not be allowed to cross.
Believing – oh, hell – certain that they know what’s best for you in so many aspects of your life, it’s inevitable that a progressive elitist will win the Democrat nomination this year. The only two top-tier candidates who don’t fit that description are Biden and Buttigieg, but the former is rapidly self-destructing and the latter can’t carry the south, so I don’t see either making it through the primaries. My money is on Bloomberg, but there’s still a long way to go.