President Trump’s first speech to a joint session of Congress was many things. It was presidential, measured and scripted — as such addresses should be. The reaction of many conservatives who had opposed him was tinged with surprise, as if they’d thought he didn’t have it in him. He offered to work with Democrats, spoke to goals that all citizens share, denounced ethnic bigotry, honored veterans, cops and sheriffs. There was much that will appeal to millions of Americans who didn’t even vote for Trump.
But there was one discordant element, which flashed in the midst of the speech like a red emergency siren. It ought to have deeply alarmed a significant swath of Americans: our clueless, self-congratulatory, and profoundly reckless elites. That’s a critical word which President Trump used advisedly: “reckless.” We’ll get back to it.
Elites Wield Power by Manipulating Our Ideals
By “elites” we mean the members of that comfortable minority who can’t understand for the life of them what motivated Trump’s voters. In a harrowing and carefully documented article, Nicholas Eberstadt starkly laid out the widening divide in America between those who benefit from our system of heavily-managed, crony capitalism and aggressively secular government — and those who feel left out and cheated.
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