Yesterday, New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote: "For the past several decades, the United States has had a bipartisan consensus that we should stick to our style of capitalism and our style of welfare state... It’s amazing that a large part of the millennial generation has rejected this consensus. In supporting Bernie Sanders they are not just supporting a guy who is mad at Wall Street. They are supporting a guy who fundamentally wants to reshape the American economic system, and thus reshape American culture and values."
Brooks amazement is shared, to one degree or another, by many other elite members of our society. Paul Krugman thinks Sanders and his supporters have been mesmerized into impractical thinking. Rich celebrities have wondered why every progressive isn't supporting Clinton. The mainstream media, e.g., the New York Times, writes biased pieces for Hillary. In fact, the Times is pretty much campaigning for her. Clinton, for her part, expresses bewilderment at the notions of health care for all and free public college. And Wall Street billionaire Steven Schwarzman scratches his head and says, "I find the whole thing astonishing and what’s remarkable is the amount of anger whether it’s on the Republican side or the Democratic side…. Bernie Sanders, to me, is almost more stunning than some of what’s going on in the Republican side. How is that happening, why is that happening?"
Most of these people are very wealthy, live in gated communities (or even private compounds), and would never dream of interacting or corresponding with people like us (i.e., the non-wealthy, the non-celebrity). Further, their vapid & clueless mindset, along with their insulated & cushioned lives, makes them completely oblivious to the reasons why we're angry.
Take Brooks, for example. He's amazed, AMAZED!, that millennials are rejecting the status quo. But what is this wonderful status quo that Brooks holds on to so dearly? Well, ironically, in the exact same news source where Brooks moans to the heavens for an explanation--and also on the exact same day--we learn that "Despite big advances in medicine, technology and education, the longevity gap between high-income and low-income Americans has been widening sharply. The poor are losing ground not only in income, but also in years of life, the most basic measure of well-being."
In addition to dying much sooner than our elite overlords, we also know that America now has a record number of homeless children; that wages are stagnant or dropping; that the number of suicides rose, yet again, in 2014 (the most recent year with available data); that college graduates are suffocating under $1.3 trillion in student loan debt; that our infrastructure is so pathetic that our children are now forced to drink lead (and no, my friends, it's not just happening in Flint - see my last blog post); that our run-down schools are riddled with bullet holes; that the U.S. now has a policy of perpetual war; that we have the largest prison-industrial complex in the world; that our financial institutions have engaged in record-setting fraud and are using that ill-gotten gain to buy politicians like Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz; and that our retirement future looks increasingly bleak. To pour salt into the wound, the super-wealthy are adding tens, even hundreds of billions of dollars to their personal wealth while, at the same time, "Virtually every state tax system is fundamentally unfair, taking a much greater share of income from low- and middle-income families than from wealthy families."
Here's the truth laid bare: We need Bernie Sanders in the White House, and we another (and even stronger) New Deal, because many of the elite members of our society are selfish & insulated idiots. And, as their their idiocy kills us, literally, they wonder why we don't love them. Now, that is amazing.