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This just in: the ruling class hates your freedoms.
The Committee to Unleash Prosperity (CUP), a D.C.-based nonprofit advocacy group led by Steve Forbes and economists Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore, released a report this month announcing the findings of a Rasmussen poll which confirms what the “average” American already knew: the elites, to paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald, are different. What the average American may not already know is just how much of an existential threat to freedom the ruling class is.
CUP calls the report, titled “The Two Americas and How the Nation’s Elite is Out of Touch with Average Americans,” a “first-of-its-kind look at the views of the American Elite.” This report is based upon two separate Rasmussen surveys of 1,000 members of the elite class conducted last September. It defined the elites as people having at least one post-graduate degree, earning at least $150,000 annually, and living in high-population density areas (more than 10,000 people per square mile in their zip code). They represent a mere 1% of the U.S. population, but of course they have a disproportionate degree of power and influence, not least in terms of the topics and views that dominate public policy and the national conversation.
“These results confirm what people have long suspected,” the report states. “Today, there are two Americas.” As the authors write in their executive summary,
The people who run America, or at least think they do, live in a bubble of their own construction. They’ve isolated themselves from everyday America’s realities to such a degree their views about what is and what should be happening in this country differ widely from the average American’s.
The elites’ views arise from what the authors of the report describe as a “fraternity culture” that, to some extent, crosses the political aisle (73% of the elites sampled in the report were Democrats, 14% Republicans). The ruling elite – regardless of political party – is “an exclusive club that sees and experiences America through a different lens than ordinary Americans.” The study also examined a sub-sampling of attendees of Ivy League or other elite private schools such as Northwestern, Duke, and Stanford. Roughly half attended one of these schools; the report refers to these members as “Ivy League Graduates.”
The findings reveal that, in the arena of personal finances, only about 20% of all Americans say they believe their finances are getting better under the Biden administration. Anyone who goes to the supermarket or gas station knows that, contrary to Biden administration gaslighting, the economy is disastrous compared to the Trump years. But a whopping 74% of the elite, and a full 88% of the Ivy League grads claim they are better off now.
On the topic of individual freedom, elites are three times more likely than all Americans to say that we have too much individual freedom (!). Almost six out of ten of the Ivy League graduates think there is too much freedom.
Too much individual freedom. Let that sink in.
It is notable that the younger the elites are, the more their totalitarian urges intensify. For those who are 55 or older, only 10% think there is too much individual freedom, whereas a majority (54%) of those under 35 hold that view. These people are going to constitute the ruling class for decades to come; this does not bode well for the future.
Predictably, climate change is “an obsession of the very rich and highly educated.” An astonishing 77% of them – including nearly 90% of the Ivy League graduates – favor the rationing of energy, gas, and meat to help save the planet. Among all Americans, 63% oppose the idea. The prevalence of this attitude across the board should terrify Americans.
Between half and two-thirds of elites favor a ban – a ban, mind you – on many modern conveniences such as gas stoves, gas-powered cars, air conditioning, SUVs, and “non-essential air travel”. More than two-thirds of the Ivy League grads would ban each of these. For the average American, less than one in four of these voters favors such bans (it’s alarming enough to realize that even that many favor banning these basic civilizational comforts; this reveals the extent to which the Left’s cultural indoctrination about the “climate crisis” has taken hold).
To help reduce the impact of climate change, more than “two-thirds of elites (70%) said they would pay $500 or more each year in taxes and higher costs… while nearly as many average Americans (72%) said they would only be willing to pay $100 or less a year.” It’s depressing to realize that so many Americans believe that politicians are going to put higher taxes to good use, much less to actually change the weather.
Surprisingly, about half of Americans apparently hold a favorable opinion of lawyers, lobbyists, union leaders, or journalists (I would expect this figure to be much lower, especially considering the total collapse of trust in journalism today). Contrast this with the almost 80% of elites and the nearly 90% of elite college graduates who have a positive view of this powerful group of professionals.
Politically, 28% of Americans, as opposed to 67% of the elite, have a favorable opinion of Congress. As for President Biden himself, whose approval rating is cratering among most voters, his performance earned approval from an eye-popping 84% of the elites. Eighty-four percent think the decrepit puppet Joe Biden, who can’t even find his way out of a conference room without being guided by a handler or his wife, is doing a great job.
On the hotly-contested issue of education: two-thirds (67%) of the elites would prefer a candidate who said education professionals rather than parents should decide what children are taught in school — only 38% of the public agrees. I have to assume that that 38% somehow remains clueless about what predominately far-left educators are actually teaching in schools: the tenets of critical race theory, the perversions of gender ideology, anti-capitalism, anti-“colonialism,” social justice activism, and a self-loathing for our own country and civilization. And yet two-thirds of the elites want to keep those activists in control of our children’s education and remove parents from the equation altogether.
As you might expect, the elites exhibit “an extraordinary level of trust in the government.” Contrary to Ronald Reagan’s quip that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help,” 70% of elites trust the federal government to do the right thing most of the time. That is more than twice the national average. The survey notes that among the most politically active members of the elite, that figure rises to a jaw-dropping 89%.
The CUP report concludes that the elites “are wildly out of touch with the American people,” particularly on the vital issue of individual freedom. Indeed, the authors warn that the “overall views of the Elites represent an existential threat to America’s founding ideals of freedom, equality, and self-governance.” [Emphasis added]
Is it any wonder that Donald Trump, who technically could be categorized as one of the elites but who is sneered at by that same ruling class both here and abroad as a “populist,” has such passionate support on the Right? It is precisely because he threatens to take a wrecking ball to the ruling class’ vision of totalitarian governance that he strikes such panic in the cold hearts of globalists at home and among the imperious Davos crowd internationally.
As the Committee to Unleash Prosperity report demonstrates, there are two Americas. But ultimately, to quote the movie Highlander, there can be only one. And whichever vision prevails – populist or elitist – will determine whether America still has a future as the land of the free.
Follow Mark Tapson at Culture Warrior