By Matthew Delaney
The one thing we can rely on our elites to do is find new ways to insult us.
Our power brokers have spoken repeatedly of Covid-19’s dangers. It’s so dangerous that we had to be cooped up in our homes, shut down our businesses, and not even be with our loved ones as they succumbed to the virus.
Yet, it wasn’t threatening enough to stop them from travelling, getting haircuts, or celebrating major moments. They even assured us none of our acutely vulnerable senior citizens were expendable — just like their own mom — but still enacted policies responsible for the deaths of thousands of our elderly.
I mean, according to their own logic, the coronavirus is as deadly as racism. If we’ve been living with that “virus” for 400 years, how bad could this actual one really be?
Obviously, the hypocrisy of it all is part of the game. We’ve always dealt with various kinds of political bullshitters. From devout socialist Bernie “Three Houses” Sanders to Donald Trump’s take-every-chance-for-a-presser “hatred” for Fake News. So, this pandemic getting its own chapter of “do as I say, not as I do” moments from politicians shouldn’t come as a surprise.
What is alarming, however, is that our elites don’t seem to care that their word has no honor.
How else are you supposed to receive the celebrities and politicians flouting the ritzy Met Gala’s mask mandate while service workers (most of whom weren’t white, since that allegedly matters to them) had to mask the entire time? Or the San Francisco mayor disregarding her own mask mandate to hang out with a Black Lives Matter activist? Or President Joe Biden issuing a de facto vaccine mandate nine months after he said it was off the table and roughly a month after two of his officials reiterated that?
Put simply, our elites don’t care about being consistent to us because we’re nobodies. They’re important and we’re not. They make the rules, and we follow them.
And if they happen to break those same rules? So what — they have the money and influence to absolve their transgressions, at least in the eyes of other elites doing the same thing. Who cares what we think? We’re just expected to muster up a smile and take it.
It was different before the pandemic. The consequences were there but were comparatively smaller. Now people are losing their jobs, their loved ones, and their sanity to keep everyone “safe” — except our perfectly immune leaders, of course — and we’re getting angry. But where it gets tricky is that we still have the partisan blinders on. We’re seeing the “wrong” people get mad with us. It’s tapping into the core political instinct we’ve developed in our hyper-partisan climate.
Years ago, the New York Times published an extensive piece about how voting habits are based more on feelings toward the opposition candidate, rather than what our preferred candidate offers. It said:
“The primal sense of ‘us against them’ makes partisans fixate on the goal of defeating and even humiliating the opposition at all costs. This negativity bias in voting behavior undermines traditional theories of electoral accountability that rest on incumbents’ ability to deliver policy and performance benefits.
Candidates and incumbents, [the researchers] continue, ‘are less likely to be sanctioned for demonstrating incompetence, dishonesty and unethical behavior.’’
Debasing our supposed ideological others has become more desirable than doing anything of significance. You could even go as far as to say that our ability to relate to each other is based more on who/what we hate rather than anything we share a love for.
It’s a more potent bonding agent than you’d think. Research has shown that when strangers express dislike for another person, we find them unconventional and undesirable, but we also feel like we know them better because of that interaction. If you happen to share that dislike with them, then it’s automatic chemistry.
“Similarity is a big attractor in general, so I don’t want to downplay the effectiveness of sharing likes,” said one of the researchers. “But learning that you share a negative attitude has a stronger effect and facilitates liking more.”
Division has ascended to our ultimate value because it’s the center of social cohesion, and by extension, our sense of community. That’s what happens when political correctness grows unabated like it has for the past 30-plus years.
Speech codes created out of an abundance of politeness have gradually constrained the language we use to communicate with each other. If you can’t talk to people freely and honestly, you can’t trust them. If you can’t trust them, you can’t connect with them on the deep, healthy level that life’s most gratifying relationships demand.
On the other hand, even the shallowest of relationships can thrive in hate. It’s a cheap emotion that elicits passion and gives off the illusory high of clicking with someone. Humans crave connection, and if it’s too risky for us to achieve them with honesty, we’ll settle for doing it through shared spite.
Tastemakers in academia, the media, and Silicon Valley reinforced the value of division by selling it every which way they can, so it’s no surprise we’ve caved to their game on occasion. Trump’s election is a good example of us jumping with both feet into this polarizing value system. Supporting his combativeness was cathartic, but it ultimately fed the beast slowly devouring us.
What helps reverse this trend — and breaks our elites’ brains in the process — is when one of “their own” rebels. Take the case of young, black, female rapper Nicki Minaj
I’d like to think the spirit of famously irreverent comedian Norm MacDonald possessed Minaj this past week. After she shared a remarkably odd story about how the friend of her cousin had his balls swell up following his Covid vaccination (seriously), Minaj advised everyone not to be bullied into getting vaccinated.
That made her the target of the self-appointed disinformation police on Twitter. It led to her sparring with renowned race hustler, MSNBC’s Joy Reid, while praising Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
The good (liberal) people aren’t allowed to point out the same problems as the wrong (conservative) people, so the thinking goes. It nullifies fomenting our “beloved” division! That’s why a prominent left-wing streamer reminded her that Carlson is a white supremacist, prompting Minaj to fire back with the best line of them all:
“Right. I can’t speak to agree with, even look at someone from a particular political party. Ppl aren’t human anymore. If you’re black & a Democrat tells u to shove marbles up ur ass, you simply have to. If another party tells u to look out for that bus, stand there & get hit”
I love that a woman who calls herself “Barbie” is the one decoding the twisted rationale of our supposedly inclusive and feminist elites. Namely how they cast their enemies as the ones trying to mortify you, when it’s really the patronage to their beliefs that leads to your own degradation. If you think I’m being hyperbolic, just look at the covert pressure campaign she’s exposing on her social media
We legitimately needed elites to help steer us through the Covid crisis with the power entrusted to them. Instead, it exposed us to how poorly they operate with that power. Given how much we’ve sacrificed over the past 18 months, watching the shot callers not even pretend to take it seriously — repeatedly — just reeks of contempt for our intelligence.
We know that, and more importantly, they know that we know that. They’re purposefully treating us like idiots to remind us of our “place.” Remember: you’re nobody to them.
But you should see their insults for what they really are — a last ditch attempt to make us insecure in our own wisdom. Because if we trust ourselves, then we won’t need these “elites” for anything.
We may just realize the values they’ve told us to live by and the world they’ve created with those same values aren’t anything worth preserving.
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