America’s intellectual conservatives and liberals may not agree on various issues of policy, but there is one thing that unites them: More often than not, they are both blind to the realities of what it’s like to actually live and work in the United States. They shut themselves up in the Washington upper-class clubs and the tonier areas of New York City, completely oblivious to the truth of today’s middle class.
It is for this reason that they are continually shocked and dismayed by the rise of Republican nominee Donald Trump. They can’t stand his crude remarks, his disdain for political correctness, or his revolutionary approach to issues like global trade and immigration. Trump’s policies didn’t come from a think-tank. They didn’t come from this month’s issue of National Review. They don’t sound much like anything we’ve heard from mainstream Republicans for the last quarter-century.
That terrifies and disgusts the pundit class, just as it electrifies and inspires voters outside of that bubble. For years, these elitists have been telling us how good these trade policies are for the U.S., deliberately choosing to ignore the effects they’ve had on millions of working-class Americans. For years, they’ve been celebrating the “diversity” of immigration, while turning a blind eye to the stagnant wages and entry-level unemployment rates that have plagued middle America.
When it comes to foreign policy, the difference between liberal and conservative elitists is even more difficult to pinpoint. Each slams the other side for various things…before going on to propose policies that are hardly different. Save a few, each of the Republicans running for the nomination this year harshly criticized Obama’s war on ISIS, but their own proposed strategies sounded as though they could have come straight out of his administration.
Trump has spent a lot of time hammering Washington’s subservience to special interests – and that’s important – but the biggest problem may be the subservience to the status quo. No one is brave enough to actually think outside the box, and that’s why things seem to get worse and worse, no matter which party happens to occupy the White House.
The time has come to pursue a new path. Trump may not be able to rattle off a dozen rehearsed, overly-complex soundbites that make it sound like he’s an expert on everything, but he’s not afraid to break from decades of clearly-broken policy. That gets under the skin of elitists, but it’s exactly what our country needs right now.