Back in the 1990s, there was a commercial for Pace Picante Sauce. It featured a group of good ol’ boy types sitting around a campfire, and for whatever reason, eating picante sauce.
A jar of Pace’s picante sauce runs out. The replacement jar is less than satisfactory because it isn’t Pace and, as it turned out, was made in New York City.
“New York City!” they exclaimed in disgust.
The moral of that story was Pace, the brand made in San Antonio, was superior to the one made in New York City because New York City — what do they know about food for the common folk?
There is something completely repulsive about some know-it-all guy from a big city like New York, Washington or Los Angeles telling us what is best for us.
Last November’s election was a rejection of this (despite a New York City real estate developer being the beneficiary).
No way — these self-appointed philosopher kings sipping on lattes in their artsy-fartsy metropolis hipster havens were not going to dictate to the rest of the country how we should run our lives, as ballots were cast for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.
It was a natural and perhaps justifiable reaction to a lot of the force-fed political correctness. And it’s not exclusively a political phenomenon.
Americans are told they must reject some historical symbols because they’re insensitive. Gender is no longer a physical attribute — it’s a state of mind. Being against illegal immigration is racist.
For all of this, Newton’s third law of physics seems to apply: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
It’s not that there’s just a rejection of these assertions from our fellow left-leaning mindless ne’er-do-wells populating our big cities. It’s a rejection of almost everything they do.
The idea is that the elites on Wall Street, in Hollywood and in Washington don’t get it.
Other than Pace Picante Sauce, there are other gimmicks that play off of this — such as the Farmers Only dating website and its slogan, “City folks just don’t get it.”
But at what point does it become anti-elitism elitism?
With all of this, we run the danger of rejecting everything just because it is born in places that dismiss flyover country’s way of life.
Granted, the elites in our society have more influence in day-to-day life because they control Hollywood, Washington, Wall Street and Madison Avenue.
Be on guard against making these judgments. It’s an easy trap to fall into.
“Well, if they don’t like it in Washington, it must be good for America.”
That might be true sometimes, but not always.
That’s the mentality that has created the caustic situation in American politics and culture.
One side thinks the stupid hicks in their little towns aren’t allowing the country to progress and another side thinks the city slickers and their moral depravity are what’s going to lead to the downfall of the America we grew up with.
And in this case, two wrongs make a right. In other words, both feel justified based on how the other side reacts to them.
If you find yourself on the dismissive side of the elite equation, maybe occasionally keep an open mind to what they have to say about any given topic and then be dismissive.
The problem with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and Wall Street Journal editorial types is they tend to think they are more learned than all the plebes in the hinterlands. They find the foreign policy Trump campaigned on to be naïve and simplistic.
In some ways, it was, given how Trump is running his foreign policy shop now. That’s something to keep in mind when they pontificate from their high-rise office buildings in Manhattan. Yeah, they’re scornful that many have views on foreign policy and vote based on that view.
It doesn’t mean that they have bad information.
When you completely shut out the elitist view from your consumption, it is to your detriment. That view might be wrong but it steers the direction our policymakers tend to go.
When you shut it out or dismiss it as nonsense, you’re no better than they are — at least when it comes to running the country. Wanting to tell a southerner how to bake a pecan pie or someone from Kansas how to plant a wheat crop — the academic’s take on that probably isn’t going to be as strong. (Perhaps you just listen out of politeness if you’re ever faced with those circumstances?)
Don’t fall into the trap of anti-elite elitism. It’s demagogued in our elections and a lot of that is the motivation behind the sewer-attack advertisements in our political campaigns, which for the most part are contrived by elites.
You’ll be better informed if you don’t.