2020

The Elites versus The Hoi Polloi

The show: Saturday Night Live (SNL) got it right when they said that the celebrations for the Biden-Harris ticket seemed to be as jubilant as those at the end of WWII! Oh, my! Other MSM outlets were saying that the world breathed a deep sigh of relief at Trump’s loss. Moreover, the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris seemed to be indicating that over half the nation desired a return to the status quo ante – that is: to our previous political comfort zones;to the ante-bellum status – that is: pre-Trump’s-war. This seems to be such a lame and minimal premise and only further proof of how draining these four years have been! Also, over half the nation seems to have indicated that our previous normal where we can criticize, argue and discuss our political issues, cantankerous as they were, is certainly far better than the chaos, the incendiary Tweets, the bullying, manipulation, corruption, illusions, delusions and sheer ineptness of the exhausting Trump Presidency. Nevertheless, a post-mortem of the past four years has to be looked at, discussed and analyzed with as much objectivity as we are capable of, if only for averting another attempt by another politician in the future of dragging us into the Dark Ages, which, thankfully, we have averted this time around. Moreover almost half the electorate voted for Trump, and we should not disregard them, or their genuine concerns, especially that their disappointment at their loss is going to be dangerously festering for quite a while.

It is clear from all the statistics after the election that American Cities, which are mostly inhabited by the Elites who are better educated, more sophisticated, diverse, cosmopolitan and less malleable voted for Biden-Harris and won this election. And, those who lost, were mostly the Hoi Polloi of the sparsely populated hinterland, predominantly isolated, less educated, more religious and less open to the changes that have been going on in the world whether they pertain to the new technologies; to the shifting culture and its openness, to inclusivity, to science, to climate change and its effects, as well as to the enormous demographic changes going on in the nation. This phenomenon of Elites versus Rural Communities is world wide, and it reminds me of how after Gamal Abdul Nasser, the President of Egypt, died, the new President, Anwar Sadat, decided to go to a remote area of rural Egypt to greet the people who, having been told that the President was coming, lined up the streets. And, as the motorcade was passing, they began shouting and clapping: Yahya Nasser! Yahya Nasser! (Long Life for Nasser). They had no idea that Nasser had died, and that it was Sadat in the motorcade! Funny as it may sound, this is a true story, and I mention it only as an extreme example to illustrate the contrast between Cities and Rural Communities.

There is no doubt that Trump, as well as the Republican/Conservative Party capitalized on this fact, and concentrated their efforts on America’s Rural Communities. That seems strange to me, since the GOP was once known as the Party of the Elites, and the Democrats were known as the party of the Hoi Polloi, or the labor class, the poor, the underprivileged, the farmers, factory workers etc. etc. Trump has certainly turned this fact on its head, hasn’t he, since the Elites in the Cities were what tipped this election towards the Democratic Party. Quite interesting, I might say, and another example of how both political parties use and manipulate us. All of us. The Left, the Right and the Middle, the Elites, as well as the Hoi Polloi!

Throughout Trump’s Presidency there was a Block of interests dead set against him and against anything he said, or did. He called it the Deep State (whatever that is). CNN (with few exceptions) and MSNBC were in that Block, and sometimes I was offended by their vitriol, their vindictiveness and their dripping antipathy. It was certainly over the top! On the other end there was Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News where the talking head sycophants were fawning and enraptured with Trump’s every word, Tweet and action. Disgusting as it is to watch them, it is no surprise, since these are the same anchors who had ramped up the neocon war on Iraq, on Libya and on the entire Arab World with dripping poisonous talk, lies, bigotry, racism and propaganda. They have been doing that on many divisive issues! Could Trump with Murdoch/FoxNews’ choir green light Bibi (who has been chomping at the bit!) to attack Iran during this transitional period? It would not surprise me at all, although it would be catastrophic for Iran, the region and the whole world! All our hypocritical, war-mongering MSM outlets would support that, even if tacitly. It is quite sad, actually, that all our media outlets are no more there to serve the interests of the people, or any ideals. Sadly, they only cherry-pick what information they think we need to be told about in order to serve their slanted agendas, sensationalism and the mighty dollar. Certainly, the industry needs a rethink! Meanwhile, there is a slew of other news sources to choose from.

Nevertheless, might this election be more like a Stop Gap Transitional pause in our political landscape here at home, as well as internationally, thus allowing us to get over the exhaustion of the past four years and to refocus on which direction we want to go in the future? Because, anyone expecting a Transformational fulfillment of all of Biden’s promises, or the drastic changes that the country really needs in order to become more Just and Equitable might only be setting themselves up for disappointment. I am keeping my expectations on the low end, simply because reversing the damages that Trump has inflicted will be quite an undertaking, and he is by no means done yet! His tortuous exit from the White House will be trying everyone’s tolerance, and he will keep at it long after that exit. Moreover, there is still a lethal Virus in our midst that we all need to cope with.

When I look back on all the elections that I was part of since coming to the US, and at all the Presidents who presided over this nation, I have to admit that none of them fulfilled all our expectations: Left, or Right. It is impossible to do so, because they are human beings not gods, and we are human beings with all the follies, foibles and wickedness inherent in our nature. Thus, not everything that Trump said, or did, was evil. Some of his doings I agreed with. I still do, although some of my initial assessments regarding him were totally wrong. However, I admit it, whereas neither the media personalities, nor our corrupt politicians ever, ever admit that they were wrong on anything. And they have been wrong. Still, the difference between Trump and previous Presidents is that he has no respect for the Office of the Presidency, nor for the people. His only interest is an adopted, warped, supremacist ideology and how that would benefit him. Also, with previous Presidencies there was a certain modicum of honor and class amongst all politicians. Today it is sad to hear that those who support Trump are AFRAID to oppose him lest he go on tirades against them. Grown men and women AFRAID? Have their spines turned to jelly? They would rather sacrifice all honor, self-respect and democracy for their own sordid ends? It is utterly beyond comprehension!

Nevertheless, and at the end of the day we should all rejoice that this Democratic Republic – notwithstanding all my numerous personal criticisms regarding many of its policies and aspects – and which we have held onto so far, has proven that it can, and will survive, bruised and battered as Trump has rendered it. We should all rejoice in that and continue our efforts in making it work better hard as it is going to be to heal all the fragmentation and anger. It is a far better choice than having to live with a despotic Strongman in the White House, surrounded by his immoral, self-serving, opportunistic, despicable henchmen!

2 thoughts on “The Elites versus The Hoi Polloi”

  1. Your conclusion sums up my thoughts quite aptly. This grand experiment in democracy will withstand he authoritarianism of the past several years. One good thingTrump has done for us is show us who we really are, as a nation. And it’s been shocking. Biden and Harris are doers, and I believe, precisely the right team to lead at this juncture. I doubt we will ever return to “normal” but I do not doubt that the future will be even better than the past has ever been. Our grandchildren, learning form our mistakes, will see to it.

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  2. Great piece.
    Those who voted for Biden, didn’t. They voted against Trump. Which is frightening because unless there is someone really evil (racist or incompetent viz Corona) in the White House it will be difficult to get people to expressly vote for the democrats because the democrats have not really made their case to the majority. Satisfying the needs of the wealthier educated liberals is not enough to win elections in the US. They need to capture the hearts, minds and pocketbooks of the majority, disaffected, unemployed, underpaid, uninsured, indebted and over mortgaged …with socialized healthcare, education, anti-racist policing, and sustained economic support during the lockdown…

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