Fine observations on class, status, and wealth by Victor Davis Hanson. Concluding paragraphs:
Take the case of Nancy Pelosi. She goes by her first name among constituents to stress her bond to common men and women, and yet her net worth is $100 million and she owns a palatial Napa villa. Though she acts ordinary in some ways, she is insulated from the ramifications of her own ideology, which harms the very people she purportedly models herself after. When she dismisses tax cuts and bonuses for the middle class as “crumbs,” are we to assume she is not an out-of-touch elite? Or does “Nancy’s” virtue-signaling politics of redistribution camouflage her own privilege and agenda?
One reason billionaire Donald Trump won the Electoral College was that he was transparent. He did not fake a southern drawl or an inner-city patois in the manner of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Unlike Mitt Romney, he exaggerated rather than apologized for his wealth. His loud clothes, garish jet, and American boosterism were in your face, and allowed Americans to draw their own conclusions—and, in contrast, made vastly rich progressive activists like Tom Steyer and Al Gore seem disingenuous.
Visible class distinctions of the past were a result of pride in achievement and old-fashioned snobbery. But their practical effect was to warn that the interests and agendas of the elite were not always the same as those of the public. Today’s billionaire hipsters blur these ancient distinctions. But just because a Master of the Universe looks like us does not mean that his dogged pursuit of tax exemptions, offshoring and outsourcing, and vertically integrated monopolies is in our interest.