The [Elite 1%] Are (Radically) Different From You and Me.

 

F. Scott Fitzgerald is smiling.

If you’re the proud owner of a snazzy new – or at today’s new car prices, more than likely “gently used”- gas-powered car you’re probably looking forward to years of fun trips and great service on your nice new wheels. Well, not so fast, say the “unique 1% elite” just unearthed in a fascinating recent poll conducted by the Rasmussen Group. If the “elite” group have their way, your shiny new set of wheels will, maybe overnight, become a pile of junk and a burden more than an object of pride, as 72% of that group would ban gas powered vehicles.

You and your spouse love your gas stove, just as your parents did before you, and you cannot imagine having to give it up as it has become “part of the family” over the years. Not so fast, say that exalted class who have a firm and undying belief in their own righteousness and, in most cases, a deep and abiding disdain for you and “your kind” (read: what’s left of the American middle class) as they know so much more how you should live your life than you do. That same poll showed that 69% of them would ban gas stoves.

These findings are just the tip of the iceberg of a most amazing — and in some ways accidental— discovery in polling done over the years by the Scott Rasmussen polling group. It was recently featured in an interview on Newt Gingrich’s podcast, Newt’s World, and in several articles briefly analyzing the findings. However, for those interested in gaining a deeper insight into these significant and, in some cases startling, findings, I highly recommend the 50 minute webinar published by his company and moderated by Rasmussen, including the most informative Q and A session. You will come away wondering how some of these “elites” can possibly live in the same America we occupy and believe in. You will also conclude: they do not live in the same America we do and in some cases hate “our” America. You will also come away with just enough good news to soften the blow of some of these findings and to continue to hope for better days for “Our America.” (If they can do it to “Our” Democracy we can do it to Our America, right?)

Here’s a brief synopsis of how this group was discovered from an article by Gingrich entitled The Elite 1 Percent Behind the Cultural Civil War:

Scott Rasmussen has done America an enormous service. He and his team have identified the driving forces behind the destructive radicalism which is pushing us into a cultural civil war.

While doing their two weekly national surveys, Rasmussen and his team noticed an anomaly. Out of every 1,000 or so respondents, there would always be three or four who were far more radical than everyone else. After several months of finding these unusual responses, Rasmussen realized they all shared three characteristics.

The radical responses came from people who had graduate degrees (not just graduate studies), family incomes above $150,000 a year, and lived in large cities (more than 10,000 people per zip code).

When Rasmussen aggregated the responses from more than 20 surveys, he realized these people made up a unique elite 1 percent.

The webinar discussion revealed that once his team had isolated the “anomaly”, they went back through several prior years of polling data to confirm that this “aberration”, for want of a better word, showed up in all those polls. An article by Scott McKay at spectator.org entitled Obama’s Awful Elite Unveiled by Rasmussen sums up the major findings:

You know exactly who Gingrich and Rasmussen are talking about here. And here’s how these people are further defined, none of which is surprising:

  • Two-thirds of them are between 35 and 54;
  • 86 percent are white;
  • 73 percent are Democrats;
  • Just under half (47 percent) favor Bernie Sanders– style socialism;
  • The same number, 47 percent, say there is “too much freedom” in America;
  • 35 percent say they’d “rather cheat than lose a close election.” That number doubles among the ones who say they’re active in politics daily;
  • 71 percent have a favorable opinion of the legacy media;
  • 74 percent of them say they’re actually better off financially than they were before COVID (only 20 percent of the rest of us say so);
  • Tellingly, 76 percent have a favorable opinion of college professors (The rest of the country? Just 17 percent hold that opinion);
  • Two-thirds, or 67 percent, say teachers and other educational professionals should decide what children are
    taught rather than letting parents do so;
  • 77 percent would “impose strict restrictions and rationing on the private use of gas, meat, and electricity”;
  • 72 percent would ban gas-powered vehicles;
  • 69 percent would ban gas stoves;
  • 58 percent would ban SUVs;
  • 55 percent would ban non-essential air travel;
  • 53 percent would ban private air conditioning; and
  • Joe Biden has an 84 percent approval rating with this crowd.

In other words, these are monsters who would plunge their fellow Americans into Third World tyranny and poverty and impose an unbearably low quality of life on the rest of us.

As troubling as these numbers are, there is more, and much more chilling, data resulting from additional polling the group did when they broke up the members of this group of “elites” into (a) those who held these beliefs across the board and (b) that sub-set of the 1% who were politically obsessed. Here is where those “monsters” the previous author referred to reside as they are not just different from you and me they are in the true sense of the word radical, far-left, Marxist, Maoist, Stalinist in their belief that whatever it takes to win must be done. Here is Gingrich’s discussion of that finding”

Rasmussen said that this project has revealed the scariest single polling number he has seen in nearly 35 years of studying popular opinion. According to his data, 35 percent of the elite 1 percent (and 69 percent of the politically obsessed elite 1 percent) said they would rather cheat than lose a close election. Among average Americans, 93 percent reject cheating and accept defeat in an honest election. Only 7 percent reported they would cheat.

Do you even know anyone who, no matter what else you might think of them, would rather cheat than lose an election? In my decades of law practice I must admit I did — but very, very few and they were always the true bottom-feeders. It is evident, to me at least, that this 69% of the “true believers” will be the most likely source of the chaos we are sure to see in the months leading up to Election Day. (I’m so old I still think in terms of one Election Day and I still vote on Election Day, marking me as a 100% troglodyte).

In a column entitled America’s elites live in a world of their own the author astutely charcterizes the phenomenon we see unfolding in these numbers and notes that the old cry we have heard for decades about two Americas is vividly illustrated in this data:

Rasmussen is quantifying a phenomenon that is as old as American politics itself — a sense that there are two Americas: one well-off, well-educated, and well-connected, the other less privileged and less protected. William F. Buckley Jr. famously captured that sentiment when he wrote in 1963: “I should sooner live in a society governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the 2,000 faculty members of Harvard University.” That was not because he doubted the “brainpower” of the Harvard faculty, Buckley added, but because he recoiled from their “intellectual arrogance.”

Decades later, Rasmussen’s data suggest that the arrogance of such elites remains entrenched. In America they see a nation where people have too much freedom and should be told what to do by a government that knows best. Recounting a presentation he gave at Harvard a dozen years ago, Rasmussen tells me he has never forgotten one faculty member who demanded in exasperation: “Why won’t Americans let us lead? It’s what we were trained to do.” You don’t have to scrutinize poll numbers to recognize the impact of that attitude on America’s civic life. Too many elites look down on their fellow citizens, and an awful lot of their fellow citizens return the favor.

With these findings in mind it might be interesting to step back and take a look at F. Scott Fitzgerald’s entire quote from which the famous phrase is drawn and to note how timely it is today although it was written 99 years ago:

“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different.”

These monsters simply cannot win in November. Period. Full stop. I do not mean to signal any feeling I may have that they will win or, as should be clear from the above, that they should win. However, considering the cesspool we now call our National “leadership”, if those 69% of the elites do find a way to cheat (again) their way to win this election what will we deplorables be left with?

I do not have a clear answer to that question, but I do know this:

It will not be the America we love.

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  1. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    The definition of ‘elite’ used in this study is not the same as any meaningful definition of ‘rich’.  By requiring that an individual have a graduate degree and live in a large city, they exclude a lot of people whose income is way about $150K and who have more in the way of assets than many of these ‘elites’ will ever have.

    What the study is really measuring is the attitudes of people who *think* they should be elites.

    • #1
  2. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    David Foster (View Comment):

    The definition of ‘elite’ used in this study is not the same as any meaningful definition of ‘rich’. By requiring that an individual have a graduate degree and live in a large city, they exclude a lot of people whose income is way about $150K and who have more in the way of assets than many of these ‘elites’ will ever have.

    What the study is really measuring is the attitudes of people who *think* they should be elites.

    They are exercising undue influence on matters related to the use of natural resources and the apparent aim is directed at reducing population by making essentials for living scarce and economic growth impossible. We know who they are and the fact that not all rich individuals are with them is understood.

    • #2
  3. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    I’m reminded of this from CS Lewis…

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    • #3
  4. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    David Foster (View Comment):

    The definition of ‘elite’ used in this study is not the same as any meaningful definition of ‘rich’. By requiring that an individual have a graduate degree and live in a large city, they exclude a lot of people whose income is way about $150K and who have more in the way of assets than many of these ‘elites’ will ever have.

    What the study is really measuring is the attitudes of people who *think* they should be elites.

    The English word “elite” has multiple definitions in common usage.

    Your comment implies that you mistakenly think that (a) there is only one “correct” definition, and (b) the one that you have chosen is it.

    • #4
  5. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    The English word “elite” has multiple definitions in common usage.

    Your comment implies that you mistakenly think that (a) there is only one “correct” definition, and (b) the one that you have chosen is it.

    A lot of people, when they hear the word ‘elite’, think ‘rich people’.  Some Fox News person the other day was making negative comments about ‘the 1%’…her own income is about $16MM/yr, which is far beyond ‘top 1%’.  The Scott Fitzgerald quote was specifically about ‘the very rich.’

    It would be a real mistake for conservative/libertarians/sane people in general to align themselves with those that think the main problem with America is the excessive influence of rich people. 

     

    • #5
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    France

    1788

    • #6
  7. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Those who haven’t already seen it may be interested in my post What, Precisely, is the Issue with ‘Elites’?

     

    • #7
  8. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Overproduction of elites is as bad for a nation as, say, celebration of perversion or contempt for its citizens. Hey! Maybe these things are connected!

    • #8
  9. Arthur Beare Member
    Arthur Beare
    @ArthurBeare

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    France

    1788

    Predicting or advocating?

    • #9
  10. Jim George Member
    Jim George
    @JimGeorge

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    France

    1788

    Bryan, I had just finished my rough draft last night when I saw your post. Just didn’t want you to think I was deliberatelly trying to “step on” your earlier post, which generated some very interesting comments. Regards, Jim

    PS: your observation above may well be, as frightening as it is to have to acknowledge it, a precursor of what could happen if they steal this election like they did the last one. We could be in for a very violent time as many Americans seem to be at the breaking point right now. JAG

    • #10
  11. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Arthur Beare (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    France

    1788

    Predicting or advocating?

    My darker nature would love it. That voice is a minority. It would be a disaster for America. France still has not recovered. 

    • #11
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Jim George (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    France

    1788

    Bryan, I had just finished my rough draft last night when I saw your post. Just didn’t want you to think I was deliberatelly trying to “step on” your earlier post, which generated some very interesting comments. Regards, Jim

    PS: your observation above may well be, as frightening as it is to have to acknowledge it, a precursor of what could happen if they steal this election like they did the last one. We could be in for a very violent time as many Americans seem to be at the breaking point right now. JAG

    Gosh, you put time and thought into yours. I ranted. This is much better than mine. 

    • #12
  13. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Jim George: Tellingly, 76 percent have a favorable opinion of college professors (The rest of the country? Just 17 percent hold that opinion);

    I wonder what percentage of those polled were themselves college professors or administrators?  I can’t think of another relatively high-paying profession you would be more likely to get these answers from.

    • #13
  14. DrewInWisconsin, Lower Order Oaf 🚫 Banned
    DrewInWisconsin, Lower Order Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Jim George: Tellingly, 76 percent have a favorable opinion of college professors (The rest of the country? Just 17 percent hold that opinion);

    I wonder what percentage of those polled were themselves college professors or administrators? I can’t think of another relatively high-paying profession you would be more likely to get these answers from.

    Pretty much every bureaucrat.

    • #14
  15. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    “College professors and administrators conducted a study, and found that college professors and administrators are the most admired people in society.”

    Right up there with “the police investigated themselves, and found they did nothing wrong.”

    • #15
  16. Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    The definition of ‘elite’ used in this study is not the same as any meaningful definition of ‘rich’. By requiring that an individual have a graduate degree and live in a large city, they exclude a lot of people whose income is way about $150K and who have more in the way of assets than many of these ‘elites’ will ever have.

    What the study is really measuring is the attitudes of people who *think* they should be elites.

    The English word “elite” has multiple definitions in common usage.

    Your comment implies that you mistakenly think that (a) there is only one “correct” definition, and (b) the one that you have chosen is it.

    Yes, Rasmussen apparently identified the “aberrant” group and determined the boundaries of their social-economic status afterwards and labeled them as elites.

    • #16
  17. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    No kidding. One possible upside is these idiots tend to live expensive cities run by democrats.  Gated communities, ok. But lots of homeless, crime and car thefts. Maybe can afford private security but unless you are in Obama Martha’s vineyard territory taking a risk when you go out on the street.  Hopefully they will get what’s coming to rest of us. 

    • #17
  18. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    navyjag (View Comment):

    No kidding. One possible upside is these idiots tend to live expensive cities run by democrats. Gated communities, ok. But lots of homeless, crime and car thefts. Maybe can afford private security but unless you are in Obama Martha’s vineyard territory taking a risk when you go out on the street. Hopefully they will get what’s coming to rest of us.

    Once criminals realize that most people around them don’t have much more than the criminals do, I expect their targets will change.

    • #18
  19. Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Jim George: Tellingly, 76 percent have a favorable opinion of college professors (The rest of the country? Just 17 percent hold that opinion);

    I wonder what percentage of those polled were themselves college professors or administrators? I can’t think of another relatively high-paying profession you would be more likely to get these answers from.

    150k is pretty low from what I understand for a household income for a couple just one of whom has a masters.  What about lawyers, HR directors, successful middle-income business owners, and government and private management?  Two-income households of school teachers.  And college administrators and bureaucrats.  And most importantly, government workers, who, I have been told for years, now make more than their private industry counterparts.

    • #19
  20. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    The English word “elite” has multiple definitions in common usage.

    Your comment implies that you mistakenly think that (a) there is only one “correct” definition, and (b) the one that you have chosen is it.

    A lot of people, when they hear the word ‘elite’, think ‘rich people’.

    Yes, that is one definition: “the elite” is a synonym for “the rich”.

    The point I am making is that there are others, and that the one you happen to prefer is not the one correct one, as you implied.

    Some Fox News person the other day was making negative comments about ‘the 1%’…her own income is about $16MM/yr, which is far beyond ‘top 1%’.

    The Scott Fitzgerald quote was specifically about ‘the very rich.’

    It would be a real mistake for conservative/libertarians/sane people in general to align themselves with those that think the main problem with America is the excessive influence of rich people.

    None of those four statements have any bearing on the subject we are discussing.

    • #20
  21. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    I think this is very telling.   If you decided to crank up my income, I would not massively change my perspective.  I went from lower middle class to upper middle class without massively altering my politics.  It’s not really being rich that’s the problem.   If you gave me a million bucks, I’m going to live similarly – just with more stuff.

    It’s this isolated class of people that act like the clergy of a social justice religion.   I’ll bet they exempt themselves from their own rules.

    • #21
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    I think this is very telling. If you decided to crank up my income, I would not massively change my perspective. I went from lower middle class to upper middle class without massively altering my politics. It’s not really being rich that’s the problem. If you gave me a million bucks, I’m going to live similarly – just with more stuff.

    It’s this isolated class of people that act like the clergy of a social justice religion. I’ll bet they exempt themselves from their own rules.

    Or they just agree not to prosecute each other, which is the same thing.

    • #22
  23. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    I think this is very telling. If you decided to crank up my income, I would not massively change my perspective. I went from lower middle class to upper middle class without massively altering my politics. It’s not really being rich that’s the problem. If you gave me a million bucks, I’m going to live similarly – just with more stuff.

    It’s this isolated class of people that act like the clergy of a social justice religion. I’ll bet they exempt themselves from their own rules.

    And, it wouldn’t be the same to crank up your income NOW, versus if your income had been cranked up starting 10 or 20 or 30 years ago…

    • #23
  24. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I think Rasmussen

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    The English word “elite” has multiple definitions in common usage.

    Your comment implies that you mistakenly think that (a) there is only one “correct” definition, and (b) the one that you have chosen is it.

    A lot of people, when they hear the word ‘elite’, think ‘rich people’.

    Yes, that is one definition: “the elite” is a synonym for “the rich”.

    The point I am making is that there are others, and that the one you happen to prefer is not the one correct one, as you implied.

    Some Fox News person the other day was making negative comments about ‘the 1%’…her own income is about $16MM/yr, which is far beyond ‘top 1%’.

    The Scott Fitzgerald quote was specifically about ‘the very rich.’

    It would be a real mistake for conservative/libertarians/sane people in general to align themselves with those that think the main problem with America is the excessive influence of rich people.

    None of those four statements have any bearing on the subject we are discussing.

    Tell us exactly what you mean by that statement @markcamp.

    We need a label to describe the group of people that Rasmussen has identified and ‘elite’ in what is one of its more common usages as by Scott Fitzgerald and as has been pointed out be @davidfoster is not ‘the rich’. I don’t think ‘elite’ is the word we should use as we engage in the fight.

     

     

    • #24
  25. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    The elites need to ask themselves how well their ilk fare in revolutions . . .

    • #25
  26. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    If I look at your bulleted list, the few people I know who share those attitudes/values seem to get their news primarily from three sources: NYTimes, WaPo, NPR. All believe themselves to be well-informed. 

    BTW, I’d guess that Governor HairGel of The Brushed Aluminum State is one of the elite. It was interesting to see stories of his recent experience of shoplifting at a Target store. 

    • #26
  27. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Django (View Comment):

    If I look at your bulleted list, the few people I know who share those attitudes/values seem to get their news primarily from three sources: NYTimes, WaPo, NPR. All believe themselves to be well-informed.

    BTW, I’d guess that Governor HairGel of The Brushed Aluminum State is one of the elite. It was interesting to see stories of his recent experience of shoplifting at a Target store.

    Since he was basically raised as part of the Getty clan in San Francisco  you are correct. 

    • #27
  28. Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Generally speaking, I question whether the triplet that Rasmussen found in his research (150K, one masters, living in a city zip code) is really only 1% of the US population, but it may be.  Calling them “elites” is Rasmussen’s choice.

    But what I find most important is what he actually found:

    While doing their two weekly national surveys, Rasmussen and his team noticed an anomaly. Out of every 1,000 or so respondents, there would always be three or four who were far more radical than everyone else. After several months of finding these unusual responses, Rasmussen realized they all shared three characteristics. …

    When Rasmussen aggregated the responses from more than 20 surveys, he realized these people made up a unique elite 1 percent.

    How much power do these people have?  My guess is not much more than any other voter.  This may not effect voting patterns or neighborliness, but it would effect employee relations with one’s supervisors.

    It seems pointless to this conversation to wonder how those who make over a million dollars a year and live in low-density rural settings of five or ten acre lots would be characterized, but my suspicion is that they would be very much like Rasmussen’s one percent.

    • #28
  29. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Jim George: Do you even know anyone who, no matter what else you might think of them, would rather cheat than lose an election?

    Probably I do, though I’ve never heard anyone say that explicitly.  And they probably fit the rest of the characteristics y0u listed, too.   I like a lot of those people (and some of them I don’t care for) but like them or not, they should never be allowed anywhere near politics.   

    • #29
  30. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Jim George: Just under half (47 percent) favor Bernie Sanders– style socialism;

    These people are out of their minds. God that is scary.

    Another reason to get rid of inflation. You can’t equalize for it. It doesn’t do anybody any good except the one percent and people on government salaries.

    Jim George: 35 percent say they’d “rather cheat than lose a close election.” That number doubles among the ones who say they’re active in politics daily;

    Don’t give an inch, ever. These people are dangerous. 

    Jim George: 71 percent have a favorable opinion of the legacy media;

    The media is fundamentally terrible. These people are dangerously out of it or they just like propaganda.

    • #30
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