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How to Make America’s Elites More Responsible
Reading about Hollywood’s posturing poseurs delivering their goods at the Oscars (who can stand to watch this event?), as they ooze with self-righteousness and narcissism, triggers a pesky thought that no doubt erupts in the minds of countless normal people. That is, none of those luminaries strutting across the stage are affected by events or ideas targeted by their feverishly stroked, ego-driven drivel. Thus, the question arises, what if they were? More than that, what if America’s elites in the entertainment industry, political realm, media complexes, and academic institutions were forced to suffer the consequences of the views they hold, the policies they force on the rest of us? This tantalizing hypothetical is worth a thought experiment or two.
Let’s start with Obamacare, which many pundits on the right predict will collapse, implode, or turn into a pumpkin at midnight. Whatever. But nothing in Washington happens by itself; no policy ever self-destructs; it takes the political equivalent of plastic explosives piled as high as a skyscraper to make something happen. Unless, of course, Obamacare suddenly (and inexplicably) were applied to members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, their staffs, and everyone else on a government payroll. Then, before you could say “Affordable Healthcare,” Obama’s signature legislation would vanish overnight. And to the devil with the two trillion or so beneficiaries who would lose their coverage, according to the CBSO, the Congressional … um … Office. In short, forcing the lawmakers to obey their own laws would do wonders to clarify minds and speed up lethargic congressional processes.
Next, academic La La Land is desperately in need of a kind of intellectual Drano to clean out decades of misanthropic sediment that inevitably finds its way into elitist mental habits outside the academy. Try this for starters: every professor who has published a great deal should be required to relinquish authorship of at least half of his/her publications to those who have published nothing at all. Enthusiasts for income redistribution need to understand how ripping off producers to benefit those who contribute nothing works in an endeavor that they hold dear. Again, mental clarification is the goal.
Journalists come next; if we can find any, that is. Instead, we’ll have to work with inhabitants of the so-called mainstream media, which will allow us to sit back and enjoy the effects of “fake news” about individuals they hold dear. Somebody, somewhere should put out a story that reads as follows:
BERLIN (AP, Anointed Press) — Against a backdrop of towering Greek Ironic Columns and flanked by Michael Moore on both sides, former President Barack Obama admitted his mistakes before a crowd numbering dozens of people, not counting hundreds of Michelle Obama’s adoring attendants. In a 50-word address in which he used the “I” word 37 times, the penitent prexy declared, “Ich Bin Wrong!” Following his tearful admission, newly elected DNC Chief Perez announced that he would be President Trump’s most enthusiastic supporter.
Expect heads to explode all over the globe.
What can be done with radical feminists? This is simple, actually. Require the most ardent ones to sojourn for a year in Saudi Arabia, not as pampered celebrities, but as ordinary women forced to endure the humiliations of male dominance every day. Then have them return to America and recount their experiences about what a misogynist society is really like. Look forward to them explaining the charms of following Wahhabism instead of Washington (our first President) to their fellow travelers, who remain convinced that a woman needs a man like a tick needs a trampoline. Still, keep the hijab on Meryl Streep. It covers her face.
Forcing radical environmentalists to face reality is even easier, in theory, at least. Every environmentalist who harangues the rest of us about the hideousness of fossil fuels should be forbidden to use any means of transportation powered by gasoline-related products, along with any material good or service whose existence depends on oil. Let them ride buggies, tend to horses, and raise chickens. This simple step would collapse the global warming industry more quickly than you could pronounce the words, “anthropogenic climate change.”
Of course, the point that inspires these speculations is one that should be taken very seriously, however much fun it is to ridicule the antics of the country’s ruling class, which continually sneers at ordinary Americans for being unenlightened slobs. The point is that there is a chasm separating our country’s elites from regular citizens, a matter that has been addressed increasingly by thoughtful observers of American politics. Although developments in our country have not reached the crisis levels that destroyed Rome, for instance, or France under Louis XVI, clearly the existence of vast, interconnected swath of overseers—actors and activists, professors and pundits, politicians and bureaucrats—who are insulated from reality and the consequences of what they say and do, spells doom for America.
Which means that any measures that force elites into the world of responsibility should be welcomed, regardless of preposterous screeches of protest such efforts would ignite. The normals among us fervently hope that such efforts succeed before it is too late, before our “land of the free” succumbs to the tyrannies that inevitably ensue when irresponsible elites lose all interest in preserving the country that made them so important in the first place.Published in Culture
I forget who, but somebody at National Review suggested this. Basically, Pres. Trump can rescind the order that exempted Congress and their staff from having to buy their insurance on the exchanges in direct contradiction to the clear meaning of the ACA legislation. Force Congress and their staff to live on Obamacare and they will pass a repeal and replace bill tomorrow.
Those who favor early release of violent criminals (because, suddenly, despite having funds for high speed rail nobody will ride, they’ve discovered budget “concerns”) and open borders should have to relocate these people in their neighborhoods.
I know this isn’t a popular viewpoint, but I do think members of Congress are much more responsible then the rest of the elite, which is where we should be focusing our attention; e.g. Hollywood isn’t going to become more responsible if Washington does.
Heh. That did happen during one of California’s budget crises; they ended up releasing a bunch of violent criminals in the middle of Sacramento.
Marvin, this is a great post. Thanks!
For the academics, the better redistribution would be for any researcher to have to give up half of any new publications, not old stuff gathering dust. That would compare to giving up half of income. Suddenly, productive researchers would face giving their best new work to their slackest colleagues.