Not since Marie Antoinette offered diet tips to the poor has a country’s ruling elite been so out-of-touch with the concerns of the populace. First up, VDH on California’s hopeless political class:
Last year, cash-strapped California taxpayers voted for Proposition 47, which so far has let thousands of convicted criminals go free from prison and back onto the streets. Now the state may have to relearn what lawbreakers often do when let out of jail early.
The state may be entering the fifth year of a catastrophic drought, but California has not started building any of the new reservoirs that were planned but long ago canceled under the unfinished California Water Project. Water may remain scarce, but legislators — many of whom have their daily water needs met by the ancient reservoirs and canals that their grandparents built — don’t seem overly bothered. They prefer to designate transgender restrooms, ban plastic bags at grocery stores, and prohibit pet dogs from chasing bears and bobcats.
Political and social elites are so enamored of bad policies like mass immigration and environmental extremism that their wealth and social status enable them to live above the consequences. Water, jobs, and crime are not concerns to politicians who drive to homes in La Jolla or trustafarians living in gated residences in Pacific Heights. Those are problems for the little people.And they actually have a fair bit of contempt for those who aren’t wealthy or connected enough to live above the consequences. As one elitist sneered that opposing mass third world immigration is turning ‘your suburban face away from the plight of the miserable.’
In that use of [the intended put-down] ‘suburban’, (Simon) Schama showed something a lot of us had suspected – which is that for a certain type of globe-trotting international celebrity, any concern for borders, national identity and cultural continuity are not just beneath them, but actively ‘common’. Of course, like so many other advocates of mass immigration, Simon Schama can live pretty much where he wants. And if the area around him goes somewhat downhill because the neighbours all start to come from the rougher corners of Eritrea then Simon Schama can move. And he will probably move to a very nice area. But not everybody has that choice. And one thing we can all be certain of is that Simon Schama will never choose to live in Bradford, Malmo or any of the (dare I say it) ‘suburbs’ outside Paris. Yet all the time he will urge other peoples’ neighbourhoods to more closely resemble those great success stories, and look down at people from an ever-loftier height when they dare to object.
Hat Tip to David Thompson, who notes:
Mr Schama currently lives in Briarcliff Manor, an affluent, very white village in Westchester County, New York. The kind of neighbourhood that has genteel regulations regarding alcoholic beverages and the public use of amusement devices.
Our ever-wealthier political class ensconces itself in hoity-toity enclaves like Potomac, Pacific Heights, and Alexandria. What do they care if the result of their gun control policies are more murders in Baltimore? If the result of their education policy is more unemployable youth in Oakland? If the result of their immigration policy is more rapes in Manassas?
‘Morality’ comes cheaply to those who can pass the social costs to others.