Quote of the Day:
You want a pithy, one-sentence summary of what happened in Britain's recent referendum on leaving the EU? Try this, from a woman in a call center in my district: "It's the working classes against the smirking classes."
–Dan Hannan in the Washington Examiner
A Member of the European Parliament who nevertheless campaigned to get the U.K. extricated from the EU, Hannan applies the smirking vs. working classes hypothesis to the U.S. See if you don't think Americans identify with this description of the woman quoted above:
She feels taken-for-granted, over-taxed, over-regulated, ignored, patronized, lied-to, laughed-at, disdained. She doesn't expect her politicians to do everything she wants. She'd just like them to listen from time to time.
Hannan isn't a fan of Donald Trump's, but he sees that some of what drove the Brexit movement also has created Trump in the U.S. He explains:
Britain's recent vote exposed the chasm between what the Italians call the "paese legale" (civil servants, politicians, financiers, corporatists, lobbyists) and the "paese reale" (everyone else).
And this vignette from the U.K. also sounds familiar:
But we also benefited — there is no point in denying it — from a sense of insurgency. When, at an anti-EU rally in Kent, I told the audience that this was where an earlier generation of patriots had launched the Peasants' Revolt, they interrupted with prolonged cheers.
This smirking class mouths progressive ideals, but it is rapacious for power, prestige and its own material comforts. Bill and Hillary Clinton are a nexus for many members of this class, and they are its values writ large, as is evident from an LA Times article about how they demand to be treated:
Clinton changed the rules of political speech-making for cash. He would push not just corporate hosts but also nonprofits and universities to pay fees well beyond what they were accustomed to. His aides would turn what had been a freewheeling format into tightly scripted events where every question from the audience was screened. He and Hillary Clinton would become so skilled at churning profits out of their lectures that they would net more than $150 million from speaking alone after he left the White House.
Members of the smirking class think nothing of sticking it to the working class, even as they deliver little:
[Contracts and emails about Clinton speeches] show a former president who deftly avoided discussing past scandals by refusing questions that were not screened by his staff in advance. There is the nearly $1,400 bill for a day’s worth of phone calls from San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel and the $700 dinner for two. And they also show that an agency representing Clinton continued to pursue a deal with an event host who emailed a racist remark about audiences and jokingly referred to the male aides Clinton traveled with as his mistresses.
No wonder the peasants are revolting.