What Should “Equality” Really Mean In America?

King ObamaMost are aware, if only vaguely, that our nation’s Founders were much against establishing a formal ruling class, any hereditary nobility as obtained in the Old World. Considerable discussion occurred around President Washington’s style in office, aimed at keeping American equality visible.

That was then, but something seems to have happened along the way toward today where it is clear that our Congressfolk feel superior to the rest of us. They have awarded themselves not only superior rewards and security to that most of us ever attain, but they also hold themselves exempt from the laws they apply to the rest of us, as the recent brouhaha over Obamacare coverage made clear. Once in office, they obviously find themselves better somehow, than any one of the rest of us. They have become rulers. Our Founders foresaw and wanted to prevent that; they had too much knowledge and experience of the result of people who believe they are somehow entitled to rule.

George Orwell’s 1945 “Animal Farm” saw this coming; The denizens were cozened by constant references to “equality” until the rulers were safely established. Then, in response to questions about what had happened to the equality, came the now famous response: “Some … are more equal than others.” In America now, our denizens of Washington, D.C. are no longer at the same level as the rest of us, at least as too many of them see things. They are ‘entitled’ to better than they allot to us. They have become our nobility.

Our presidents once made a point of adopting a plain style and the appearance of living much as everybody else, whatever happened behind closed doors. Now, our imperial President hobnobs with the international set and trots the world with his retinue of hundreds from one watering hole of the wealthy to another, on our money. He seems to think we owe it to him. That is new; past presidents have recognized hard times for Americans by visibly plain or subdued living; President Obama is above us, so that doesn’t apply to him, or to his friends. Traditional Americans would not have accepted that; As our President has morphed into royalty, we seem to ¬†have been morphing into subjects. Our leader’s style is a message. So is the newly abject demeanor of the newly worshipful major media. We seem to be falling into line; is that what we really want?

Two relatively recent politicians served to warn us that we were evolving a ruling class out of our Ivy League establishment: Dan Quayle, who was good enough to be a Congressman and a Vice President but whose Indiana shtick disqualified him from the ruling elite and the presidency was one and recently, Sarah Palin, another non-elite American, is another. Our ruling class may include (now very wealthy) mountebanks such as Al Gore, but they are Harvard, not Indiana or (shudder) University of Idaho.

It is a chronic complaint now that our rulers in Washington are increasingly removed from us, they don’t think as we think or feel as we feel; they inhabit a different reality. They have made themselves more secure (at our expense) than any of us who aren’t millionaires, everyone leaps to obey their orders and these conditions have an effect upon people. The result is arrogance, often unintended but no less present. You see it sometimes in a small way in doctors, lawyers and particularly, judges. Priests too, on occasion. It’s very human. It’s also destructive to the interests of those subject to it. No one who knows he is superior to you can possibly have your interests at heart any more than the farmer shares the interests of his cattle.

We’ve put these Washington folk into their positions and we still keep them there. For the moment, we can still replace them, at least in theory. Perhaps, considering what we’ve made for ourselves, we ought to be giving that a little more thought.

 

 

About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
This entry was posted in Congress, Entertainment, Equality and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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