It’s been a hard year but at least we know, beyond all doubt, that our elites despise us and will do anything to expand their power.
Our elites believe, contra Thomas Jefferson, that most people were born with saddles on their backs while a favored few were born booted and spurred to ride them, legitimately.
For as difficult as the past year has been, from politics to the pandemic, it has at least helped to illuminate and clarify certain things about the state of our country.
Above all, 2020 has illuminated and clarified the relationship between America’s elites—in government, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, corporate America and the corporate press—and everyone else. In short, our elites believe, contra Thomas Jefferson, that most people were born with saddles on their backs while a favored few were born booted and spurred to ride them, legitimately.
The rigors and suffering of the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the perseverance, resilience, and generosity of the American people, but also exposed—sometimes in mind-boggling detail—the greed, hypocrisy, and indifference of our elites.
We like to think we live in a country where everyone, rich and poor alike, is equal before the law. But we know now, thanks to the exigencies and emergencies of 2020, that isn’t true—or at least it’s only true sometimes, when the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to weigh in and enforce equal treatment.
But left unchecked, as many of our leaders were over the past year, we all know what they will do. In no particular order, then, here are the five big things we learned about America and its elites in 2020.
1. Democrats Don’t Care About Science—Or Religious Liberty
This year we learned Democrats aren’t the “party of science,” and in fact don’t care about science at all—especially if it gets in the way of their policy agenda or the exercise of emergency powers.
How else do you explain the actions of Democratic governors like New York’s Andrew Cuomo and California’s Gavin Newsom? They both tried to ban indoor religious gatherings based the unscientific belief that people are more likely to contract COVID-19 in a church than in a liquor store or a Lowe’s. In both cases, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such restrictions were unconstitutional because they singled out houses of worship for unequal treatment.
Lost in the media coverage of these and similar cases was the disturbing fact that these governors weren’t basing their pandemic-related restrictions on science or data. When a Los Angeles judge earlier this month struck down an outdoor dining ban issued by county health officials, he noted that the county hadn’t presented any scientific evidence justifying the ban or even done a basic cost-benefit analysis on the effects of shutting down more than 30,000 restaurants.
“It’s not rational to make a decision without doing everything you’re supposed to do, and you haven’t,” the judge said. “You’re imposing restrictions but there’s no reason to believe it will help with ICU capacity.” In all these cases, science had nothing to do with the attempted shutdown. Power and prejudice did.
2. Lockdowns For Thee But Not For Me
Speaking of Newsom, he became the poster boy for elite hypocrisy when he was photographed at a fancy Napa Valley restaurant with a bunch of wealthy and powerful friends right after imposing harsh pandemic-related lockdowns on much of the state.
He wasn’t alone. All over the country, elected officials—almost all of them Democrats—were spotted flouting their own pandemic rules and restrictions. My colleague Tristan Justice catalogued some of the most high-profile instances.
There was Austin Mayor Steve Adler telling residents to stay home—and threatening them with more restrictive measures if they didn’t comply—while he was vacationing in a Mexican resort town.
There was Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who boarded a flight for Houston to visit his daughter for Thanksgiving right after telling residents to “avoid travel if you can.”
There was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, mask-less, visiting a shut-down hair salon in San Francisco, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot doing the same thing—then getting caught mask-less in the streets with a bullhorn at a rally celebrating Joe Biden’s victory. Her excuse (they all have excuses) was that the “crowd was gathered whether I was there or not.”
On and on, all over the country. The mayors of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, D.C., all of them Democrats, all of them caught flouting their own lockdown orders.
We can conclude two things from this. The first is that our ruling elites, despite their grave intonations and warnings, don’t really believe the coronavirus is very dangerous or that their lockdown orders are necessary—at least not for them. The second is that they hate you and think you’re stupid.
A preview of the remaining three:
- 3. Lockdown Elites Don’t Care If Small Businesses Die
- 4. Silicon Valley Wants You to Shut Up
- 5. Elites Are Okay With Chaos and Violence From the Left