Too simple to understand.

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Photo by Amy Conn-Gutierez, The Dallas Morning News. Used with permission.

Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM & FM, Friday, March 12, 2010.

My wife and I were invited by my good friend and the Tyler area’s former representative in Congress Ralph Hall to join him and his supporters on election night to eat barbecue and watch the returns.

So my wife, my younger daughter and I headed for the town square in Rockwall, where Ralph keeps his district office, and we joined what became a celebration as Congressman Hall easily beat back five Republican primary challengers.

The square in Rockwall looks like it came from a Norman Rockwell painting. The dozens of supporters, friends and constituents crowded into Ralph’s office looked as if they did, too.

Despite the fact that many in the crowd were anywhere from moderately to significantly wealthy, you wouldn’t know it to look at them. There were no Armani suits, no dresses from Michael Kors. For every man wearing a tie there were three wearing blue jeans, nondescript slacks or work pants. The women were wearing modest jewelry. The air rang with the sound of our Texas drawl as Ralph moved through the crowd.

In addition to the barbecue that the Ralph Hall campaign provided, supporters brought homemade pies and cakes. Someone made sure to give my daughter a homemade chocolate chip cookie with M&Ms baked in.

All of which led my wife to say, spontaneously, “These people are the salt of the earth.”

A fact that is both undeniable and yet totally unappreciated by those currently running our country.

It has finally gotten through to me that we – I mean you and me and the members of your Sunday School class and those nice people in Rockwall the other night – are all looked down upon by a very small group of east and west coast elites in government, the media and entertainment.

As was well-expressed the other day by Fox News Channel boss Roger Ailes, there is a very strong tendency among our coastal elites to confuse simple people with simpletons.

Most Americans are simple. They love their families and they love the flag. They believe in God. They’re working toward a comfortable retirement. They instinctively understand that nothing worth having is free. They believe that able-bodied and able-minded people should not be dependent on the government.

Americans in their simplicity believe that the best way to have a secure future is to get a good education and then apply that education through hard work.

They believe they should be able to keep the majority of what they earn.

All of these traits lie at the very heart of American goodness and there’s nothing complicated about any of it.

I now realize that not only does that simple goodness not impress our uber-educated elites, they actually look down upon it with condescension and contempt.  Imagine Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, with his multiple degrees from Dartmouth and Johns Hopkins, trying to relate to the Rockwall County treasurer. Imagine Attorney General Eric Holder, class of ’73 at Columbia, having a conversation with the Rockwall County DA.

Imagine Diane Sawyer or Katie Couric being sent to Rockwall County to cover Ralph Hall’s re-election.

All of these luminaries would react the same way. They would say to themselves, ‘Look at these unsophisticated rubes. What was she thinking when she bought that dress? Who tied that tie for him? Do all of these people shop at Wal-Mart?’

And then they would become more resolute in the conclusion that they have already reached. People like us, with degrees from state colleges and second-tier private schools and our thick regional accents, cannot possibly know, better than our pedigreed, benevolent elites, what’s best for us.

That’s why health care reform refuses to die despite being under water in the polls by as much as two to one.

In the view of our ruling elites, we don’t oppose health care reform because it’s too costly and too intrusive and will likely make getting the care we need more difficult. We oppose it because we are foolish children who don’t understand.

So, in much the same way our mothers made us take foul-tasting medicine when we were kids, we are going to get health care legislation we oppose because it’s for our own good. And if we object, we’re going to have our noses held with one hand while it’s forced into our mouths and down our throats with the other.

A small, elite group of people thinks that we 310 million Americans are not smart enough to run our own lives.

If you think the resulting mischief will stop with health care, you are dangerously mistaken.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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2 Responses

  1. Thirsty Joe James says:

    Sad, but really no different than the “elites” in this town and how they react to the simple people of our county.

  2. Indeed the government is growing fast. Let’s see some real change and support our small businesses and education, not raise a dinosaur of a health plan out of a tar pit.

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