The big disconnect.
Speaking to reporters shortly before Christmas last year, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said:
Providing assistance for the Ukrainians to defeat the Russians, that’s the number one priority for the United States right now…”
In the runup to the 2020 election, Joe Biden repeatedly said that climate change is:
…the number one issue facing humanity.”
What’s interesting is that neither Ukraine nor climate change are seen as the number one priorities or issues of the American people – i.e. us – the ones that pay the bills.
According to a December 2022 Gallup poll, climate change comes in dead last on the list of the concerns of U.S. adults. The war in Ukraine didn’t even make the list.
So, what are the top priorities of the American people? According to Gallup they are, in rank order, poor leadership, illegal immigration, a weakening economy and high inflation. Escalating crime is also high on the list.
This recent Gallup poll is neither the first nor the only time that polling has revealed that what the ruling class thinks is a big deal and what we proles think is a big deal are two different things.
And that, in itself, is a big deal.
It’s obvious to any objective observer that our priorities are of little concern to our ruling elites. There is a huge disconnect between the folks – people who get up every day to go to work to earn money to pay their taxes, feed their families, keep a roof overhead and have a bit to live on in retirement – and the elites in government, academia, entertainment and Big Tech, who condescend to the folks even as they largely exempt themselves from the consequences of the policies they promote.
The folks populate an entire continent. The elites live in cloistered coastal enclaves and are largely unaware of what life is really like across that sprawling continent.
For most people, getting the bills paid is a priority. Getting a decent education for their children is a priority. Maintaining a decent standard of living in the face of inflation that places an invisible tax on paychecks is a priority.
The situation in Ukraine – though it may elicit sympathy – isn’t a priority. Neither is climate change. Climate change is primarily an obsession of wealthy liberals, cossetted academics and naïve young people who haven’t lived long enough to have any perspective. Worrying about the climate 10, 20 or 50 years from now is a conceit that most people can’t afford. That fact is reflected in the priorities revealed in that December Gallup poll.
In a representative republic, if it is to prosper, the priorities of those in government should reflect the priorities of those who put them there.
Gallup makes clear that they don’t.
Those in government – both elected and permanent – have morphed into an elite cadre of self-enlightened overlords who have anointed themselves with the power and authority to tell us what our priorities are.
Such is not the hallmark of a republic.
It’s the hallmark of a dictatorship.