I think I am supposed to be thinking of myself as an “elite” these days.
This has the feel of a disconnect, probably about as much of one as when some other people realize they are supposed to be thinking of themselves as “privileged.”
We look around and think LOL. Or would, if it weren’t so serious.
So I think I was supposed to just nod along when I read this in my email this morning, about the problem of political violence in the United States:
What makes this situation worse is that there is no remedy for it.[Tom Nichols, “The New Era of Political Violence is Here”]
The author went on, describing his diagnosis, and why there is no remedy for it.
But I thought to myself – really?
You don’t think fixing the economy that has been so broken for the last forty years or more that real wages for the middle quintiles of the income distribution have been flat, while income and wealth inequality have gone off the charts, would go a long way to being a remedy?
You don’t think fixing a health care system that is so broken that even doctors worry about their health insurance would go a long way to being a remedy?
You don’t think that restoring the funding of public goods that nourish the habits of mind and heart that are essential for the maintenance of a free society, like libraries, the arts, parks and recreation departments, and debt-free higher education, would go a good ways to being a remedy?
You don’t think treating people who are “deplorably” different from you as human beings, and taking the problems they have in life seriously, and trying to do something about the objective issues that give rise to those problems, would go at least some way to being a remedy?
I think there are remedies. I think the main problem is how to get to them.
Images: “Facepalm,” Tim Green from Bradford, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; “Sophia” by Tania Kugai, used by permission