Them vs. Us: America's elite despises the freedom of the rest

Elites seem to see ordinary citizens as adversaries who must be limited. A study reveals an alarming reality.

Elites in the United States are completely out of tune with the rest of the population, meaning 99% of Americans. Not only does there exist a wide ideological gap, different positions taken by America's elite define the ordinary citizen as an adversary who must be limited and domesticated. These findings, which come from a very disturbing study, do well to explain why the United States is so polarized and immersed in conflict. It's alarming.

The Committee to Unleash Prosperity, an organization led by prominent figures such as businessman Steve Forbes and Wall Street Journal and National Review writer Stephen Moore, conducted a rather revealing study in the fall of last year: "Them vs. U.S.: The Two Americas and How the Nation’s Elite Is Out of Touch with Average Americans."

The study, which is based on a survey carried out by RMG Research, begins with the following words: "The people who run America, or at least think they do, live in a bubble of their own construction. They’ve isolated themselves from everyday America’s realities to such a degree their views about what is and what should be happening in this country differ widely from the average American’s."

"An analysis of their thinking, conducted for the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, finds that on a variety of
economic, social, and political issues, there exists a wide gap between how the top 1% – the Elites – think
things should be and how the rest of America looks at them," the study reads.

Elites, for the study, were defined as people who have a postgraduate degree, an income of more than $150,000 a year and live in a zip code with more than 10,000 inhabitants per square mile. This represents 1% of the population.

The first thing the study found is that, of the 1,000 elite people surveyed, 73% are Democrats, while just 14% are Republicans.

Too much freedom

First, regarding finances, only 20% of Americans consider that the economy has improved in recent months. However, when asking the elites, this percentage increases to 74%. Of just elite college graduates, 88% think their finances are improving.

On climate change, the majority (63%) of people are against regulating the consumption of meat, electricity and gas; but elites overwhelmingly (89%) support such regulations. Also in this regard, more than 70% of the elite would approve of paying more taxes to combat climate change; while only 28% of Americans think the same.

However, the most alarming result has to do with freedom. Most of the elite despise the freedom that Americans have enjoyed in recent decades. According to the survey, 47% of elites think the United States grants "too much individual freedom," with only 21% thinking there is too much government control. Among only elite university graduates, the gap is even wider: 55% say there is too much freedom, while 15% say there is too much state control.

For the rest of the populus, the assessment is the opposite: 57% of Americans think that there is too much government control, while only 16% think that the country has given too much freedom to the people.

This, considering that it is naturally the elites who typically make decisions and hold power in the government, is terrifying.

Regarding education and teachers' control over their students, the gap is also wide. Most Americans think parents should have more authority over their children (45%), while elites think the opposite (67%).

"The Elites, a group with extraordinary political and societal power, have views and attitudes that are wildly out of touch with the American people," read the study's conclusions.

"Supporting the lack of Elites’ concern about freedom is an extraordinary level of Elite trust in the government. ... That level of trust likely comes from the fact that leading government officials are drawn from the same cultural background as the Elites. Additionally, unlike most voters, Elites can easily access and influence government officials on issues of concern," the study adds.

"Given the influence they yield, the overall views of the Elites represent an existential threat to America’s founding ideals of freedom, equality, and self-governance," concludes the Committee to Unleash Prosperity.

Return power to the people

In a column in The Wall Street Journal, writer Kimberley Strassel says, "The powerful, the intellectual and the lazy have long said that the 'divide' in this country is between rich and poor. They divvy up Americans along traditional lines related to wealth."

However, "That framing fails to account for the country’s unsettled electorate. There’s a better description of the shifts both between and within the parties, a split that better explains changing voter demographics and growing populist sentiments. It’s the chasm between a disconnected elite and average Americans."

"This framing," Strassel continues, "explains today’s politics better: While this elite is small, its members are prominent in every major institution of American power, from media to universities to government to Wall Street, and have become more intent on imposing their agenda from above."

Strassel affirms that Trump's popularity lies precisely in the fact that the former president has campaigned around the promise of attacking the establishment. What most Americans want, she says, is a leader who promises to return power to the people. They want freedom, which is exactly what the elite despises.