I don’t usually watch CNN, but after being snowbound in a motel for five days with no Fox News, I received an earful. Other than the mind-numbing, endless focus on the Russians supposedly hacking the election and finger pointing at Donald Trump for daring to challenge this hastily adopted assumption, it wasn’t all bad. I discovered someone on the left who was actually honest about their elitist position. Michael Smerconish, a journalist with the network, penned a piece on January 6 entitled “Getting Out of the Bubble,” which he read on air. In it, he confessed that he did not understand the support for Trump, because being more upper class he is “out of touch with 46 percent of the country.” He admits he lives in a “virtual gated community;” he doesn’t watch Duck Dynasty, his kids go to a good school and he drives a nice car, not a truck.
Smerconish observes how this divide arose, “Charles Murray was prescient five years ago when he wrote of the isolation of the new upper class and the negative consequences that flow when they are segregated from the working class.” The sociologist Murray came up with a quiz to show people like Smerconish how out of touch they’d become. Out of a possible 77 points, meaning you’re the most connected with the middle, working class, Smerconish scored only 42.
At the end of the piece, he begrudgingly agrees to mingle with the little people, “So look for me taking more meals at Cracker Barrel, shopping at Walmart or even lingering in the parking lot at Lincoln Financial Field instead of sidestepping tailgaters.”
Without Walmart, many in this country would go without necessities. Cracker Barrel provides homey, comfy food at rock-bottom prices, a better alternative to fast food for middle-class Americans traveling. However, wealthy “foodies” look down on the restaurant because it doesn’t provide a hip, snooty ambience.