Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Snobbery and liberalism are curiously entwined

This insight from Kevin D. Williamson in National Review applies not only to Democrats and not only to America. Being relaxed about immigration, homosexuality, feminism etc, are class markers in Europe too and sometimes a form of mating ritual. Not only in Western but in Eastern Europe. The well educated young in Budapest hate Mr. Orban as much as the well educated young in 1980s London and New York hated Mrs Thatcher and Reagan.
'The Democratic party is the political home of snobbery, a word and a concept often misunderstood. Snobbery does not refer to the cultivated preferences of
those refined persons who order the ’82 Bordeaux because it is their mothers’ milk or who have an iTunes library full of Liszt because the sound of Cardi B fills them with discomfort and anxiety. The genuinely refined — particularly those cocooned by wealth — usually are not much interested in the enthusiasms or tastes of others, whereas the snob is obsessed with his own discernment relative to the low and vulgar tastes of those around him. The snob is the kind of man who sees a pair of Wranglers and sneers at the life he imagines they represent: $42,000 a year, tract house, SUV, work boots, Garth Brooks, Donald Trump. The snob isn’t a man of exacting tastes, but a poseur: The word derives from an older English word for a shoemaker’s apprentice and is intended to convey contempt for vulgar social climbers who aped the manners and tastes of the upper classes.
'There is a peculiar paradox at the heart of modern progressivism: Progressives, especially Democratic candidates for office, claim to speak for the poor, the low-income, the marginalized, those born and raised without the benefits and (inevitable word) privilege of a Bush or a Romney or a McCain. But, at the same time, there is nothing they hate worse than somebody who comes from such a background entering public life: You’ll recall the sneering at Sarah Palin’s education — six years spread out over four colleges, none of them very good ones.'


  1. Wow, such insightful insight! If you want an example of snobbery without refinement look no farther than National Cuckview. When I lived in California in the 1980s I would spend hours reading National Review cover to cover. The writers were top quality, well read and genuinely insightful, even those who were of a neocon bent. Then you had neocons completely take over. The average IQ of the contributors plummeted and it shifted far to the Left. Now NR offers nothing bland, boring commentary on politics as sportsball. People like Rich Lowry, Kevin Williamson simply don’t know enough to make it worth reading. I haven’t read it for about 15 years. Take a copy of National Review from 1985 and today and you can scarcely believe its the same magazine.

  2. Sarah Palin's daughter got up a tree without being married, something conservatives used to despise. Now apparently it's just fine as long as the pregnant teens are white.
    Conservatives endlessly seethe about being looked down upon. If they despised liberals as much as they say they do, they wouldn't care.
    Conservatives like Rupert Murdoch, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Conrad Black, the Kochs and the Mercers always live in cosmopolitanism cities with high standards of living and culture. They would never in a million years move to Augusta, Georgia, or Enid, Oklahoma, where all the good old folks they claim to champion live. And they wouldn't wear Wranglers either.

  3. I certainly don't like jeans but I associate them with the ideas of 1968.

  4. The English upper classes usually live in the country much of the time if they can. That does not necessarily involve wearing jeans. Tweed suits are not extinct.

  5. I am not crazy about jeans either, and I think the writer is grasping with futility to seize on them as a cultural symbol. Kevin Williamson once said women who got abortions should be executed, then whined when publications were not on board with his views. A crybaby, just like in this article.

  6. One more thought...aren't you generally for inequality and class gradations or at least not against them? So why would someone's looking down on a Wrangler wearer be wrong? Or is the British version of class distinctions more admirable? Not challenging you, just curious.

  7. David in Belgrade28 November 2018 at 15:44

    "The well educated young in Budapest hate Mr. Orban as much as the well educated young in 1980s London and New York hated Mrs Thatcher and Reagan."

    Expensively rather than well educated, surely?

  8. David in Belgrade28 November 2018 at 15:57

    I wear Wrangler jeans.
    Not every day but on weekends and dress-down Fridays.
    I often wear them when traveling because they don't crease and are comfortable.
    From my experience, Wranglers are well-made, hard wearing and relatively inexpensive.

  9. David in Belgrade28 November 2018 at 16:02

    "Sarah Palin's daughter got up a tree without being married"
    Like your mother maybe ;).
    Falling pregnant, woman's traditional method of proposing marriage.
    Conservatives like tradition :).

    1. Except the the father of Ms Palin's baby did not wish to marry her, and did not. She's now getting a messy divorce from someone else after campaigning for abstinence and failing at reality TV. Dumb as Mama's nitwit fans 😉