Upsetting
Thursday, November 06, 2003
 
From Publishers Weekly
To the author of this vociferous but ill-supported right wing screed, membership in the elite is not an objective position of wealth, power or influence. It is, instead, a "general outlook"-one, Ingraham says, that sneers at religion, morality, patriotism, President Bush, guns, suburbs, SUVs, tax cuts and everything else that "We the People" hold dear.

Ingraham goes on to apply anti-elitist invective with a broad brush. Most abused of these "elites" are anti-war protesters ("moral morons"), academics ("snotty, sanctimonious dolts"), secularists ("recoil like vampires at the sight of a cross"), internationalists ("want to murder America"), the French ("perfidious") and entertainers ("shut up and sing"). She also takes swipes at "business elites" who move offshore to evade taxes, stock market scams, media consolidation, and the Wall Street Journal's pro-immigration stance.

But her anti-elitism boils down to haphazard political bias: Hollywood liberals like Susan Sarandon are in the elite, while Hollywood conservatives like Arnold Schwarzenegger aren't; more murkily, while the Democratic Party is the elite's "natural home," lefty Ralph Nader is not in the elite and Republican stalwart John McCain is. Ingraham's tone of class resentment ("they think we're stupid" is a refrain) relies on the old demagogue's trick of conflating disagreement with her brand of conservative, nativist populism with snobbish contempt for the silent majority.

Ingraham (The Hillary Trap) has legions of fans, but as she consigns more and more people-Democrats, moderate Republicans, libertarians, pro-choicers-to the "elite" camp, the voice of this self-identified everywoman starts to sound rather lonely.
 
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