Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps, But Not Too Far

The other thing I really don’t understand about this is how Republicans calling someone “elite” is supposed to be an insult.  Isn’t that what Republicanism promises?  That if you work really hard, you will be rewarded?  That rich people deserve their money and successful people deserve their success?

So then why for a Republican would calling someone an elitist be a bad thing?

Isn’t being able to rest assured that you’re better than everyone else the conservative goal?

10 thoughts on “Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps, But Not Too Far

  1. Not really. Conservatives believe that you should pull yourself up by the bootstraps financially. But you shouldn’t have any of that book learnin’. That’s what makes you an elitist.

  2. According to the ‘conservative’ definition, an elitist is someone who has both the wisdom to see through the right-wing bullshit and the means* to make a lot of people hear her talk about it.

    *Wealth, connections, whatever.

  3. What Goldnl said. Also, elite is good. Elitist is bad because that’s when you know you’re elite. You’re supposed to be elite but think you’re just folks. Like Bill O’Reilly. (Having a TV show automatically makes you elite.)

  4. Elitist: “The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources. ”

    I think it’s more the hypocrisy coming from the Democrats rather than the elitism itself.

    They tell you to conserve energy then get on their private jets, or head back to their immense mansions, while we’re told not to turn the thermostat up to (or down to) 72 degrees.

    Leadership in that area would require moving to a ranch in Crawford, Texas. =)

  5. Yeah, you know how it is. No one ought to support measures that help the poor except the poor. Otherwise it’s hypocrisy. Because no one can have fellow-feeling for (shudder) poor people who isn’t poor, because poor people are so (shudder) poor and yucky. Anyone who isn’t poor who tries to help is a liar and a hypocrite, and those are elitist faults. Whereas those who support measures that harm the poor and help them to stay poor, they are honest and straightforward in doing these things, so there’s no hypocrisy involved.

  6. i think i’d been here in the U.S. about, oh, maybe six months at most, before i quietly noted to myself that hypocrisy — certainly not baseball — is the american national sport. everybody here seems to play it, and just about everyone hypocritically refuses to admit it, probably as a standard move in the game. eight-and-a-half years later and i’ve never had the slightest reason to revise that conclusion.

    so, y’know, either one of the major parties here accusing the other one of hypocrisy is a dose of irony that would have been nigh lethal before i began my americanization. it would be to laugh, if only it were actually funny.

  7. Not quite, guys. Conservatives believe in the possibility of elevating one’s own station thru hard work and determination AND education. Elitism,when referred to by most conservatives, means the sort of arrogance that often accompanies certain povs. In other words its not the station in life but the attitude of the stationholder.

  8. I would buy that argument, except that I’m just not sure how “lay off the attacks on my wife” can be twisted into a viewpoint that suggests arrogance, except through partisan hypocrisy. I mean, if I attack a candidate’s spouse’s words, and the candidate tells me to quit that, I may well say, “nah, I’m not gonna and you can’t make me.” But unless I am starting from the supposition that the candidate is somehow acting in all s/he does out of bad faith (which is the partisan hypocrisy I mean), I just don’t see how I get to “it’s elitist of you to want me to stop attacking your spouse.”

  9. I am usually a big defender of “words mean certain things and not others” but in this case, I think y’all are missing what he’s doing. He just wants to say “elitist” and his opponent’s name ten thousand times in print and on air before the election. It doesn’t matter in what context or whether it makes sense. It’s the pairing that matters.

    The GOP is lacking its own desirable brand identity — can’t claim fiscal conservatism, small and responsible government, strong moral values any more without stepping on tacks dropped by their own prominent members.

    Thus, the strategy is to make Obama’s strengths — a sound education in constitutional law, a charming wit, the ability to articulate complex ideas clearly, his analytic capacity, his unwillingness to talk down to Americans like they are idiots — and transform them into a weakness. Mark called this a while ago; Hobbs has been trying for months, in so many words, to rebrand Obama as uppity.

    Doesn’t matter whether any particular behavior actually is elitist. It matters that people associate the word “elitist” with the opposing candidate.

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