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Why are Republicans such snobs?



Republicans and especially tea party types love to cast aspersions on “liberals” for their snobby “elitist” ways, but you know what? There’s a snobbery among right wingers that’s as parochial and mean as they accuse “liberals” of being, and it’s time they owned up to it.

What I’m talking about are people who scorn the kinds of things they imagine “liberals” like. Here’s an example. It’s from a Wall Street Journal columnist, Lou Weiss, from Pittsburgh, who describes himself as “a carpet salesman,” which I guess is meant to let us know he’s an “ordinary” working stiff, white and straight, as opposed to some coastal elite.

On May 5, in a piece that attempted to satirize the left’s notion of “white privilege,” he wrote, I don’t know what a single malt scotch is, let alone ever tasted one.” This is supposed to mean that “liberals” have fancy-schmancy tastes that good old-boy heartland conservatives would never think of having. (Mr. Weiss perhaps prefers Coca Cola.) For “single malt scotch” you could replace “Chardonnay” or “tofu” or “membership in the Sierra Club” or “eco-tourism” or “supports gay rights” as liberal things Mr. Weiss wouldn’t get caught dead eating, drinking, supporting or doing. In a similar piece, in yesterday’s Journal, called “Yes, Pittsburgh Trumps Paris,” Mr. Weiss was at it again, defending Trump’s ridiculous “Pittsburgh-Paris” conceit, and celebrating “French fries” and the “Big Mac” over duck confit, Heintz ketchup over the “heavy sauce” in which he wrongly imagines French food to be smothered (has he dined there in recent decades?), and praising “cargo shorts” over “Dior and Chanel.” Then Mr. Weiss lands his hardest jab to the jaws of liberals: “Much of my wardrobe is from Costco.”

Well, isn’t that special? This is reverse snobbery, pure and simple. I suppose I could insult southern states for their high rates of obesity, diabetes, infant mortality, school dropouts, out-of-wedlock births, alcoholism, suicide and so on, but I’m not a mean person: southerners make those choices. To paraphrase Pope Francis, who am I to tell them how to live their lives?

As a free American, Mr. Weiss is entitled to his opinions, of course, and so is everyone else who likes high-fat, high-cholesterol fast food. But really, is it necessary for the tea party to be so insulting towards things that tens of millions of Americans enjoy eating, wearing and doing?

I’ve long wondered about this attitude. These rust belt people visit San Francisco every chance they get (especially if their employer is paying for it), enjoying our natural beauty, fabulous weather, world-class dining, sightseeing and so on. Then they go home and trash San Franciscans. Today, on Facebook, some denizen of Trumpism, who objected to a comment I had made, sent me a picture of two very fat ladies whom I assumed to be Lesbians, naked from the waist up except for pasties, with the caption: California, Land of Fruits and Nuts. It was obviously an attempt to insult me and my neighbors. It didn’t work, of course; I simply replied to the woman who sent it and asked which of the two lovely ladies was her mother. This bigotry or prejudice or whatever you want to call it against Democrats is most unseemly in America, and does not speak well of a Republican Party that claims to be for everyone.

Mr. Weiss, I really don’t care if you shop at Costco and grab a Big Mac with fries on the way home. It’s your heart, your weight, but guess what? Liberals shop at Costco too (and conservatives actually wear French fashion, if they can afford it. Just ask Melania Trump). Someday, Mr. Weiss, you might realize that you are the snob, putting down other people you don’t even know (aside from Fox “New”’s portrayal of them) with your nasty, bitchy and—dare I say it?—drag-queeny put-downs. Just like the president whom you admire, which reminds me, once again, to ask the eternally unanswerable question: Why do working-class people like Mr. Weiss–a “carpet salesman”–vote for politicians like Donald Trump who are so inimical to their interests? Trump will cut taxes on himself and his wife (so she can afford more French fashion), and then he will cut the Medicare that many of Mr. Weiss’s neighbors and family members depend on (and which I’m sure Mr. Weiss, who is 60, will sign up for as soon as the law allows). And yet the Mr. Weisses of this country (and their friends, the Lesbian haters) line up to support a horrible person who grabs women’s pussies, cheats vendors, insults Gold Star parents, makes fun of people with disabilities, lies with profligate pathology and appears to be amoral, if not sociopathic. Next time you’re slipping into your cargo pants, Mr. Weiss, think about that. Oh, and while you’re at it, remember: They’re not “French fries,” they’re “Freedom fries.”

  1. Bob Rossi says:

    So how does a carpet salesman get to write multiple opinion pieces for the Wall Street Journal? And one who knows what duck confit is (although comparing it to a Big Mac is like comparing Paris to Pittsburgh).

  2. Probably the Journal decided it needed a “voice of the people” so they went out and found a rug peddler from Pittsburgh.

  3. Bob Henry says:

    From The Wall Street Journal “Opinion” Section
    (February 16, 2017, Page Unknown)”

    “In Defense of Upturned Noses”

    Book review by Henrik Bering


    By D.J. Taylor
    (Constable & Robinson, 275 pages, $27.99)

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