Walter Russell Mead, on our generally lousy, so-called ‘elitist’ ‘class:’
A guilty elite may be healthier for society than a self-righteous one. Teddy Roosevelt and his cousins Eleanor and Franklin worked as hard as they did in part because they felt their privilege was unearned. They were also a little bit afraid; nobody wants to end up in the tumbrils on the way to the guillotine like the French aristocracy. Best look after the people before things get out of hand.
Do tell. Do tell. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for all his (myriad) faults, had one advantage over the fellow that is in office now: FDR genuinely believed that America was great on its own merits, if only because it was capable of producing a paragon such as… FDR. The absolute best that we can expect from our modern aristos these days is instead an inchoate hope that America might be great if enough things are changed… which is just not acceptable.
I will admit that said aristos largely don’t know any better, but that’s not really a justification for keeping them in power.