Transcript from Tuesday.
I read a story yesterday by Clive Cook. And I think he’s a Brit. He tells the story of a friend of his from the UK who has lived in Washington for a while. He grew up in London in Cambridge or Oxford in the seventies and said there was all kinds of class distinctions in the UK then, but the upper classes didn’t sneer, and they weren’t exclusionary, and they didn’t laud their exalted status over everybody else. They got along, the class lines were drawn and everybody knew it, but there was no sneering from top down. There wasn’t any arrogant condescension.
So this guy announces to his friends in Washington that he’s gonna buy a house in West Virginia, and they immediately think he’s lost his mind. “You mean you’re gonna go live next to people that strum a banjo on the front porch, don’t have any teeth? You’re gonna hang around with a bunch of people that pull shotgun triggers all day long while yelling about pro-life?” He said he had never seen anything like it. These are good people, friends of his in Washington who had this instinctive insulting sneering attitude about people they don’t know who live in West Virginia. And the attitudes they had about them were based only on the fact that they did not live in Washington; they live in West Virginia.
So the guy goes, builds his house, buys his house, whatever, meets his friends in West Virginia, and they’re wonderful people, they’re fine and dandy people, and they’re of course nothing like what his Washington buddies described. And his point is that this sneering condescension is something that people in the middle class, both lower, middle, and upper middle class, are fully aware of. They’re fully aware of this condescension toward them.