I have a dirty little secret—okay, quite a few. But my latest secret is one I’m willing to tell: I can never be president. Of course, the main stumbling block is that I’m Austrian. But it turns out there’s perhaps an even greater impediment: I am an elitist. And what’s wrong with that?
With all the mud thrown against the word in American politics—more precisely, aimed from the Clinton camp directly at Barack Obama—things have gotten way out of hand. When James Carville tells Newsweek that if Hillary Clinton gave Obama one of her testicles, “they’d both have two,” and Governor Mike Easley of North Carolina says Clinton “makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy,” what is the world coming to?
Of course I’m an elitist—I’m a countess. And while I can drink a pils with the best of them, I prefer a good Bordeaux, would rather eat wiener schnitzel than bratwurst, and love to look at good art, listen to opera, and seek out new places and try new things. So don’t vote for me.
The truth appears to be that anyone with highbrow tastes should run away from politics in America. Why should candidates for president have to prove they are worth electing by downing shots and beers, playing basketball or bowling? As David Brooks wrote in The New York Times: “The Clinton campaign seems to want to reduce the entire campaign to one element: the supposed masculinity gap.” And I’m sure John McCain will keep up that drumbeat.
Everyone seems to have fixed in their minds that John Kerry lost the 2004 election for the Democrats because he was too elitist. By that logic, no one who went to an Ivy League school (including Hillary, who attended Yale Law School), reads Shakespeare or dines with a fashion designer should run for public office.
Thank goodness this presidential campaign is almost over—although I’m sure it’s going to get worse before it gets better. But it shows the problem with many people today. All the emphasis is on the common man, the man in the street, the white male voter who works for an hourly wage and didn’t go to college.
But the candidates don’t know him—and don’t really seem to care to. Do you think once the election is over, Hillary and Bill and their $109 million fortune will want to spend time with ordinary Joes? Well, I know quite a few of them, and here’s what I’d like to point out: They didn’t go to college, but they want their children to do so. They may be the common man, but they want to better themselves. They spend their entire lives working hard to improve their lot.