Great column by Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal on the growing detachment between political and cultural elites and the problems facing ordinary citizens on the lower rungs of society. There is plenty of evidence of out-of-touch elites, including Brexit and Angela Merkel’s unilateral decision to allow 800,000 migrants and refugees from Muslim countries.
Nothing in their lives will get worse. The challenge of integrating different cultures, negotiating daily tensions, dealing with crime and extremism and fearfulness on the street — that was put on those with comparatively little, whom I’ve called the unprotected. They were left to struggle, not gradually and over the years but suddenly and in an air of ongoing crisis that shows no signs of ending — because nobody cares about them enough to stop it.
The powerful show no particular sign of worrying about any of this. When the working and middle class pushed back in shocked indignation, the people on top called them “xenophobic,” “narrow-minded,” “racist.” The detached, who made the decisions and bore none of the costs, got to be called “humanist,” “compassionate,” and “hero of human rights.”
Surprising support for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders also reflect the disillusionment of the bottom half with leadership by the 1 percent. They feel they have been taken for granted — if not shafted — and their anger will be reflected at the ballot box. Hopefully we can avoid the rise of tyranny as in the 1930s — after the last financial crisis — but these are dangerous times.