FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK
The late Irving Kristol spoke about the overarching influence of the “new class”; they are the ones who shape public opinion. Such persons cluster in the academy, especially in the social sciences and humanities, as well as in the arts, the entertainment industry, the media, and the non-profit sector of the economy. Today they are typically called the cultural elite, or simply the elites. No one doubts their impact on our culture.
We know from several surveys that the elites are ideologically left-of-center. Moreover, they are thoroughgoing secularists: some are indifferent to religion, while others are increasingly hostile to it. Regarding the latter, there is no religion they disdain more than our own. Why? Because they loathe traditional moral values, and we represent the nucleus of traditional morality.
There is one other characteristic of the elites that demands our attention, and that is their tendency to divide the world into two blocks: good guys (usually considered victims) and bad guys (the victimizers). They not only see entire segments of society as fitting into one of these two blocks, they see individuals that way as well. Once the label is fixed, there is little that can be done to change it.
Those segments of our society who are the good guys include liberals, homosexuals, non-whites (especially African Americans), Jews, Muslims, women, atheists, celebrities and left-wing activists. The bad guys are conservatives, heterosexuals, whites, Christians (especially Catholics and Evangelicals), men, and those who work in business. To prove I’m right, just ask yourself how these two blocks of people are generally portrayed on television.
It gets complicated when real people are involved, and not just abstract categories. What to do, for example, about individuals who cross-over? Fortunately, those who make the good guy-bad guy assignments, namely the elites, have figured out a way to untangle things: they weight list these statuses. Nothing matters more than ideology, and no group is more protected than homosexuals.
Take, for example, a conservative woman. Her views make her a bad guy, but her sex makes her a good guy. The former wins every time. Indeed, a conservative woman is typically regarded as a traitor. That’s why Barbara Walters laughed when she heard that Laura Ingraham was called a slut by Ed Schultz, but got angry when Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut. It matters to good guys like Walters, a liberal, whether the woman being called a slut is a conservative like Ingraham (bad guy) or a liberal like Fluke (good guy). It also matters that Ed is a liberal (good guy) and Rush is a conservative (bad guy).
Here’s another example. The elites say they want more blacks on the Supreme Court. Actually, they don’t. They want more liberals on the high court. Want proof? Ask them if they would prefer another black like Clarence Thomas, or another white Justice like John Paul Stevens. Obviously, they would prefer to have a white, Jewish, liberal woman like Ruth Bader Ginsburg before they would ever have another black conservative on the bench, and they would be dancing in the streets if she were also a lesbian.
In other words, for the elites, terms like “slut” have no inherent moral meaning: it depends on the individual to whom the label is affixed whether it carries a pernicious connotation. Similarly, being of the right color (black) is not sufficient to override being of the wrong views (conservative).
Mario Batali is not just a chef, he is a celebrity chef. Because he is a liberal celebrity, the elites did not criticize him when he had to pay $5.25 million for ordering his staff to take 5 percent of the tip money for the house. Batali was able to rob bus boys and waitresses of their tips with impunity because (a) there is nothing inherently immoral about the rich ripping off the poor and (b) he is a liberal celebrity.
So is it possible for a Catholic (bad guy) to be a good guy? Of course. To the extent that a Catholic rejects the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, he moves from bad guy to good guy. Just ask the Kennedys. Nancy Pelosi and Andrew Cuomo also know how this works.
In this issue, we discuss the anti-Catholic ad placed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation in the New York Times. We also make mention of how the Times refused to run a near-identical ad that merely switched Islam for Catholic Church. It’s easy to understand why. Since there is no such thing as truth for the elites—there are no inherent moral meanings—there is nothing necessarily wrong with bigoted ads. It depends entirely on whether the object of the bigotry is a bad guy (Catholicism) or a good guy (Islam).
Also in this issue, we show what an utter fraud SNAP is. Yet because it is organized to work against the Catholic Church (bad guy), it makes no difference how unethical its leader is (he must be a good guy).
Now you know how the game is played. The rules are fixed, and there is no amount of good work on the part of the Catholic Church that can change the thinking of the elite. But, hey, look at it this way—there’s something cool about being bad.