I have read and listened to a lot of discussions about the recent elections and what the winning of Trump signifies/indicates. There are many discussions surrounding the fascistic characteristics of the Trump persona, the rise of the alt-right, white rage.....etc. one major discussion that I feel is missing however is the one with regards to what is being viewed as "elitism" and the movement against it.
There is a strong "anti elitism" sentiment that I believe underlies a lot of what has led to the election of Trump. Elitism here is not being defined in the traditional/classical sense (i.e a group of people with a certain ancestry, certain supposed quality, worth, or wealth) but rather elitism is being used, as far as I can see, to refer to those who have achieved a higher educational level and flex a bit of intellectual prowess.
For example, Obama's a Columbia education and Harvard law degree have become a point against him. His oratory skills and use of big words (like oratory) and the air of sophistication in which he presents himself have all pinned him as an elitist in the eyes' of many people. His education, instead of making him a role model and a success story, has put him far away from regular, everyday folks. (Also being black doesn't help, but that's aside from this particular point)
Contrast that to the Trump image; The oxymoronic Blue Collar Billionaire. He is the epitome of elitism. But his "successful" business ventures and the "bar talk", "shoot from the hip", "speak my mind" style of communication has made him the American ideal of the "average guy"
(Also being white helps tremendously with shaping that image but that's besides this particular point).
You don't hear much discussion about Trump's Ivy League education. That's intentional.
He doesn't weigh in on philosophical/hypothetical/scientific/legal matters. That's also intentional.
Trump has figured out that there is, among many other things, this resentment of educational accomplishments. Too cleaned up of an image to jive with the "pull yourself up from the bootstraps good old American". It doesn't quite mesh with the good old days of being compensated by the amount of elbow grease you put into something. This fluffy education, especially the liberal kind, has lost us our ways. He has figured out this growing public opinion wave of "useless education" that doesn't "put food on your table" that is exacerbated by the rising costs of higher education; the perceived schism that is developing between classroom and application (meaning, no straight one-to-one correlation between subject A and job skill B; the "I never used calculus ever again so I don't need to learn it in the first place" mentality) and coupled with an air of superiority that comes from some of those who achieved a little bit of a higher level of education. You know, the ones that laugh at the "simple folks and their simple ways" the "uncultured" and "backwards" amongst us.
Trump is capitalizing on a sentiment that needs to be addressed at the very roots of our society. We need to have conversations about how we all play a role in our society. That each one of us is an essential piece of the puzzle. That education is not a means for getting a job but rather an enlightenment that helps you become a better you. Education is not a step in the societal ladder but a building block in the societal structure. Market dynamics should not be the main or only factor in your educational decision making. Educational cost should not be an impediment. If we don't break this cycle then unfortunately I don't think we will ever bridge this ever growing divide.
We need to talk about the role of education in our lives.
What are your thoughts?
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