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Thread: Define "Elite" in Political Terms

  1. #1
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    Define "Elite" in Political Terms

    So what, exactly, is an "Elite" when it comes to politics?

    And why is being an "Elite" bad, exactly?

    Please no Dictionary links or the like, we all know the dictionary definition of "elite". We also all know thats not really how it's being used in politics.

    So what is an "elite" to you? And is being "Elite" bad? Or good?

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    ok ill start

    anyone who is elected to a representative position in a democratic society is elite

    they are tabbed to represent a general population

    even if the person is a toothless illiterate like Andrew Jackson

    election equates elite. the masses speak and choose this person, that makes them elite.

    to answer the second question, I think it's good to have elites. If everyone could be President or Senator they would be... but they didn't... so they aren't. Some people are better suited to do some jobs, that's life.

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    As today's media would have it:

    If you are a liberal you are elite.

    If you are educated and not a conservative you are elite.

    If you support policies that help non-rich people (while being at least somewhat ell-off financially) then you are elite.

    If you have the slightest interest in: theater, art, science, arugala, wine, cheese and not a conservative, then you are elite.

    Its really very simple when you look at it that way.

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    My translation of "elite" in current parlance is anyone who lives on the coast or in a big city. It was pretty odd at the RNC to hear the former mayor of New York making fun of "cosmopolitans." Uh, Rudy... :huh:

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    The word "populist" has a stigma in the American media, and thus the American people are programmed to believe that there's something wrong with being a populist.

    However, if one isn't a populist, then the axiomatic truth is that they must be an "ELITIST"

    "elite" in political terms, IMO, is one who puts the interest of money and career gain before the interest of upholding the Constitution

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    "Elitist," which is what I think you mean, is a term that means nothing. Or, alternatively, it means whatever the person using it wants it to mean about the person they are using it against.

    When Bush used it against Kerry in 2004, it meant "Yale-educated, french-looking Northeasterner whose pastimes include windsurfing," and it stuck. When Kerry used it against Bush, it meant "Yale-educated scion of one of America's most powerful families who used family connections to skate by at every turn in his life," and it did not stick.

    This cycle, when McCain uses it against Obama, he means "Harvard-educated Arugula-eating urbane uppity black guy." When Obama uses it, he means, "Scion of powerful family married to an heiress who wears $500 shoes and needs to check with staff about how many houses he owns."

    Basically, it is code for "out of touch."

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    I may be wrong, but I always got the impression that by "elite" the homespun family values crowd was referring to:

    1. Ivory-tower intellectuals tainted by their exposure to liberal professors at big universities.

    2. Blue-blood eastern establishment types who wear yachting hats and use words like "folderol."

    3. Hollywood actors (except John Wayne and Bob Hope).

    4. Anyone whom, due to advanced education, is sceptical of religion, thinks evolution makes more sense than intelligent design, and favors "green" products (these people are also usually referred to as Communists and homosexuals, since they hate American values and are up to no good).

    5. Anyone who finds hockey moms declasse, rejects moose hunting as barbaric, and thinks Sarah Palin is a pig with lipstick.

    That about covers it. :D

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    I think this is what they mean by elite:


    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGpQej3o9eo&feature=related[/url]




    god, Ted Knight made this movie great!!!!

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    when I accuse someone of being elite, my definition entails someone who assumes that if you do not support Obama, one must be a racist, because how can one be so stupid not to salivate over his brilliant and well thought out and clearly defined "change"?

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    [QUOTE=mallamalla;2744720]when I accuse someone of being elite, my definition entails someone who assumes that if you do not support Obama, one must be a racist, because how can one be so stupid not to salivate over his brilliant and well thought out and clearly defined "change"?[/QUOTE]

    funny, to me a elitist is someone who thinks I am only voting for Obama because I either am suffering from "white guilt" or that I am brainwashed by empty rhetoric and I have not looked closely enough at him as a candidate and I am obviously clueless as to what is going on in the world.

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    You use the term elite to combat someone politically when you have nothing left to discuss that's actually relevant to governing a country.

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    [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn4daYJzyls"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn4daYJzyls[/URL]

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    [QUOTE=Green Jets & Ham;2744864]SHORT ANSWER

    An elite is a person of privledge who holds the prevailing ethos of the common man in contempt

    In other words, the common man is far more religious than the ruling class, but it doesn't end there, the elite doesn't view that as a simple disagreement, instead he views the common man with disdain, as an unenlightened boob, and essentially attributes his faith to his lack of sophistication

    You can go down a whole host of beliefs and the same is true, the elite will not view his difference with the common man as a simple disagreement, but will attribute their disagreement to some form of superiority verses inferiority, whether he views the common man as unenlightened, bigoted or what have you, the disagreement is attributed to a character or educational defect on the part of the common man and their prevailing wisdom or lack thereof[/QUOTE]

    Shorter answer:

    If you use the phrase "prevailing ethos," you are an elitist.

    (This thread is screaming out for a Foxworthy-esque "you might be an elitist if..." treatment, imo.)

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    [QUOTE=Green Jets & Ham;2744864]SHORT ANSWER

    An elite is a person of privledge who holds the prevailing ethos of the common man in contempt

    In other words, the common man is far more religious than the ruling class, but it doesn't end there, the elite doesn't view that as a simple disagreement, instead he views the common man with disdain, as an unenlightened boob, and essentially attributes his faith to his lack of sophistication

    You can go down a whole host of beliefs and the same is true, the elite will not view his difference with the common man as a simple disagreement, but will attribute their disagreement to some form of superiority verses inferiority, whether he views the common man as unenlightened, bigoted or what have you, the disagreement is attributed to a character or educational defect on the part of the common man and their prevailing wisdom or lack thereof[/QUOTE]



    Ding ding ding -- we have a winner. Tell him what he's won, Bob.

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    [QUOTE=bitonti;2744355]ok ill start

    anyone who is elected to a representative position in a democratic society is elite

    they are tabbed to represent a general population

    even if the person is a toothless illiterate like Andrew Jackson

    election equates elite. the masses speak and choose this person, that makes them elite.

    to answer the second question, I think it's good to have elites. If everyone could be President or Senator they would be... but they didn't... so they aren't. Some people are better suited to do some jobs, that's life.[/QUOTE]because you're guy or party is damned with the term this election cycle i sense a softening,rationalization of elitism from you.i see it as; entitlement.condesention.we know what's good for you.no emotional or culture link with the everyman.patriarchcal....sounds like every politician.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=Green Jets & Ham;2744864]SHORT ANSWER

    An elite is a person of privledge who holds the prevailing ethos of the common man in contempt

    In other words, the common man is far more religious than the ruling class, but it doesn't end there, the elite doesn't view that as a simple disagreement, instead he views the common man with disdain, as an unenlightened boob, and essentially attributes his faith to his lack of sophistication

    You can go down a whole host of beliefs and the same is true, the elite will not view his difference with the common man as a simple disagreement, but will attribute their disagreement to some form of superiority verses inferiority, whether he views the common man as unenlightened, bigoted or what have you, the disagreement is attributed to a character or educational defect on the part of the common man and their prevailing wisdom or lack thereof[/QUOTE]

    I'm curious.....do the devoutly religious not display a similar ideal of superiority over the non-believers? I know I have encountered that type of superiorism both in the real world, and frequently on this very forum.

    If one needed an (extreme) example, one need only look at Bernie and the "You will burn in the fires of hell if you do not convert to my chosen version of faith" rhetoric.

    So are these religious supremacists looking down their collective noses at the inherantly evil unconverted also "elitists?", or is there another term you prefer for them?

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    [QUOTE=Green Jets & Ham;2744884]Very Cute, but you get the point

    There are obvious sets of beliefs that are widely held by the common man, religion would be one glaring example, at last count well over 85% of American professed a faith in GOD .. I don't know if that's the exact number, but it hovers around that neigborhood

    It is also widely accepted that the ruling class tends to be less religious than the populace as a whole

    It would be fine if it ended right there, but it doesn't, because the elite by definition views himself as "elite" or "above" the common man, more enlightened if you will, therefore his general attitude towards the common man is one of surperiority and contempt ... "religion is the opium of the masses"[/QUOTE]


    the 85% number though is misleading, I doubt that 85% all feel a connection to each other over that of the 15% who don't believe..

    you have numerous denominations and then people who "have faith but aren't religious". To lump 85% of the country as believing in a God and saying that those who don't are disconnected from them is, to me, disingenuous.

    I would imagine.

    Not saying you were saying there is a connection with the 85% but it was inferred.

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    [QUOTE=Green Jets & Ham;2744884]Very Cute, but you get the point

    There are obvious sets of beliefs that are widely held by the common man, religion would be one glaring example, at last count well over 85% of American professed a faith in GOD .. I don't know if that's the exact number, but it hovers around that neigborhood

    It is also widely accepted that the ruling class tends to be less religious than the populace as a whole

    It would be fine if it ended right there, but it doesn't, because the elite by definition views himself as "elite" or "above" the common man, more enlightened if you will, therefore his general attitude towards the common man is one of surperiority and contempt ... "religion is the opium of the masses"[/QUOTE]

    I don't think it has to be purely about religion. Basically anyone of means or education who looks down on people without means or education would, I suppose, be elitist.

    Now what that has to do with buying arugula, I'll never know.

    Anyhow, a quick other point: I don't think your reference to Marx ("religion is the opium of the masses") is quite right. What Marx was referring to in that quote was the manner in which ruling classes have used religion --specifically, Christianity, because of the value it ascribes to suffering in this world to be rewarded in the next-- to pacify the poor people they regularly screwed over.

    Karl Marx was many things, but he wasn't an elitist.

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    [QUOTE=Green Jets & Ham;2744919]I don't know what you would call it, but its not elitism, you can't be an elite unless you hold yourself above the majority and above the prevailing wisdom, and unless you look down on the majority with disdain from your lofty perch

    I'm sure there's a name for what you described .. rude and obnoxious might apply, but its not elitest[/QUOTE]

    I think it is elitist...it is someone in the minority (his specific faith) looking down on the majority (people of other faiths)

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=Green Jets & Ham;2744919]I'm sure there's a name for what you described .. rude and obnoxious might apply, but its not elitist[/QUOTE]

    So someone who thinks they are inherantly better, superior if you will, to another based purely on their choice of faith is NOT being "elitist"?

    I guess we'll have to disagree on your chosen meaning.

    Let me ask you Ham, in all seriousness.....

    If Ms. Palin was instead as dedicated a Muslim as she is a Christian, would you express this same level of support for her faith?

    What id she was say, a Buddhist? Or Wiccan?

    Is it any faith you support and defend form the "Elitists", or only your own or slight variations therof (Catholisism and it's various Christian offshoots)?

    And how do you feel about the Christian Majority that in no small part helped to ensure that Romney was soundly defeated in the primaries?

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