Donald Trump

Are The Lower Classes Finally Free to Express Themselves? Trump & Brexit Editions

In Britain and America, it's "revenge of the plebs."


Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit looks at how the Trump phenomenon in America and the push for British exit from the EU ("Brexit") are challenging longstanding conventions about who is allowed to express themselves in what ways. In each case, pro-Trump and pro-Brexit attitudes were once identified largely (and erroneously) with lower-income and lower-education parts of the public. That's changing, says Reynolds, and it's part of a larger cultural shift on both sides of the pond:

It used to be, of course, that the lower and middle classes were stuffy and constrained by social convention while the freethinkers at universities and in the ruling class got to experiment with unconventional ideas. If their experimenting got enough success, then it might eventually filter down to ordinary people. (The sexual revolution worked this way, more or less).

But now it's our ruling class that is hidebound by political correctness, and it takes movement by the masses to give it permission to express a controversial view. That's a major change, and it's one that the ruling class isn't likely to appreciate much. But having subjected itself to the chains of "acceptable" opinion, what can it do?

The short version, says Instapundit? Expect an elite wave of Trump supporters.

More here.

Bonus: The prompt for Reynolds' column is by Reason contributor and Spiked Editor Brendan O'Neill in which he cheers on the "revenge of the plebs":

From Obama's writing-off of the inhabitants of industrial downs as people who 'cling to guns and religion' to blogging queen Arianna Huffington's claim that 'millions of voters' vote with their 'lizard, more emotional right brain' rather than with their 'logical left brain', the contempt heaped on ordinary American voters in recent years has been relentless.

America's new elites, fancying themselves superior to the rural, the old, the religiously inclined and the rest, have increasingly turned politics into something that is done to people, for their own good, rather than by people according to their moral outlook. And then they wonder why people go looking for something else, something less sneering.

In Britain, meanwhile, the Third Wayists are losing sleep over the EU referendum, when ordinary people — including people who watch the football and wave the St George's flag! — will get to have their say on Britain's future relationship with the EU. What madness is this, they wonder of democracy.