I didn’t know the bogey man of the “Elites” was a thing until I moved to Oklahoma in 2008. Since then, it appears the creature has grown larger with each year and presidential election. It’s one of the hated groups of people to which I belong (it’s a red flag that I managed to not end that sentence clause with a preposition, I admit.).
Other hated groups which claim me: women, white people, upper middle class, lawyers, blondes, meat-eaters, fur-wearers, city-folk, civil right supporter, nerds.
Before living in Oklahoma, I thought elite people were those who live on the silver serving tray in the sky, and were dicks about displaying that fact. It’s a two part test – 1) be rich, and 2) be a dick. Here’s a Venn Diagram:
This assumption held true through my 4 years living and working in West Virginia -- home of the happy coal miners and Senator Byrd, number 1 longest serving Senator and most beloved pork-barreller in US history.
When I moved to Oklahoma however, I learned that there is a different form of Elite Person. This Elite Person has to be neither rich nor an asshole. Instead, there’s a balancing test to apply against people which must include the factor of “educated” and may include any of the following (not an exhaustive list: being from the East Coast, being from the West Coast, being from New York, not being athletic, being outwardly ambitious, liking vegetables, liking cats, liking dogs smaller than a Labrador, having allergies, not being afraid of doctors, not being afraid of dentists, admitting to having bad eye sight, understanding what taxes are (clarify: this is not being in favor of socialist government programs, but admitting that roads, dams, militaries, and schools are good things for which society to pay), having the wrong religion, having no religion etc.
Each of these factors warrants its own explication, but their true riddle is being able to hold all of them in your head at once. The root, and there’s gotta be a root, is something I cannot comprehend. Truly, of all the symptoms I can list, I’m never going to understand why I’m so perceived as a deplorable person out to ruin the lives of others. So far, my life has been almost exclusively dedicated to bettering the lives of those around me, and I would be able to produce dozens of witnesses and references to this fact.
Perhaps the root is that inability to comprehend why I’m hated. If I don’t get it, I’m not in the clique. Elite Haters are not even in a club – they don’t publicly designate themselves with unifying hoods, jackets, magic underwear, jerseys, hats or any single physical badge of honor proving your non-elitism. There’s a clique here that you can only be a part of if you’re already somehow a part of it.
Everyday I continue to work for the federal government and sacrifice my time to study law, I am further buried in this class of hated people.
I don’t mean to align myself with vulnerable classes of people, like racial minorities or the mentally and physically handicapped. I worry that society just wants to hate things. No conclusion, just a wonder at why, and want to be able to defend myself. I’m not very big. I’m an exactly average height and weight woman. My options for defense against the rest of the world are extreme: 1) advanced weaponry, 2) hire body guards, 3) learn to be Bugs Bunny and talk my way out of everything. I can’t afford the first two, so I work damn hard at the third.