Stewart recounts his own background, he descended from a grandfather who was the president of Standard Oil of Indiana way back in the 1930s. He grew up well off and has the guilt of an academic liberal tattooed on his arm.
His mission in the article is to make Americans who manage to live in a comfortable home, educate their kids well and take care of their health feel like they are doing it at the expense of a large group of folks who aspire and often succeed in doing the same thing.
The article is a profoundly pessimistic, arrogantly negative screed against the American dream of upward mobility and the possibility of possibility.
I have to thank Stewart for getting me angry enough to write about the strain of negativity that has infected so much of the “respectable” media like The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Atlantic. Besides absolutely loathing Donald Trump, they despise the annoying possibility that anything good sprouts in America outside of the suffocating bureaucracies of Government.
Matthew Stewart’s Atlantic opus drones on endlessly about the gulf between the affluent 9.9% of America and the supposedly pathetic 90.1% who are falling further and further behind. Stewart implies that life is stacked so heavily against the 90% that they might as well give up, swallow more opioids and accept their inevitable decrepitude.
I wish Stewart would actually walk out of his dismal ivory tower into the machining world, for instance, where a person without a fancy degree has a real opportunity to advance, and even start her own business with ten grand, a customer and a dream.
I doubt miserable Matthew has watched a lot of Shark Tank on that plebeian bastion of optimism, the television set. If he watched he’d see tons of folk, young and old, trying stuff and dreaming the dream.
Stewart mocks the American public schools. He decries the fact that the 11 best public schools in American are supposedly in Palo Alto, California. As someone who spends a lot of time in Palo Alto, I see the kids walking and biking to schools, and a large percentage of them are of Asian descent, the children of immigrants, not the offspring of joyless country clubbers he seems to envision.
There is an educational elite in America, but the barrier to entry is far from impenetrable. The hiring frenzy in Silicon Valley is not one of exclusivity, nor is it confined to people with advanced degrees. The companies in the Valley are casting a wider net, because they know from experience that college does not necessarily produce original thought, which is not to say that they don’t have a big challenge with political and social orthodoxy that stifles daily conversation in the new office palaces of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.
One reason the Silicon Mammoths are building second and third headquarters outside of the Bay Area is to get access to more diverse idea generators.
The thrust of the Atlantic cover story is that the United States is a hopeless aristocracy of the rich, educated and healthy, dedicated to keeping itself closed to outsiders who are stupid, angry and White.
While I did not vote for Donald Trump and find him a lout and a scoundrel as a person, I would vote for him today, if just to protest the intellectual sterility of negativists like Matthew Stewart. The no-nothing popular media hammers Trump mercilessly, and he provides ample juicy material. Yet his popularity is rising, and the Mueller vacuum cleaner cannot suck up the right dirt to impeach him.
The conception that America is hopeless and failing is the grist of the commentators who think everybody is as sour as they are.
If Matthew Stewart actually talked to the people he thinks he is defending he would find that optimism and belief are quite alive in America today.
Question: Were the people who voted for Trump hopeful or pessimistic?