I don’t know who Rhonda Lee Hughes Griffin is, or where she’s from. And my aim here is not to comment on the validity of her views about COVID-19 vaccinations. Rather, I point to this 24-second TikTok video as a crystallization of the new class divide in our country. It’s not rich versus poor, or even Black versus White. It’s between those who perceive themselves as “working people” and those who don’t.
Question: They’re telling the working people, vaccinate or lose your job. I have not heard anywhere, vaccinate or no welfare, vaccinate or no food stamps. Am I wrong? Or are they just not saying that? They’re only saying that to the working people.
Griffin has struck a chord. Her video has racked up 456,500 views as of this posting — and I’ll expect it will get a lot more.
I am struck by Griffin’s use of the phrase “they” and the “working people.” Griffin obviously views herself as one of the working people. Who are “they”? The people who run the country.
The great divide in America today is between middle-class “working people” on the one hand and the educated elites and their pet “marginalized” peoples on the other. The elites are insulated from the consequences of the policies they espouse. The “marginalized” people are the beneficiaries (in theory) of the elites’ compassion. By contrast, the “working people” (of whatever race) are the ones who pay the price when neighborhoods become unsafe, when schools fail to teach, when taxes go up, when electric rates increase, when gasoline prices double, when hamburger costs $2 more per pound, and when their daughters get raped in high school bathrooms.
The elite “experts” may think they have all the answers, but the “working people” have lost all confidence in their judgment. Indeed, the “working people” have a sneaking suspicion that the judgment of so-called experts is hopelessly corrupted by ideology and self interest. “Working people” don’t read Nassim Nicholas Taleb, but if they did, they would agree with his characterization of American elites as “Intellectuals Yet Idiots” who have no “skin in the game.” Wary of what they hear from supposedly authoritative sources, “working people” increasingly view diktats from the elites on such matters ranging from COVID vaccinations to “anti-racism” in schools as forms of ruling-class oppression.
If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand anything about politics today.