July 24, 2016

REX MURPHY: What do Rob Ford, the Brexit and Donald Trump have in common? The Rulers Are Increasingly Out Of Touch With The Ruled.

Truth is that the anti-Ford brigade lived in a world where it was simply not thinkable that there could be differing opinions about him. They could not understand how this tormented and reckless man retained a special connection with the working class and was, in many cases, seen as a hero to many immigrant communities.

We have just witnessed a larger, more consequential example of the same break between elite suppositions and the real hopes, dreams and fears of the ordinary voter — the Brexit. Before the vote, every enlightened mind recoiled from the very thought. Was it not the case that only dark-minded xenophobes and Jeremy Clarkson fans would want to leave the Eden of Brussels and the European Union?

Ford was a signal of the disconnection, the great space between correct opinion in the higher altitudes and lived experience in the valley. Brexit was the first major demonstration of the consequences of that disconnect. The rulers and the ruled are increasingly out of touch with each other. The words of elite opinion have no resonance with the experience of those who they increasingly talk down to. Worse, the rain of snark and insult directed at the less enlightened only widened the gap, and added anger to their discontent. It’s never smart to be always talking down to people you refuse to listen to in the first place.

Or as Dana Loesch’s new book puts it, you can’t run a country you’ve never been to. At least, not well.

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