August 3, 2016

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: The Soul-Sick Leadership Elite in America.

Too bad that we now have to depend on leaks from Putin moles to know what’s going on in our country, but the donor stroking industry revealed in these emails is anything but secret. Thousands of prominent people are involved, either as strokers or strokees. Many of these people are extremely well known to journalists at major newspapers, and not a few of them are married to journalists.

Yet here is the NYT treating these leaked emails as a window into an unknown world. The unwillingness of the press to delve into the Vanity Fair at the heart of modern progressive politics (there is no such reluctance to peer into the mysteries of Republican finance) is a real problem. . . .

The fatheaded stupidity of rich liberals is the subtext of the hacked emails: how easily they are exploited, how gullible their vanity makes them, how pathetically eager they are for the hollow satisfaction of a seat next to the powerful. In one sense it’s refreshing: great wealth does not in fact make a nincompoop powerful. Also, it suggests that the real problem with our republic is that what should be our leadership elite is soul-sick: vain, restless, easily miffed, intellectually confused, jealous…

The sense that people like this—a mix of knaves and fools—are running both parties has a lot to do with the anger that fueled both the Sanders and the Trump campaigns. There’s a spiritual disease at work in this, and over time it has the ability to wreck not just individual souls, but our free institutions and the rule of law itself.


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