The Doom of the Oiks

Victory at Tours James Taranto, commenting on an essay by Charles Kruthammer back in 2010, wrote of the contempt held by liberals towards their betters and their "okophobia": It was a prescient essay and very much worth reading in its entirety, but here  are just a few snippets: six years on, the no-nothings have learned nothing.

The British philosopher Roger Scruton has coined a term to describe this attitude [of intellectual  contempt]: oikophobia. Xenophobia is fear of the alien; oikophobia is fear of the familiar: "the disposition, in any conflict, to side with 'them' against 'us', and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably 'ours.' " What a perfect description of the pro- [proposed Financial Center] mosque left.

Scruton was writing in 2004, and his focus was on Britain and Europe, not America. But his warning about the danger of oikophobes--whom he amusingly dubs "oiks"--is very pertinent on this side of the Atlantic today, and it illuminates how what are sometimes dismissed as mere matters of "culture" tie in with economic and social policy:

The oik repudiates national loyalties and defines his goals and ideals against the nation, promoting transnational institutions over national governments, accepting and endorsing laws that are imposed on us from on high by the EU or the UN ....

The oik is, in his own eyes, a defender of enlightened universalism against local chauvinism. And it is the rise of the oik that has led to the growing crisis of legitimacy in the nation states of Europe. For we are seeing a massive expansion of the legislative burden on the people of Europe, and a relentless assault on the only loyalties that would enable them voluntarily to bear it. The explosive effect of this has already been felt in Holland and France. It will be felt soon everywhere, and the result may not be what the oiks expect.There is one important difference between the American oik and his European counterpart. American patriotism is not a blood-and-soil nationalism but an allegiance to a country based in an idea of enlightened universalism. Thus our oiks masquerade as--and may even believe themselves to be--superpatriots, more loyal to American principles than the vast majority of Americans, whom they denounce as "un-American" for feeling an attachment to their actual country as opposed to a collection of abstractions.

Yet the oiks' vision of themselves as an intellectual aristocracy violates the first American principle ever articulated: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . ."

This cannot be reconciled with the elitist notion that most men are economically insecure bitter clinging intolerant bigots who need to be governed by an educated elite. Marxism Lite is not only false; it is, according to the American creed, self-evidently false. That is why the liberal elite finds Americans revolting.

And this morning, swooning at the wake of their candidate, who had dismissed what turned out to be the majority of voters as "irredeemable", and a "basket of deplorables", NYT Columnists Paul Krugman and Kevin Baker unwittingly demonstrate exactly what Scruton and Taranto were talking about:

Paul Krugman:

We still don’t know who will win the electoral college, although as I write this it looks — incredibly, horribly — as if the odds now favor Donald J. Trump. What we do know is that people like me, and probably like most readers of The New York Times, truly didn’t understand the country we live in. [Exactly right, Paulie]

We thought that the nation, while far from having transcended racial prejudice and misogyny, had become vastly more open and tolerant over time. [So the "not-us" are racist wimmin haters - got it]

We thought that the great majority of Americans valued democratic norms and the rule of law. [As demonstrated so ably by the Clinton Foundation - can't these yokels see that she only stole money and sold her office out of a desire to help people? That Obama corrupted the Justice Department solely to ensure that the rule of law was properly exercised?]

It turns out that we were wrong. There turn out to be a huge number of people — white people, living mainly in rural areas — who don’t share at all our idea of what America is about. For them, it is about blood and soil, about traditional patriarchy and racial hierarchy. [Those dopey farmers, clinging to their guns and bibles and hating our vision of America - the bastards!]

And here's Mr. Baker:

All day long we had listened to the latest polls and surveys, and told ourselves that it still could not possibly happen — that the other America we had always dreaded, and always feared was out there, could not possibly prevail in the end.

I would dispute [the] silly assertion that this was a deserved response to our “condescension.” Far from condescending to anyone, everyone I knew was mostly hoping desperately that Mr. Trump’s voters could not possibly hate the rest of us so completely that they would vote in droves for the most irresponsible and openly bigoted candidate ever to gain a major-party nomination.

Contempt, yes, okophobia, certainly, but also, I think xenophobia: the Acela Corridor people fear all those foreign to themselves and, it turns out, that's anyone outside their echo chamber. Well last night they met their enemy, and, thanks to their contempt and vicious attacks on anyone who's disagreed with them over the years, it's us.

Serves them right.