There’s a chasm between American citizens and their views, and the views of the far-left elites of the Democratic Party, the media, big tech, “woke” universities and colleges, unions, and big business and finance. These elites suppress the views of the citizens, and then impose policies with which citizens don’t agree. It almost looks like oligarchical despotism.
How do we know about this chasm of opinion and preference? The evidence is provided in opinion polls that show that the views of citizens are at odds from those of the elites and the policies that the elites support. Here are five clear examples:
“Affirmative Action” is an official American policy promulgated by President Lyndon Johnson, and justified by the Supreme Court. Its aim is to advance the allegedly disadvantaged by imposing race and gender preferences, in the first instance in government agencies, but by extension throughout the society, for example in colleges and universities. Various states, such as California and Washington, have repeatedly tried to make racial and gender preferences mandatory, although those referenda failed. Why? Because the citizens don’t approve of racial and gender preferences, or of the discrimination against unpreferred races and genders.
The general concept of “Affirmative Action” to benefit racial minorities is viewed positively by Americans. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 61 percent of Americans were in favor, and 30 percent opposed. According to a 2019 Pew poll, 75 percent of Americans said it was very or somewhat important for “companies and organizations to promote racial and ethnic diversity in their workplace.” But Americans don’t support racial preferences or quotas. That only job qualifications should be taken into account even if it means less diversity is supported by 74 percent of respondents, including 54 percent of blacks and 69 percent of Hispanics. Only 24 percent said that race and ethnicity should be taken into account.
The dislike of racial preferences also applies to their use in college and university admissions. According to a report on a Pew survey, “most Americans (73%) say colleges and universities should not consider race or ethnicity when making decisions about student admissions.” This includes 62 percent of blacks and 65 percent of Hispanics. Among those who disagree, most say that race should be a “minor factor.” Considering what part gender should play in admissions, 81 percent say it should play no part.
These findings indicate that Americans, when they see a reference to “Affirmative Action,” think of equal opportunity. In the majority view, “diversity” should come from equal opportunity. Merit remains the main criteria that Americans think should be used in admissions in college and recruitment in business and government.
American elites, however, favor racial and gender preferences. In 2016, the Supreme Court affirmed the right of colleges to use racial and ethnic preferences in admissions. According to a Gallup survey at the time, 65 percent of Americans disagreed with the decision. But the Supreme Court decision in favor of racial preferences was mild compared to what followed.
Encouraged by governments, most colleges and universities, research granting agencies, businesses and big finance, government agencies, professional associations of doctors and lawyers, and the media and big tech, have advanced the policies of “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” which have now become mandatory in all American elite organizations. In practice, this means race and gender preferences, excluding those who are not “diverse,” and requiring equal outcomes for members of race, gender, sexuality, and ethnic groups, irrespective of merit, which has now been rejected as being “racist.”
The will of the American people has been ignored by the oligarchy, showing that the power of the few can easily ignore the American majority. Then, adding insult to injury, the majority is dismissed as “deplorable” rednecks, and today, under the ever more despotic Biden administration, “internal terrorists.”
Transgender rights have become a favorite cause in elite circles. President Joe Biden upon taking office immediately issued an executive order granting transfemales the right of access to female spaces such as rest rooms, dressing rooms, shelters, prisons, etc. Included is the right of transfemales to participate in female sports.
Because of the biological basis of sex and gender, individual identities cannot replace the genetic realities. Consequently, transfemales, not withstanding their claims to be “women,” are biological men, and thus on average are larger, stronger, and faster than females. Hormone treatments and cosmetic surgery do not alter these biological facts. The result, as we have seen in many cases, is that mediocre male athletes who “transition” have a huge advantage over their female competitors, have left them in the dust, and have become “female” champions. For example, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) 2019 women’s 400 meters championship was won by biological male CeCe Telfer. A women’s world championship cycling event was won by Rachel McKinnon, a biological male who identifies as a transfemale. And the list goes on.
Some female athletes have spoken out against biological males, whatever they identify as, competing in women’s sports. Linda Blade lays out her case clearly in “Unsporting: How Trans Activism and Science Denial Are Destroying Sport,” arguing that “Whenever women’s sex-based rights collide with the rights of biological males who self-identify as women, the experts consistently conclude that some rights are more equal than others. Gender identity trumps sex every single time.” Not only the experts, but also political office holders and bureaucrats uphold trans rights over female sex rights.
What does the American public think about this? In a 2021 Rasmussen poll, 56 percent of American adults think it’s unfair to make women compete against transgender athletes, and only 25 percent think it’s fair. Seventy-four percent of Republicans think it’s unfair, compared with 59 percent of independents and only 35 percent of Democrats. It’s noteworthy that “Men (59%) are somewhat more likely than women (54%) to say it’s unfair to make women compete against transgender athletes.”
But the elites don’t care what citizens think. The NCAA, to its shame, is not protecting women’s sports, but supporting the invasion of biological male transfemales. So too at the Olympics, where failed male athletes who “identify as women” are allowed to tilt the playing field. And where are all of the feminist groups when women’s spaces need protecting? While enthusiastically denouncing as “toxic” the men who built civilization and every machine and tool that women depend on, they have nothing to say about the transfemales who intrude of women’s sports and spaces.
Disband the Police
As well as being the year of the communist Chinese virus, 2020 was equally the year of defunding and disbanding the police. Black Lives Matter, a self-described marxist organization, falsely claimed that police murder unarmed black men every day, and that the only way to stop that was to defund and disband the police. They “peacefully demonstrated” against the death of George Floyd by rioting, looting, burning, assaulting police and civilians, injuring hundreds if not thousands, and killing some two dozen. The left-leaning media never saw anything but “mostly peaceful demonstrators.” Congressional members of the Democratic Party encouraged people to send money to bail out the rioters.
Democrat mayors and city councils across America declared their devotion to Black Lives Matter, even painting the slogan on streets, and set about defunding their police. New York cut a billion dollars off their police budget, and disbanded their effective anti-crime unit. Some cities planned to disband the police altogether, to be replaced by psychologists and social workers. At the same time, the police who remained were heavily restricted as to what they could do, and were threatened with prosecution for any act not appreciated by Democrat Monday morning quarterbacks.
Guess what happened next? Crimes of all types skyrocketed in Democrat cities. All violent crimes, including shootings, murders, rapes, and car jackings shot up, hitting record levels. Who could have seen that coming? Consequences for crime-ridden Democrat cities is that many workers refuse to return to work for fear of their safety, tourists stop coming, and residents begin moving out to Republican states such as Florida and Texas that are safer as well as less taxed.
What do American citizens think of defunding and disbanding the police? In a March 2021 USA Today/Ipsos poll, fully 18 percent of Americans support defunding the police. The absolute majority, 58 percent, oppose it. Thirty-four percent of Democrats support defunding, but only 28 percent of Black Americans support it. Asked by Gallop in August 2020 whether “Would you rather the police spend more time, the same amounts of time or less time as they current spend in your area?” 81 percent of black citizens said that they wanted to maintain the same presence (61 percent) or increase the presence (20 percent). This is not surprising, given that black citizens suffer from crime at a much higher level than any other category of citizen, and almost entirely at the hands of black criminals. Contrary to Black Lives Matter, the number of blacks killed by police is quite small, while the vast number of murders of blacks are by other blacks.
The Democratic Party, Democrat congressmen and women, Democrat municipal officials, and organizations such as business and universities swore fealty to Black Lives Matter and to the group’s number one priority, defunding the police. Biden instructed all U.S. embassies to fly the Black Lives Matter flag. Americans loved the slogan, although they have gone cold on the Black Lives Matter organization. But they never wanted to defund the police, because they thought “that’s crazy.” And they were right.
Representative democracy can only work if the processes of voting provide good access to citizens, and allow for secure voting from legitimate voters. Voters’ rights have been an issue highlighted by the Democratic Party, particularly what they call the “suppression of votes,” in particular those of African Americans and Hispanics. The Democrats’ partisan talking point is that Republicans suppress the voting of minorities by onerous rules.
In contrast, the Republicans’ partisan talking point is that Democrats want to change the rules of voting so that they can steal elections the way their urban machines have done for decades. Most ordinary Republicans believe that the 2020 presidential election was tainted if not entirely stolen, due to the dirty tricks, legal and illegal, played by the Democrats in the name of COVID-19 measures. Courts have dodged the question, and the substantive evidence has so far not been examined by impartial authorities.
The Democrats, delighted with the success of their electoral maneuvers in 2020, have tried to impose them nationally through S.1, the “For the People Act of 2021.” This bill would remove voting procedures from the states in favor of rules decided nationally. One of its provisions strips states of the right to demand voter identification. Democrats’ argument is that “IDs are voter suppression,” presumably because blacks and Hispanics are incapable of getting photo IDs. State laws, such as Georgia’s, which requires voter IDs, have been denounced by no less than Biden as “racist” and “Jim Crow on steroids.”
Democrats don’t want secure elections, because they want to be free to steal them. So they don’t care what American citizens think, especially because voters are very clear on what they think. In a 2016 Gallup poll, 80 percent of respondents are in favor of ID laws, including 77 percent of non-whites. In 2021, although support has declined, it’s still strongly in favor: In one poll, Georgia voters support requiring photo IDs by 74 percent versus 22 percent opposed. According to a YouGov/The Economist poll, 53 percent of Americans support photo IDs, while only 28 percent oppose.
The Democratic Party has made it clear that they favor open borders, especially at the southern border. There appear to be two reasons for this: One is moral. Democrats believe that the United States is “systemically racist,” and should make every effort to accommodate and welcome people of color. Biden has mandated throughout the government and armed forces the rejection of “whiteness,” and funded the rejection of “whiteness” in schools. Democrats over the years have projected a new American majority of color, with whites shrinking to a minority. For these Democrats, that would be good triumphing over evil.
The second reason is electoral. Democrats since their Jim Crow and KKK days have sold themselves as defenders of “oppressed” minorities of color, so the more minorities of color, the more Democrat votes. Furthermore, pandering to illegal aliens will lead them to vote Democratic, and this is another reason for Democrats to oppose secure elections.
The Biden administration has cancelled all blocks to the entry of illegal aliens, thus opening the southern border entirely. The administration is correct to say it’s not a crisis; it’s their plan. The administration is shuttling illegals throughout the country, at the same time massively benefitting the human, sex, and drug trafficking of the Mexican cartels, and opening the door to massive amounts of drugs and guns, and to unknown numbers of criminals and terrorists. The Biden administration isn’t enforcing the law, but it is advancing Democrat priorities.
But the Biden administration isn’t advancing the priorities of American citizens, about whom it seems not to care. When Pew asked citizens what kind of job the Biden administration is doing at the southern border, a supermajority of 68 percent said “somewhat bad” (35 percent) or “very bad” (33 percent).
“Majorities [of voters] in both parties say the government has done a bad job of dealing with the influx of asylum seekers at the border: 86% of Republicans rate the government’s performance negatively, as do 56% of Democrats,” Pew reported.
Asked what was needed for the country at the border, 85 percent said additional resources to police the border, 79 percent said reducing the number of people coming to claim asylum, and 57 percent said stricter criteria for given legal status to asylum seekers.
American elites have cornered so much of the power in the country that they feel free to ignore the views of the citizens. Media and tech selectivity and censorship limit what the public is allowed to know. School and university education leans so heavily left that it’s surprising it hasn’t fallen over yet, but we can always hope. Business and finance conform to the fads of media and universities. And the government uses its massive power to implement its fantasies, especially its paranoid fantasies. Citizens are ignored and left in the lurch.
The elite doesn’t care how many black lives are lost to black criminals, or how many white children are traumatized by being told that they’re evil, or how many illegals take the places of citizens, or how many female athletes give up rather than be cheated by biological males, or how many meritorious applicants are turned down because they’re the wrong skin color or ethnicity. Perhaps it’s time for citizens to speak up, louder.
Philip Carl Salzman is professor emeritus of anthropology at McGill University, senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, fellow at the Middle East Forum, and president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.