Why lump people into political categories except to rationalize or fulfill the needs of special interests (e.g., political party, media, or other groups)? I’ve lived with and as the working, middle, and middle-upper classes, and found stereotypes, but mostly complex humans who were as often products of their environments as escapees, schizoids or commuters (between one cohort and another) or adapters to their new status and environment, like Jed Clampett.
Clearly, America produces people whose spend entire lives working against their better interest, from meth and alcohol addicts to those who blame everyone but themselves for their demise. Who has not behaved stupidly then pivoted to near brilliance, in a day or week, or changed a firmly held view when the evidence became too real to ignore, or the pain of self-delusion demanded bearing the pain of reality?
Many good people continue to struggle with uncertainty of the American future and forge on, making the best of their situation. Some of those find what works the best in the long term, while accommodating the short term in their respective fields, like ours in urbanism. I don’t feel smug (in reference to the article cited below) about how to make good urbanism nor have I seen this expression among the non-idiots in our profession of design and development. Perhaps frustration periodically with those whose self-interests trump the community’s well being, whether governmental, corporate, or private. But that’s different from lumping people into groups to rationalize one’s anger or to fulfill the needs of ones’ own special interest.
Articles like “The Smug Style in American Liberalism” while entertaining, add little to my understanding of those within and outside my circle. Maybe I’m just tired of this “game of thrones” and the entire circus that looks like America! The true elites can be rich or poor, educated or school-less, scholarly or merely intuitive but they are stand up individuals who remain willing to evolve and change despite the costs. This is how I view many of the good elites I’ve known over many years.