Meryl Streep's speech last night at the Golden Globes was not just a rebuke of Trump’s menacing childish cruelty it was a clarification of who Hollywood is made up of.
Unlike the President elect's family most of the wealth in the entertainment industry is newly earned and created by people who did not have rich daddies to seed their dreams. Few industries in America offer the feast or famine income opportunities that the entertainment industry does. The Hollywood “elite” in large part is constructed of new wealth. In essence people who make up “Hollywood” are experiencing a version of the american dream.
The mainstream media challenged by it’s small circle of pundits have fallen into the Trump trap of calling voters that reside in California and New York the “coastal elites” . While most generalizations are flawed the “coastal elite” mythology is also absurd and a startling example of pundit malpractice.
Take into consideration that according to Pew research 70% of eligible voters in California are working class or middle class. Some 23% of Hispanic eligible voters have not obtained a high school diploma and 62% of African American voters do not live in a home that they or a family member owns. In fact 18% of Latino voters and 39% of African American voters live in a home where the combined income is less than $30,000. Overall only 72% of all of California's eligible voters regardless of race, do not have a college degree. Are these working people and middle class families elites?
Each time the media uses the term “coastal elites” it bolsters the falsehood that the Trump electoral win was an endorsement of him by working people. The “elitist Hillary supporter” argument is only true when you ignore the millions of working class people that choose Clinton over Trump. In fact , while I know this is a sore spot, the numbers clearly indicate that the majority of working class people throughout the country voted against Trump.
The media’s problem perhaps stems from their current state of superficiality. While the D.C. media might see a working class family dressed to the nines on Easter Sunday or a middle class couple enjoying a date night at a fancy restaurant they need to look deeper. Market research indicates that in California discount clothing stores flourish around the holidays and Groupon dinner dates are a recession born cottage industry that still remains necessary. Before the pundit class uses the term “elite” to define coastal voters perhaps they need to look at real voter demographics. Research takes time but it is the media’s job after all. I would suggest the illustrious members of the of the punditry pull up the Pew Research site the next time they are enjoying one of the DC hot spots they frequent over a $15 martini or that they perhaps discuss the nature of elitism with a colleague at one of Capitol Hills $50 a person lunch spots ( no Groupons accepted).
Posted on 01/09/2017 at 07:21 AM