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Elitists Anonymous

……Uh, hel…..ahem, excuse me………Hello. My name is Michael, and I’m an elitist.

I want to thank you all for welcoming me here to EA. I’m not sure how long I’ve been an elitist. I was born and raised in small town, so certainly not my whole life. But I’ve lived in New York City for 12 years, and John McCain says that’s where you find elitists, and he would know. I lived for a while in Philadelphia before that, not sure if that counts. Probably. They’re pretty elitist too…I guess.

See, I spent a lot of my life thinking that, because I worked hard – white collar, blue collar, no collar – jobs and I had to worry about bills and healthcare and retirement and being a good parent just like millions of normal people, that I wasn’t elitist. I had friends who looked different, spoke different, worshipped different. I thought because I treated everyone the same regardless of their background, even if we disagreed, that I wasn’t an elitist. But I was just in denial. I even entertained the thought that maybe the people who looked down their noses at city folk, sure in their hearts that their small town middle America roots gave them different, better values, were the real elitists. That’s how bad it was.

But then I saw Sarah Palin and John McCain [] talking to NBC’s Brian Williams, who’s elitist as all hell. Palin said that elitists were people who thought they were better than other people. And that’s when it hit me; I’m an elitist. I think I’m better than people [] who judge character based on skin color, creed or heritage []. I think I’m better than those who seek to take rights away from fellow citizens []. I think I’m better than those who advocate war without care for consequences [], or worse, to profit from it. I think I’m better than people who see hatred and violent rhetoric in our public discourse in the same way []. How could I not have known all along? These people are clearly my social and moral equals, if not betters. Because I’m an elitist.

I want to stop. I want to love America the right way, like Joe the Plumber does, and like those, um, nice people at the Palin/McCain rallies do. I want to learn to be tolerant of intolerance. I want to address complex issues in an overly simplistic and partially informed manner. It won’t be easy, but with all your help, I think I can beat this.

One day at a time.

– Michael Turner