I have an American Spectator column up this morning talking about the passing of Angelo Codevilla, who was hit by a car Monday and succumbed to his injuries. He was 78, and I suspect many of our readers aren’t familiar with his work. Which is a shame, because if you don’t have a good understanding of Codevilla you probably aren’t fully equipped for the fight to come.
Codevilla was, among many things, an educator and an essayist. Perhaps his best known work was a long piece he wrote in 2010 for The American Spectator entitled America’s Ruling Class and the perils of revolution. It was so well-received that Rush Limbaugh read the whole thing on his show and came back to it again and again really for the rest of the time he was broadcasting.
My column gives a fast summary of the thesis of Codevilla’s great essay, which ultimately was published as a booklet with an introduction by Limbaugh…
His formulation was an incandescently true one: America, particularly in the half-century since the social upheaval of the 1960s, has developed into an oligarchy, and there is a ruling class in the country which shares a number of characteristics in common. Those include an unfailing belief in a credentialed elite, a contempt for the lifestyle and values of the country at large, a globalist, anti-patriotic mindset, and the arrogance of power not just political, but financial and cultural. He contrasted that ruling class, which he indicted for its almost comic misperformance, with what he called “The Country Class,” the two-thirds of the American people who either didn’t go to college or, if they did, were not fully indoctrinated into the values and pieties of the faculty lounge, whose livelihoods don’t depend on government, and whose attitudes give primacy to meritocracy and productivity rather than the “fairness” required by the redistributive state.
Codevilla held that the ruling class and the country class are headed for an inevitable showdown. This was five years before Trump descended that escalator and became the embodiment of his thesis.
The evidence Codevilla was correct in his description of the American dichotomy is everywhere. In the last week it’s come into fairly stark relief in our national discussion, particularly after all the photos and video from the Met gala in New York surfaced showing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes with her stupid “Tax The Rich” dress as she was all but certainly committing an ethical violation accepting a$30,000 ticket from Conde Nast, the parent company of Vogue Magazine, who managed the event.
But the hypocrisy of the dress wasn’t the worst offense arising from the Met gala, as the same grating smarminess infected the Emmys to an even larger degree. What both events put on display to the ire of most of the country were images of well-dressed rich and famous guests going around unmasked despite local government dictates, while the staff and servants working those events were forced to mask up.
The implication being there’s an almost crystal-clear return to the old days of European nobility, in which the high-born were free to live as they pleased while the servant class were constrained to a life of deference as unclean and unworthy sub-humans.
Here’s another example, if you’re not convinced…
That you’d see this in America isn’t just maddening, it’s dangerous. Americans won’t tolerate it for long without a response.
But it’s exactly what Codevilla was talking about. And more recently he said we’re not just possessed with a ruling class but an oligarchy. What you saw at the Met gala and the Emmys was just one example among many. Gavin Newsom and London Breed cavort as normal while they lock down the Normals. Gretchen Whitmer follows none of her own COVID restrictions. And so on.
Louisiana is by no means immune from this. Remember John Bel Edwards’ frolicking at Baton Rouge Country Club unmasked last year just after imposing that restriction on the people of the state?
This week we got another reminder.
Russel Honore’ might not come off, at least superficially, as a member of the ruling class. But don’t be fooled by the cigars and the military bravado. He’s as ruling class as you can get, and obnoxious about it. If he wasn’t, do you think Nancy Pelosi would have brought him up to Washington to consult in wrapping the Capitol up in razor wire and summoning National Guardsmen to turn the place into an armed camp against the threat of unwashed masses demonstrating against the 2020 election?
It isn’t like Honore’ hasn’t blasted out countless semi-literate tweets assailing Trump supporters in dehumanizing fashion. He’s done that for four years.
And Honore’ has reeled in a nice living for the last several years as a paid shill for the solar industry, which caters to the subsidized rich at the expense of ordinary ratepayers, and for heading up something called the Green Army – an environmentalist semi-cult which attacks the oil and gas and petrochemical industries so many working Louisianans earn a good living from.
He’s every bit as ruling class as AOC is, and this week we found out he might even be more hypocritical. Honore’s “Tax The Rich” dress has four wheels and a motor, as it turns out. He drove, and apparently will drive, a gas-guzzling Toyota Land Cruiser, which he totaled in a wreck on I-10 Monday and tweeted about it.
A Land Cruiser gets a pitiful average gas mileage of about 15 miles per gallon, which would make one entirely inappropriate as the vehicle of choice for the leader of the “Green Army.” And yet after Honore’ wrecked his gas guzzler he tweeted his panic that they were discontinued by Toyota. And then his relief that a local dealership found him one.
In a couple of months, Toyota is supposed to be relaunching the Land Cruiser as a hybrid vehicle for the 2022 model year. You’d think Honore’ would have wanted to wait for that. But it doesn’t appear he was interested.
Meanwhile his Twitter returned to its usual fare of demanding COVID compliance, advocating for a open “boarder” and attacking the oil and gas industry he’s such a good customer of for flaring methane.
It’s a pathetic amount of hypocrisy, and it’s a perfect example of the fact Louisiana’s ruling class is every bit as arrogant and sloppy as anything you’ll see in Hollywood and New York.
This isn’t going to last. It’s only a matter of time before the blowback begins. But we’re going to see more of this in the meantime. After all, another of our ruling class hypocrites, LaToya Cantrell, is about to get re-elected in New Orleans just as Edwards did.