First, J.P., it’s interesting to recall that Diane Sawyer once served as a press aide to Richard Nixon.
Second, Sawyer demonstrates a widespread elite belief that Ordinary Americans are incompetent to judge their own interests.
Elite faith in big government is both a cause and effect of that attitude. On the one hand, if you assume that Joe the Plumber is socially, politically and economically incompetent, then you have a ready-made argument for the necessity of the Nanny State’s guidance and protection. Once you decide that Joe needs the Nanny State, his refusal to recognize this need is proof — “A-ha!” — that he doesn’t know what’s good for him.
This attitude was best explained by Thomas Sowell in The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, a book I most enthusiastically recommend.
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