Memsaab And The Maid
If the poor, the underprivileged and the jobless have abandoned the liberals then it is not because the poor have become conservative but it is because the liberals have become something else.
Liberals all over the world seem to be aghast. They don’t know what has hit them, in New Delhi, in London and now in Washington. They still have not understood the Brexit results, and now refuse to accept Donald Trump’s victory. So, they will go on attacking the people’s mandate till the time they hope the people would change their opinion and vote in a liberal politician. But one startling new thing about the liberals is that they have begun classifying the voters who refuse to listen to their high priests as poor, illiterate, less educated and often jobless.
But, hey, wasn’t this the original Left liberal constituency? If the poor, the underprivileged and the jobless have abandoned the liberals then it is not because the poor have become conservative or rightwing, but it is because the liberals have become something else. The cigar-chomping, single malt-guzzling, wine-tasting, Marx-spewing elite are actually that. Elite. They have a great education, probably in an Ivy League university in the US or a more ancient one in the UK, a great library, a great job and a great amount of money—black or white. They are obviously liberal and, hence, not colour-conscious.
Despite zipping past in a limousine to learn the lives of the countryside, they still call themselves liberals. But they have been identified by the poor as not liberals, but as a class of people with a disproportionate sense of entitlement, primarily because they belong to dynasties—bureaucratic or political. So, the poor have begun to turn against the entitled class and all that they stand for. It could be because of the hypocrisy of this class or it could be because of the total disconnect between the so-called liberals and the lower middle and the working classes. Their school-going children can’t read because the bureaucrats and politicians who run the education departments have ruined the government schools. Their hospitals stink because those who run them will never seek treatment there. There is absolutely no connect between the ruling and the working classes and the only possible meeting ground—a common school for their children—doesn’t exist.
So, obviously the liberals do not even understand why a member of the working class doesn’t want to vote for a Harvard-educated lawyer or his son. The poor have no apathy for higher education or degrees from expensive colleges. In fact, the poor of this country had once enthusiastically voted for a Cambridge-educated lawyer and later his daughter and then his grandson and they still vote for his great grandson. But that was because the Cambridge alumnus was locked up in various jails nine times for a cumulative period of about nine years while he was creating a new nation. Now, when liberals, far removed from the daily deprivation of a miserable life, question the notions of that very nation, the common ground recedes into an academic debate on citizenship.
The memsaab has stopped understanding the maid. The memsaab thinks that the maid has become a cruel conservative. Probably, the memsaab is right. The maid seems to have misplaced her left liberal manifesto in the laundry bag.