Steve Hilton: The elite embrace selfishness, bigotry and hatred of Trump and his supporters

Until recently it was possible to discern a policy-based ideology of elitism. It was the establishment consensus around the benefits of globalization, automation, centralization and uncontrolled immigration.

Over the past few decades, this elitist policy agenda was implemented regardless of actual election outcomes.

Republicans and Democrats alike encouraged trade deals and financial deregulation that replaced corporate America’s primarily local and national economic outlook with a global one.

Technology was unleashed on the American workplace with no thought given to the wrenching transition this would cause and the massive scale of retraining needed to enable our workforce to cope with it.

Political decision-making slipped from the hands of citizens to distant and unaccountable politicians and bureaucrats, as power was centralized at the federal level. A parallel centralization took place in the economy, as over-permissive antitrust policy allowed businesses to get bigger and bigger, reducing competition in sector after sector.

And immigration was allowed to increase without limit, undoubtedly bringing its traditional benefits by adding to America’s rich history of innovation and entrepreneurship – but now featuring a dark side too, as the mass importing of cheap labor undercut American workers.

This elitist ideology brought enormous benefits to the elite themselves: astonishing increases in wealth, booming urban centers, a fabulous quality of life for those fortunate enough to be part of the new “knowledge economy.”

But for those outside the elite – the 80 percent or so of Americans who were the victims of elitism – the result was less positive.

Incomes went down and jobs went away. The social fabric was torn by community disintegration and family breakdown. People lost faith in government, politics – the whole system. They could see that it was working for those with power, not for everyone.

This is what led to the populist revolution that helped elect Donald Trump. And the elite’s reaction has been remarkably instructive.

Instead of questioning the components of their ideology, looking for new policies that would help working Americans – or supporting those of the Trump administration designed to do just that – establishment Democrats and Republicans have united around a new elitist ideology.

This time, the ideology has nothing to do with policy. The new elitist ideology is personal, visceral, emotional.

It starts with selfishness. Because they have benefited so tremendously from the status quo, those in the establishment portray any attempt to change the status quo as “reckless” and “disruptive.”

Just look at the hysterical reaction to President Trump’s new trade strategy, or his administration’s tough stance on immigration (not even tough enough for some, by the way).

These measures are presented by the elite as unconscionable assaults on the founding principles of America. But in reality these are simply policy changes that favor the interests of working people over the rich. The elitists gussy up defense of their personal financial gain in the garb of morality and principle, but in the end it’s just pure selfishness.

The next component of the new elitist ideology is bigotry. How many times have you heard elitists condemn populist movements for their alleged “bigotry” and “xenophobia?” Let’s remind ourselves what xenophobia means. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign.”

That’s a pretty perfect description of the view of Donald Trump’s voters – around half the country, let’s remember – that emerges from the texts of senior FBI officials published this week in the report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on the Clinton email investigation.

For example, one of the texts says: “Trump’s supporters are all poor to middle class, lazy, uneducated POS (pieces of s---).” And this: “Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support.”

And of course you don’t need private texts to tell you how the elitists feel about Trump supporters. Hillary Clinton told us loud and proud in her “deplorables” speech – and on many occasions since the election as she trundles around the world blaming everyone except herself for her defeat.

But perhaps the defining characteristic of the new elitist ideology – the one that truly brings them all together: from establishment Republicans in Congress, to the intellectually fossilized conservative “intelligentsia,” to the media overlords comfortably ensconced in their affluent hipster enclaves, to the arrogant tech titans of Silicon Valley, to the preposterous and vain Hollywood virtue-signalers like poor old Robert De Niro – is hatred of President Trump. Their brand is hate.

They say that President Trump is undermining democratic norms. But they continue to illegitimize a president duly elected according to the Constitution. They don’t really care about democratic norms, they just hate President Trump.

They say that President Trump is mounting an assault on the “rule of law.” But they fawn over James Comey, who Inspector General Horowitz reports went rogue when he was director of the FBI, subverting all proper checks and balances and putting himself above the law. The elites don’t really care about the rule of law, they just hate President Trump.

The elites condemn the president for his warm treatment of the dictator of a brutal regime – but they’ve been sucking up to a far worse regime for years.

China may not be qualitatively worse than North Korea but quantitatively there is much more cruelty and human rights abuse there. At least in President Trump’s case, the motive was avoiding nuclear war. The elite’s China suck-up was just about greed.

Members of the elite don't care about the proper conduct of foreign policy. They just hate President Trump.

Look at comedian Bill Maher – saying out loud what every establishment Democrat and Republican is thinking, hoping for bad news on the economy so President Trump can’t claim credit for turning it round.

Look at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., finding a way to spin every piece of good news as a negative. Look further afield – at German Chancellor Angela Merkel trying to spin a positive moment at the G-7 summit into a negative one by tweeting that misleading photo of her and President Trump to make is appear as if they were having an argument.

There is nothing – not more jobs, not higher incomes, not even less risk of nuclear war – that matters more to these elitists than their unhinged hatred of Donald Trump and everything and everyone he stands for.

That is the new and baleful ideology of the elite: selfishness, bigotry and hate.

We’ll be debating all this on Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT on “The Next Revolution” on the Fox News Channel with a fantastic line-up of Kimberly Guilfoyle, Jason Chaffetz and Ann Coulter. Hope you can join us!

Steve Hilton is host of "The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton" on Fox News Channel and author of the forthcoming book "Positive Populism: Revolutionary Ideas to Rebuild Economic Security, Family and Community in America." Follow him on Twitter @SteveHiltonx.