Every employee harbors a bit of resentment toward the boss. It’s human nature. The employee sees the benefits of being the boss, but not the burdens. This resentment is amplified if the boss makes a lot more money than his employees. Everyone fantasizes about having a big pile of cash and what they could do with it. If the boss is viewed as undeserving, maybe being an idiot or ill-tempered, it seems unfair so a natural resentment develops.
A stock character in popular dramas is the bitter employee who thinks the boss is a dunce or has lucked into his position. That leads to the bitter employee becoming a Raskolnikov of some sort, committing a crime or treachery. The Simpsons have been doing a version of this with Sideshow Bob for 25 years now. It works because we can all relate to it, even if we are not prone to jealousy and resentment.
I was reminded of this a few years ago, when American Liberals were running around bitching about the 1% and how the bankers were screwing everyone. What struck me at the time is that all of these people were on the payroll of some rich donor or taking bribes from Wall Street. Liberal pols love Wall Street money. Liberal think tanks count on billionaires to fund their operations.
The carping and moaning about the 1%, from someone like Elizabeth Warren sounded to me a lot like what you hear from a bitter employee. Mx. Warren gazes upon her credentials and believes she should be at the top of society. More important, she thinks she should have the wealth of someone at the top of society. Instead she is reduced to being a servant to rich donors.
John McCain has suffered from this malady in the past. His comical jihad against campaign financing was a just a complicated way of saying he deserved better than being just a servant. These rich bastards he had to beg for money did not deserve their position. They lacked his credentials and gravitas. His servant’s revolt went nowhere and we have even more rich people buying servants in the political class.
It’s an important thing to understand about American politics. The boys and girls we see running for office are just servants. They could just as well be actors, hired for the role. The Great White Hope of Buckley Conservatives, Ben Sasse, is an extreme example of the exam system we have allowed to develop. He is a man who has never had a job outside government. His resume looks like a spoof of managerial technocracy.
The slobbering over Sasse by Buckley Conservatives is a great contrast to their reaction to Donald Trump. In Sasse they see one of their own, a fellow servant. He works in a different part of the master’s estate, but he is still a servant. He went to the same finishing schools, subjected himself to the same humiliations and made all of the same compromises in order to gain the master’s favor.
Trump, of course, is an unapologetic rich guy who has no respect for the toadies and coat holders in the political class. It’s not that he is from the wrong side of the tracks, which is certainly a big issue here, but that he is a reminder to all of them that they are just the errand boys of the rich people, who pay their salaries. They are not the kingmakers and trend setters they imagine. They’re just servants.
The response from the servants is a sneering contempt for Trump and his voters. I’ve long suspected that this contempt is part of what is driving the Trump phenomenon. To most Americans, the response from conservative media reminds them of the snotty girl at the coffee shop, who carries on like she is better than the customers. She can’t afford shoes, but she sneers at people who spend more on bottled water than she makes in a week.
What’s being revealed now is just how much these people truly despise themselves for living the servant’s life. They can’t take it out on the donors, who they are required to stroke once a month and fundraisers, so they are letting loose on the only guy in the race with a job. Their frustration grows as their assaults fail, because it reminds them of their impotence.
There’s another side to it. The boys and girls of the managerial class look at normal Americans as field slaves. A part of how they have reconciled their subservience is to pretend that they are superior to the field slaves. Now that the field slaves are slaying the overseers and eyeing an assault on the main house, the house servants are reminded of their own servitude. They hate the field slaves for it.
It’s why slave revolts rarely succeed. Ultimately, the house slave will defend his master against the slave revolt. It is his nature. It is what he is bred for and what gives meaning to his life. The field slaves are rarely willing to do what must be done to succeed and that’s wipe out the house slaves fist. In the end, it is the house slave with the whip in his sending a message, on behalf of his master.