07/30/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Redefining "Elite"

How do republicans keep doing it? They take a nice word like "liberal," pummel it to death with nonsense, and by the time they're done, it becomes a label so awful that politicians trip over themselves running away from it. Same with perfectly pleasant words and concepts like "choice" and "universal healthcare." And now, the word "elite." I come from Haiti, where the term MRE, which stands for Morally Repugnant Elite, was coined by foreign diplomats; it refers to the tiny 1% of the population that controls half the wealth of nearly nine million people. I know what elite means. According to one dictionary, elite refers to "a group of people regarded as superior in some way, and therefore favored." That's what it means, people. A lot of good stuff owned by the few. So, how did the political party associated with concern for the less fortunate; and wanting to corral government to help equal the playing field, come to be regarded as the party of elitists? Notice how idiotic journalists and columnists all over America adore making cheeky references to Obama liking arugula as evidence of his elitist ways. They think it's cute to say that. Why? Because they have, once again, inexplicably bought into the GOP redefinition game.

George W. Bush was caught on camera acknowledging the existence of only two types of people in the world--the haves, and the have-mores; and what happened? The son of New England nobility and a Harvard attendee manages to evade the elitist label and morph into a beer-drinking, cowboy-hat-wearing "one of us" kinda guy. What kind of universe are we living in? Kafka never died! He went on to rule things from a hidden place, where the weird and weirder become the norm. Recently Phil Gramm, McCain's main economic adviser, said that former chief executive of AT&T, Ed Whitacre, was "probably the most exploited worker in American history" because his golden parachute was ONLY $158 MILLION rather than the billions he "deserved." How is Mr. Cindy McCain not an elitist? He's still talking about a healthcare plan that wouldn't even cover his own pre-existing conditions (because he can afford to pay out of pocket). But shudder the thought of electing some snob who likes salad, even though his plan doesn't let insurers cancel your policy after you get sick. Hey, all you wiseass reporters and anti-salad dunderheads. Go buy a dictionary!