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PETER ROFF: Wait, Did A Lib One-Percenter Just Say Something Nice About Donald Trump?

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Peter Roff A former UPI political writer and U.S. News and World Report columnist, Peter Roff is a Trans-Atlantic Leadership Network media fellow. Contact him at RoffColumns AT and follow him on Twitter @TheRoffDraft.
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The divide that’s split the nation is real. The red states are different from the blue. The cities are different than the suburbs and ex-urbs. And the rich, as F Scott Fitzgerald once put it, really are different from the rest of us. So, when one of them says things favorable about Donald Trump, it’s wise to listen.

J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon raised more than a few eyebrows recently when he acknowledged, contrary to the views of many of his fellow one-percenters, Trump had been “kind of right” about many things.

“Just take a step back and be honest,” he urged his fellow autocrats. Trump “was kind of right about NATO. He was kind of right about immigration. He grew the economy quite well. Tax reform worked. He was right about China.”

That’s quite an admission, as was a suggestion that the Democrats are hurting themselves by blaming all that is wrong with America on the so-called MAGA movement, something he said was “basically scapegoating” Trump’s supporters.

Dimon speaks for the one percent whose impact on what happens in America is outsized compared to the influence of every John and Jane Q. Public. They occupy influential positions in the political arena, finance, the media, business, and academia.  

Like it or not, they are the conversation starters and decision-makers whose ability to put America on the right track or keep it headed in the wrong direction cannot be underestimated.

What they believe is important to us all. What they encounter in their daily lives, what they are concerned about, and what occupies their time shape and guide the national conversation in ways the experiences and cares of ordinary Americans do not. 

A study recently released by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity shows that in many essential ways, their experiences are different from the rest of ours, and their beliefs are dramatically different. In the area of personal financial security example, the CTUP study Them vs. U.S. found that nearly three-quarters of these elites – defined as people making over $150,000 a year possessing at least one post-graduate degree and living in a high-population density area – said they were better off today than they were when President Joe Biden took office. 

Lately, the economy has improved. The unadjusted growth in the last quarter was a bit more than 3%. Yet Biden consistently has gotten low marks for the ways he handled it. The inflationary spiral sparked by his Inflation Reduction Act has made things more expensive as real wages for most people have declined considerably. Economic intellectuals like Paul Krugman can write think pieces asking why people don’t understand the economy is better. Still, most Americans, according to the CTUP study, say they are worse off now than they were in 2021. 

The difference in what the elites think and what the rest of us do is not limited to kitchen table or pocketbook issues. On the matter of climate change, which seems to occupy us all these days, 70% of elites said they would be willing to pay $500 or more annually in higher taxes and costs “up to whatever it takes,” says the pollster who conducted the survey, Scott Rasmussen. Among the rest of us, 72% percent said they’d be willing to pay more as long as it was $100 or less. (RELATED: PETER ROFF: It’s No Wonder Why The Left Wants Trump Off The Ballot In 2024)

That may explain why some people can go on television and talk about solutions to the so-called climate crisis that cost billions, even trillions of dollars over many years, with a straight face. People at risk of having their air conditioning rationed in the summer and being left in the cold in the winter whenever the windmills freeze don’t get on TV. At least not with the same frequency.

It’s axiomatic that people of means, like the American elite, have more ways to get around the government’s dictates than ordinary Americans. That may explain why they are three times more likely than all Americans to say we enjoy “too much individual freedom.” They can get around the rules they don’t like while the rest of us suffer. 

There are, as many political analysts are now suggesting, two Americas living side by side, even on top of one another. The Committee to Unleash Prosperity study confirms this. One is comprised of people who hold views common among the middle and working classes. The other is populated by those who probably consider themselves better or at least more public-spirited and virtuous than the rest of us. We’re separated by status, which comes as the result of income, education, and neighborhood, but surprisingly, not partisan affiliation. Which may explain Trump’s bipartisan appeal to the nation’s working men and women. They feel alienated and powerless and think he speaks for them.

A former UPI senior political writer and U.S. News and World Report columnist, Peter Roff is a senior fellow at several public policy organizations, including the Trans-Atlantic Leadership Network. Contact him at RoffColumns AT Follow him on Twitter and TruthSocial @TheRoffDraft.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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