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Mike Rowe on the Disconnect Between Elites and Everyday Americans

Mike Rowe on the Disconnect Between Elites and Everyday Americans

“We’ve become slowly and inexorably and profoundly disconnected from a lot of very basic things”

Daily Wire editor Ben Shapiro has launched a series of long form interviews called the “Sunday Special.” Prior guests included Jordan Peterson, Joe Rogan and Adam Carolla. One of his recent episodes featuring Dennis Prager talking about God and the Bible was particularly fascinating and I recommend watching them all.

This week, Shapiro spoke with TV host and entrepreneur Mike Rowe. Their conversation covered a number of topics such as work and higher education. In the segment below, Ben asks Rowe about the divide between elites and average Americans.

The FOX News Insider reports:

Mike Rowe to Ben Shapiro: ‘Profound’ Disconnect Exists Between Elites and Many Americans

Reality TV star Mike Rowe told Ben Shapiro that he believes there is a widening gap between the so-called “elites” and everyday Americans.

Rowe said the gap has always existed to varying degrees, but he now sees a growing “disconnect” and a lack of appreciation of things that are basic in everyday life…

“If we’re not blown away by the miracle that occurs when we flick the switch and the lights come on; if we’re not gobsmacked by flushing the toilet and seeing all of it go away; when we start losing our appreciation for those things, the gap deepens. And I think the gap right now is extraordinary,” said Rowe.

Frank Camp of the Daily Wire provides a partial transcript:

First, Shapiro asked: As the country sort of polarizes between the folks who are in the entertainment sphere or the journalism sphere or the sort of “high IQ” is how they would term themselves sphere, and the people who are actually working the jobs that are actually getting things done across the country, that’s a voice that seems to have been lost a lot. Do you think that’s a really serious gap, and do think that’s a bridgeable gap? Or is that gap, sort of, between the people who deem themselves to be smart and the people who deem themselves to be doing the jobs that matter, is that destined to sort of increase as time goes on here?

Rowe replied: Well, there’s always been a gap – sometimes it’s wide, sometimes it’s less wide. And we all fall in love with the romantic version of ourselves, right? Whether you’re a journalist, whether you’re an actor – whatever it is you think you are, and whoever it is you think you are, you become the sun in your own solar system. So everything else is just a planet in orbit, right?

So, I think, with regard to the skills gap, and [with] regard to really any gap, it’s all just symptomatic of a series of what I would call “disconnects.” We’ve become slowly and inexorably and profoundly disconnected from a lot of very basic things that, when I grew up, I was really connected to – like where my food comes from, where my energy comes from, basic history, basic curiosity, you know? The things that fundamentally allow us to assume a level of appreciation that, in my view, is the best way to bridge those gaps – if we don’t have appreciation…

So, you know, I think there’s great common sense that is still alive and well in a lot of people, and I think that as they look at the headlines, they’re frustrated. And, to be fair, I think people on the coasts are coming at it from their own bias, and they’re frustrated. So, a lot of frustrated people are talking really loud past each other and a lot of truths are inconvenient for a lot of people, and so it just gets noisy – which is a long way of saying no, I don’t think that gap will ever close.

Watch the clip below:

The full episode, which is an hour long, can be seen here.

Featured image via YouTube.


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Every one of these discussions Shapiro hosts is a very worthwhile investment of your time.

Partly because they are discussions…

    Kemberlee Kaye in reply to Ragspierre. | July 31, 2018 at 4:20 pm


    I respectfully disagree. They’re more purely parseltongue poppycock coming from Benji Shapiro than “discussions”. Mealy-mouthed wordsmithing is his chosen craft, and I’d concede that Shapiro is, indeed, particularly adept at it.

    Shrill little Benji Shapiro is among the very first outspoken loud and proud #NeverTrump stooges along with William Kristol, Dana Loesch, Katie Pavlich, Mary Katharine Ham, and many others who opposed Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and worked diligently to see to it that the GOP nominee, Donald Trump, would lose, and that, naturally, the Democrat nominee, Hillary Rodham-Clinton, would win and become our 45th, and first female, President.

    Today, shrill little Benji Shapiro desperately pines for the good old days when he had some solid street-cred going and considerable momentum of relevance building…. before he CHOSE POORLY [he thought HRC was ‘no way she can lose’, too] and chucked it all on #NeverTrump.

    Shrill little Benji Shapiro says whatever he must say now and he absolutely must now give President Trump credit where credit is due – lest he have to go get a real job with that expensive law degree of his.

    List of Republicans who opposed the Donald Trump presidential campaign 2016

Mike Rowe is a pretty sharp guy. I see him as having a lot of common sense, as well as a mind which captures a wide diverse world and can reduce it to components. He is an Eagle Scout, and counts that as a part of what helped him to develop those traits. Shapiro is also a very sharp thinker, he thinks well on his feet, which seem to be grounded in his principles.

I agree with Mike Rowe on the gap not closing, not unless there is a massive tragedy to bring us together, and have people forced out of their orbits. It will take a huge catalyst. It had been WWII which did it for a generation plus, but since TV coverage of war, I think the wars and conflicts fought since Vietnam on has not had the effect of doing it. VN had been insulated from those in the elite category, and many of the protestors who were college age kids primarily, were more concerned about their own skins or those of their friends, while it remained remote and removed from those who could get out of serving.

9/11 came close to an event that brought Americans together, but then Hillary made her push – that screeching rant about how its OK to protest the President – which turned the country back from unity, and it has been widening since.

I get it that Rowe is talking more about the sense of wonder in the world about them, and seeing it through eyes that can also see the behind the walls type of work that brings it to us, but it is also not far from the socialists views widening from the right viewpoints.

Social media has played a big role in that, as has the media. Talk about “Colour My World” moves due to what influences are on various groups, along with laziness for discernment of history, of even human nature and the creation of the bubble world echo chambers people engage in, it isn’t hard to see the why of it, nor the seeing how little likely it is to narrow.

    Close The Fed in reply to oldgoat36. | July 31, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    OldGoat36, if the swamp were to actually be drained, if the mainstream media were actually to lose its audience because of the fake news it pushes, if the actors and actresses were to be replaced because they accept work that constantly puts America and Americans down, then I think the gap would narrow.

    You can only insult people for so long before they turn you off. All these self-satisfied blowhards that believe themselves the smart people, are apparently just like everyone else: they have to learn from experience.

    Target, Facebook, Twitter, CNN, all these entities, are learning-granted very slowly– that insulting their audiences isn’t a good plan.

    As one meme put it, jihadists call us infidels, the coasts call us flyover country, Hillary called us deplorables, but Trump calls us Americans. And that difference could in the long run make all the difference.

    CincyJan in reply to oldgoat36. | July 31, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    I respect Mike Rowe. His appreciation of the trades is inspiring. The elites, who live as separate as they can get from the hoi polloi, still need functioning toilets, hot showers, electric. Illrgal immigrants are trained for skilled labor.

      Playing the lifeboat game, who would you put in the boat with you to survive on a desert island? A Hollywood star? Media talking head from CNN? Or blue collar, nuts and bolts can-do, can build?
      The elite wouldn’t last a week on their own. I wonder if they even see or appreciate those “little guys” who come to fix their air conditioners when they break.

      Edward in reply to CincyJan. | August 5, 2018 at 10:54 am

      Illegal aliens are “trained for skilled trades”? And that is why my wife’s youngest brother was one of the last tradesmen in laying fancy wood floors to be employed in Dallas. He was employed to correct the mistakes of those illegal alien “skilled tradesmen” who worked for far less than real skilled tradesmen.

      Meanwhile the rest of the former skilled tradesmen in wood floor work were pushed out of their jobs by low price labor as contractors found it cheaper to skimp on labor and employ someone to clean up the errors that couldn’t be ignored or easily covered up.

      But, of course we all know that the illegal aliens (NOT immigrants) will do the work US citizens and legally admitted immigrants won’t do. We “know” this because the Open Borders Democrats and US Chamber of Commerce Republicans tell us so.

I wrote about this last night on my blog.

(referring to a video at the post) he talks about the divergence of the short term goals of the elite with the long term health of the civilization and how that impedes solutions.

A great common theme that both Rowe and Jonah Goldberg hit is the idea of gratitude for and simple acknowledgement of what Goldberg calls “The Miracle” in his new book.

Rowe cites it in the wonder we should all feel when we flip a switch and our home is filled with light. But there are so many miracles we just take for granted every day. I’ve slaughtered animals and butchered them. It’s heavy work, but I can go to the store and buy sanitary, well cut meat for less than I can do the work for. A supermarket is a logistics marvel that’s performed every day.

I’ve commented here about how thin the veneer of our civilization is many times. It’s very durible, but we can’t take it for granted. It really is a miracle. We are so lucky.

    Anchovy in reply to Ragspierre. | July 31, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    So true.

    CincyJan in reply to Ragspierre. | July 31, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    Love your comments about the everyday miracles we take for granted. But I am not so sure that the veneer of civilization, especially when as specialized as ours, is really durable. I think we live on the edge, and it really would not take that muchg to push us over the precipice. $21 trillion dollars of debt may do it. it’s happened before. The quality of life plummeted after the Roman Empire fell. The bronze age collapsed. There was not a gradual progression to the iron age. i expect western civilization will eventually collapse, taking indoor plumbing, water treatment plants, and medicine with it.

      Ragspierre in reply to CincyJan. | July 31, 2018 at 10:40 pm

      We have to keep it intact. One way we do that is to talk to each other. We have huge, existential problems, and lots of people understand that. There has to be a civic space that remains open to work on those. There’s a strong tide running to close it.

      I appreciate that people like Shapiro understand that, and work at the hard job of persuasion. We are here because of ideas. That’s what gave us “The Miracle”. We have to keep them bright and vivid. We have to seed them in any fertile ground we can open.

Quickest way to discover a sense of wonder is to repair stuff that breaks in your home.

    snopercod in reply to Petrushka. | July 31, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Or build your own home. I’ll never forget the great feeling of turning on a tap and getting hot water…after I had a well dug, installed a hot water heater, and did all the plumbing and electrical.

Electricity comes from walls, and food comes from supermarkets.

Maybe after PDT. This Rowe guy could not only be a good President, he could fix the plumbing in the White House. And, in the long run, plumbers do far more for public health than any President has.

… the folks who are in the entertainment sphere or the journalism sphere or the sort of “high IQ” is how they would term themselves sphere

“High IQ”?

In entertainment? Or that sham we call “journalism”?

I seriously doubt that the words “high IQ” mean what he thinks they mean.

Let America’s truck drivers stop working for a month or two and the migrant farm workers stop for a season and watch society collapse. A great way for lower socioeconomic classes to garner respect.