Quadrant magazine, April 2015: Henry Olsen's "Getting No Respect" and the Arrogance of the Conversative Political Elite.
Here's the link; it's a seedy and cynical review of right-wing manipulations of the people.
Amid much merely political qualifications with no substance, Mr Olsen writes:
"The workers want three things: comfort, dignity and respect."
How could the right-wing have got it more wrong? He goes on to list the manipulative ways "we betters" can create these feelings in our "lessers".
Yes, it's elitist. It refers to feelings and marketing rather than to principles and reality.
Yes, it badly misses the point. Instead of straight-talking, it talks feelings. Instead of principles, it talks promises.
And, yes, it fails rhetorically, because it fails in terms of integrity.
What do the workers want most?
1. The common folk want straight talk. When they want to be bullshitted, they go to a salesman, not a statesman.
2. The common folk want authenticity. Professionalism in regards to connecting to a person is the province of prostitutes, not politicians. If politicians want to connect, they must forsake the mere professionalism of the political class and become actual people, endowed with natural dignity.
3. The common folk want integrity. It's not respectful, Mr Olsen, to treat people in terms of manipulating their feelings. It's offensive, and it's uncivil, and it's presumptive. If you want respect, you have to earn it through respectable actions.