The Surprising Elite Truth Behind America’s Political Divide

Wealth. Power. Enormous boats. These are just some of the markers of "elite" status in America. Populist candidates win race after race by running against Those Darn Elites. But what if that's a fake difference? What if the "elites" are merely people who like information? And what if the "populists" are even richer and more affluent than the democracy nerds they keep running against? Most importantly: what if misunderstanding "elitism" in 2020, just like we all misunderstood it in 2016, could continue to screw the whole world up?

On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by journalist/comedy writer/author Joel Stein. They'll explore the facts, figures, and freaky rural Texan crafts businesses from Joel's new book 'In Defense of Elitism: Why I'm Better Than You and You're Better Than Someone Who Didn't Buy This Book'. Find out why Trump voters can't be defined as "poor and uneducated". Find out how the creator of 'Dilbert' and the leaders of the #Resistance both went a little bit insane. And most of all, discover the actual political divide that decided the 2016 election (and may decide it again in 2020).


In Defense of Elitism: Why I'm Better Than You and You're Better Than Someone Who Didn't Buy This Book by Joel Stein

Joel Stein on Writing His Very Last TIME Column (TIME)

set of stats on Trump voters from show intro

A New Study Confirms (Again) That Race, Not Economics, Drove Former Democrats To Trump (Pacific Standard)

It's time to bust the myth: Most Trump voters were not working class. (The Washington Post)

People Voted for Trump Because They Were Anxious, Not Poor (The Atlantic)

Why 41 percent of white millennials voted for Trump (The Washington Post)

Further footnotes:

Syracuse University's motto: Suos Cultores Scientia Coronat (Latin for "Knowledge crowns those who seek her")

Miami, Texas (

Where Is Roberts County, Texas? (

When T. Boone Pickens Owned Drake on Twitter (

Whistleblower Explains How Cambridge Analytica Helped Fuel U.S. 'Insurgency' (NPR)

Jimmy Carter "Crisis of Confidence" speech, delivered July 15, 1979 (PBS American Experience)

Wikipedia rundown of Readers Digest Condensed Books

Trump's pee tape: analyzing an incredibly convincing fake (Slate)

We Tracked Down A Fake-News Creator In The Suburbs. Here's What We Learned (NPR)

How Scott Adams Got Hypnotized by Trump (Bloomberg)

Trump tweet claiming "Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT."

[2014 article] Aircraft accident rates at historic low despite high-profile plane crashes (The Guardian)

[2018 article] Plane crash deaths jump sharply in 2018 - but fatalities 'still rare'. Analysis shows that 500 people died in major accidents last year compared with none in 2017 (The Guardian)

Spasmodic dysphonia (National Institutes of Health)

Is Justin Trudeau Fidel Castro's Love Child? (Snopes)

Does Bill Clinton Have an Illegitimate Son Named Danney Williams? (Snopes)

Todd Rokita is battling 'the elites,' including fellow Republicans who used to support him (The Indianapolis Star)

Trump Wants His Supporters Called The "Super-Elite" Because "We Got More Money" And "Nicer Boats" (Vanity Fair)

Vilfredo Pareto (Encyclopedia Britannica)

U.S. Presidential Election of 1828 (Encyclopedia Britannica)

10 Historical Titans With Surprising Tattoos (Mental Floss)

Andrew Jackson, America's Original Anti-Establishment Candidate (Smithsonian)

Brett Kavanaugh's Washington: A smaller, colder world for a justice under a cloud (The Washington Post)

Who Is The Real Eric Garcetti? (Los Angeles Magazine)