Why Some Political Parties are Accused of Being Elitist

Every now and then, you come across accusations that political party ‘ABC’ or ‘XYZ’ is elitist. This accusation is usually made by opponents of the party in question. It is made with the intention of dissuading people from joining or supporting the political party in question. You have to understand that most of the people don’t consider themselves to be ‘elites’. Most of the people consider themselves to be ‘common folk’. As such, they are unlikely to support any party that is proven — or even just accused of — being elitist. Therefore, the easiest way to make a political party lose support is by accusing it of being elitist.

There are 2 key reasons as to why a political party can be accused of being elitist:

  1. If the policies it favors are of an elitist nature: for instance, if you have a party that supports lower wages for the workers and lower taxes for the rich, it would be very easy for such a party to be accused of being elitist. By supporting lower wages, it would effectively be supporting something that hurts the common people (who mainly earn a living through the sale of their labor). And by supporting lower taxes for the rich, it would obviously be advocating for something that favors the elite.
  2. If its founders/promoters are from the elite class: the party’s ideals may actually be crafted to favor the masses, but if the people behind it are deemed as being members of the elite class, it would be very easy for the party to be mistaken for an elitist entity.

It is important to point out that not all ‘elitist’ parties are against the welfare of the common people. In this context, the ‘common people’ are the folks you meet on the street – you know, the folks who do a 9 to 5 job, whose kids go to public schools, who depend on public transport… and so on. Those are, in other words, the sorts of individuals who are targeted by initiatives like the dollar general customer service survey. You find cases where, the elitist parties, in their quest to promote elitist interests, end up benefiting the common people as well.