[FoRK] why is "elite" a dirty word?

Corinna < corinna.schultz at gmail.com > on > Thu Mar 16 05:42:56 PST 2006

OK, I understand why "liberal" is an epithet, as in "tax and spend liberal". 
And "liberal
 can connote permissiveness, looseness, etc.  But why the word "elite"? 
I've always had positive connotations with that word -- such as success, 
competence, being in 1st place -- and I find it jarring when it is used in a 
demeaning manner.  Who are they referring to when they say "elite" in this 
way?  Here's an example:

"I'm waiting to hear the words 'I was wrong' from some of the world's most 
elite journalists, politicians and Hollywood types...."


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