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Much of America has reacted swiftly and strongly to Donald Trump's grotesque suggestion that there is a moral equivalence between the white supremacists who converged on Charlottesville, Virginia, and those who protested against them. But the delayed, qualified and mealy mouthed reactions of many in America's leadership class tell a disturbing story about the country's elites – and the reason we are living in an age of populist rebellion.The least respected of today's leaders are, of course, politicians. Business leaders, meanwhile, are still among the most respected and envied people in America today.Had Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier not resigned from one of Trump's advisory boards and Trump not doubled down on his initial comments, it is unclear how many other CEOs would have spoken out.America's technology pioneers might be the most admired people on the planet. America once did have more public-minded elites.This security gave them greater comfort in exercising moral leadership.In a remarkable act of leadership for people who actually work under the president, the heads of all five branches of the armed forces issued statements unequivocally denouncing racism and bigotry.America's other elites should take note.
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