"The American elite is almost beyond redemption. . . . Moral relativism has set in so deeply that the gilded classes have become incapable of discerning right from wrong. Everything can be explained away, especially by journalists. Life is one great moral mush--sophistry washed down with Chardonnay. The ordinary citizens, thank goodness, still adhere to absolutes. . . . It is they who have saved the republic from creeping degradation while their 'betters' were derelict."
Dombey and Son (ch. XXIII)