As a career FSO, I became “elite” when I passed the test. I came from a working-class background, but my career choice made me different. There is no way around this. In order to do my job well, I had to be different from most Americans. Different, not better.
I was acutely aware of this and addressed it. Like many of my colleagues, I spent lots of time traveling in the U.S., talking to people. I drove across the U.S. a total of five times, and that does not count the many smaller visits. I also own rural land and keep touch with my neighbors. They know things I want to know and I learn a lot from them.
I love America. That is why I joined the Foreign Service. I wanted to help tell America’s story and be part of it. And I know that Americans are great from experience. Some government workers think others are morons. Most of us know better.