There is irony in the fact that one of Obama's problems has been - and will continue to be - the notion that he is an elitist. How can this be? He is black; a member of a racial group historically subject to pervasive discrimination. William Deresiewicz, in an American Scholar piece entitled The Disadvantages of An Elite Education is concerned with other things, but says something that is instructive on this:
The first disadvantage of an elite education . . . is that it makes you incapable of talking to people who aren’t like you. Elite schools pride themselves on their diversity, but that diversity is almost entirely a matter of ethnicity and race. With respect to class, these schools are largely—indeed increasingly—homogeneous. Visit any elite campus in our great nation and you can thrill to the heartwarming spectacle of the children of white businesspeople and professionals studying and playing alongside the children of black, Asian, and Latino businesspeople and professionals. At the same time, because these schools tend to cultivate liberal attitudes, they leave their students in the paradoxical position of wanting to advocate on behalf of the working class while being unable to hold a simple conversation with anyone in it . . . .
So you misunderstand why people "cling to" God and guns. You wonder what's the matter with Kansas because you can't see why working class people might not believe that their politics must center around voting themselves more of someone else's money. You define wedge issues as things that people care about even though you believe that they should not.
H/T: Paul Horwitz at Prawfs