Their top-down leadership, real estate address, interior decor, and tribal rites and rituals ensure that no one will mistake them for anything less than a white-shoe law firm. In both litigation and transactions, they leverage that identity to intimidate the opposition.
If they give up the ghost on all that, there probably will be no The Establishment left in America.
In an amusing commentary in The Washington Post, Daniel W. Drezner outs the reality that most hard-core members of The Establishment deny they belong to that entitled group.
Among those doing the denying is Hillary Clinton. From the get-go at elite college Wellesley, she has been the ultimate Establishment player.
And, of course, Donald Trump is operating his campaign on the platform that he is overthrowing The Establishment. His lack of statesmanlike rhetoric is supposed to be proof that he is not one of those Establishment types.
Although contending not to being a member of The Establishment is high fashion in 2016, it's nothing new.
During the Counterculture, so many of us who had done backflips to get into Ivy League universities waged war on The Establishment from those very institutions of higher learning.
The game we played was moving classroom activities off the official campus. I taught Freshman Composition in a large coffee shop versus the hallowed corridors of academia. We only stopped that great pretense when the crushing recession of the early 1970s scared the rebel out of us.
And it was John F. Kennedy who told us that he had snatched the torch from The Establishment (the dowdy Eisenhower Administration). And he was passing it on to the new generation. That was us.
Meanwhile, in 2016, high school students are doing much the same as we did: Backflips to eventually get admitted to the Ivy League. There, they will get it that they must adopt the persona of never having been a member of The Establishment. Nor aiming to become one.
After I relocated from Establishment-heavy Connecticut to Tucson, Arizona, I positioned and packaged myself as free from all that. Meanwhile, I was and am doing, yes, backflips to get Establishment clients.
The delusion that we are not Establishment seems pretty harmless. After all, just consider the deranged states of mass murderers. If telling ourselves and the world that we are not The Establishment is as crazy as it gets, then so?