Elite does not simply mean having a lot of money. Mr. Trump, who inherited millions, is not considered an elite sellout by his supporters any more than Edward J. Snowden is considered a tool of the government for having worked at the National Security Agency. Rather, the thinking goes, it’s because Mr. Trump knows how it all works that he is in the best position to take it all apart.
Elite does not necessarily mean educated, either. While university professors might be scorned as condescending eggheads, book smarts are prized when used against the bookish.
Elite is certainly not, as many on the left would argue, a function of historical advantage: being, say, a white Christian male in a country that has long made little room for anyone else. It is in some ways exactly not this.