Hunter was never an egalitarian. He believed that the people who are good at what they do in any profession would rise to the top, that that was the natural order of selection. He would say, "There are people who are snow leopards, and there are people who aren't."
Snow leopards are the rarest animals, the species wandering around at the top of the mountain in all their beauty. They were the animal he loved the most. If Hunter was talking about the CEO of a company or a county sheriff or the head of a political party or a top Hollywood actor or a big rock & roll star, he would say that they were a snow leopard. And it wasn't just famous people---so was the man who ran the biggest construction company in Colorado, so was the best trial attorney in the Texas Hill Country, so was the owner of an NFL club.
Even though he didn't like some of the snow leopards, Hunter thought that the art of achieving put them into a society above the rest. It was a kind of elitist, Darwinian way of looking at success, and he held to it very firmly---though sometimes he would parody Hemingway and say, "Don't forget---the scum also rises."
-- Doug Brinkley