Its been going on since the end of the 18th century at least. Federalists like John Adams and Alexander Hamilton considered the common man so detestable and stupid that the election of 1800 was somewhat a referendum between the elitist and propertied Federalists and Jefferson, the supporter of the common man. Adams and Hamilton hated democracy as did many Federalists, considering the common man too stupid and dangerous when empowered to vote. Of course, the Federalists lost the election of 1800 to Jefferson, just barely. And, the Federalist party pretty much disappeared.
Politicians today have evolved and refined the Federalist view. Now they want our vote. And, will pretty much say anything to get it. They still think we're stupid.