Jeff Chandler raises an important “insider” issue within the WordPress community. I’ve not only heard the same types of comments, but felt similar at times. But just like any other “Us vs Them” type scenario, it only improves with people willing to do the brave thing and break through it with experience.
Anyone who feels threatened, or intimidated by the WordPress Core team simply needs to speak up, contribute, learn about how to contribute, and do it regularly.
I’ve challenged myself to contribute to each new default theme each year, and I’ve been active in contributing in Plugin Directory Meetings. I can say that the more I contribute with quality input and feedback and code the more accustom the team is to me and my personality and the more I grow as a contributor.