Category Archive 'The Elite'
09 May 2015

Ace Nails It

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Why, one well might wonder, are all sorts of people on the Left, and even Bill O’Reilly on the Right, hurrying to condemn Pam Geller rather than the Muslims extremists who wanted to murder her for the violence in Garland, Texas?

Ace has it figured out.

This is about class. This is all about class.

This is about, specifically, the careerist, cowardly, go-along-to-get-along mores of the Upper Middle Class, the class of people whose parents were all college educated, and of course are college educated themselves; the class that dominates our thought-transmitting institutions (because non-college educated people are more of less shut out of this industry).

It is a class which is deathly afraid of social stigma, and lives in class-based fear being grouped with the wrong people, and which is more interested in Career, quite frankly, than in the actual tradecraft of that Career, which is clarity of thought and clarity of expression.

Thus, our institutions of thought propagation are dominated by the very people who can be easily cowed by the Social Justice Warriors, and who will, therefore, adjust their speech in order to not run afoul of the thoughtless — and frequently lunatic — thugs of the censorious left.

Read the whole thing.

06 Nov 2014

Smugness Fails as Election Strategy

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Smugness

Jim Geraghty responds to actual WaPo column headline.

The real problem for Democrats is that “smug” isn’t really their strategy; it’s how they emotionally react to their conclusion that their viewpoint is better, more moral, smarter, wiser, fairer, more sensitive, more compassionate, and so on than the opposition. It’s not a campaign issue; it’s a character issue.

20 Jun 2014

Why the Redskins Trademark Ruling Matters

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Robert Tracinski explains what the Patent Office cancelling the Washington Redskin’s trademark shows about the state of American democracy.

This name-bullying has become a kind of sport for self-aggrandizing political activists, because if you can force everyone to change the name of something—a sports team, a city, an entire race of people—it demonstrates your power. This is true even if it makes no sense and especially if it makes no sense. How much more powerful are you if you can force people to change a name for no reason other than because they’re afraid you will vilify them?

Given the equivocal history of the term “redskins” and the differing opinions—among Native Americans as well as everyone else—over whether it is offensive, this was a subjective judgment. (One observer suggests a list of other sports names that could just as plausibly be considered offensive.) When an issue is subjective, it would be wise for the government not to take a stand and let private persuasion and market pressure sort it out.

Ah, but there’s the rub, isn’t it? This ruling happened precisely because the campaign against the Redskins has failed in the court of public opinion. The issue has become the hobby horse of a small group of lefty commentators and politicians in DC, while regular Washingtonians, the people who make up the team’s base of fans and customers, are largely indifferent. So the left resorted to one of its favorite fallbacks. If the people can’t be persuaded, use the bureaucracy—in this case, two political appointees on the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

That’s what is disturbing about this ruling. Our system of government depends on the impartial administration of the laws by the executive. In this case, executive officials declared that a private company doesn’t deserve the protection of the law: if the ruling survives an appeal in the courts, the federal government will stop prosecuting violations of the team’s intellectual property rights, potentially costing it millions of dollars.

This ruling isn’t a slippery slope. It’s a slope we’ve already slid down: bureaucrats in Washington are now empowered to make subjective decrees about what is offensive and what will be tolerated, based on pressure from a small clique of Washington insiders. Anyone who runs afoul of these decrees, anyone branded as regressive and politically incorrect, is declared outside the protection of the federal government.

That this is happening, and that we have no idea where it will stop, is what should terrify us—even if, like me, you don’t particularly care one way or the other about the Washington Redskins.

03 May 2014

The Economics of Political Correctness

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Kristian Niemietz argues that political correctness constitutes what economists call “a positional good,” i.e., one differentiating you from others and defining your place in the social hierarchy.

PC-brigadiers behave exactly like owners of a positional good who panic because wider availability of that good threatens their social status. The PC brigade has been highly successful in creating new social taboos, but their success is their very problem. Moral superiority is a prime example of a positional good, because we cannot all be morally superior to each other. Once you have successfully exorcised a word or an opinion, how do you differentiate yourself from others now? You need new things to be outraged about, new ways of asserting your imagined moral superiority.

You can do that by insisting that the no real progress has been made, that your issue is as real as ever, and just manifests itself in more subtle ways. Many people may imitate your rhetoric, but they do not really mean it, they are faking it, they are poseurs (here’s a nice example). You can also hugely inflate the definition of an existing offense (plenty of nice examples here.) Or you can move on to discover new things to label ‘offensive’, new victim groups, new patterns of dominance and oppression.

If I am right, then Political Correctness is really just a special form of conspicuous consumption, leading to a zero-sum status race. The fact that PC fans are still constantly outraged, despite the fact that PC has never been so pervasive, would then just be a special form of the Easterlin Paradox.

Read the whole thing.

18 Mar 2011

“You Will Be Assimilated”

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David Brooks

Dan Calabrese explains why David Brooks thinks NPR must be federally funded.

I sort of like having David Brooks around. He serves as a living demonstration of a lot of troubling things. By the standards of the New York Times and much of official Washington, Brooks is supposed to be some sort of conservative. And that probably tells you everything you need to know about officialdom.

So when MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked Brooks the other day to make his case for why we should continue to give federal funding to public broadcasting, what could the elitist Mr. Brooks say? He couldn’t say there aren’t enough other choices, since there are thousands of them. He couldn’t defend NPR and PBS against the elitist charge, although, as an elitist himself, he probably has a hard time seeing the problem with that.

So he said this:

    “Here’s the case: You know we have a common culture. If we’re going to assimilate people, if we’re going to be one nation – it helps to have a common culture. There’s some things that do join us. And government has some role in help creating those things, in funding the things that join us. The Smithsonian museums do some of that. I think public broadcasting with shows like ‘The American Experience,’ they give us all something to clue into our history. They join us as a people. They assimilate immigrants and it’s worth a very small amount, and you should see my paychecks – a very small amount that we pay to this.”

Got that? It doesn’t matter that you can get upwards of 1,000 different channels on cable or satellite, or that you can get hundreds of radio stations on XM/Siruis – not to mention your local broadcast stations. Apparently those hundreds and hundreds of offerings don’t effectively “assimilate” you into the “common culture” of America, as defined and approved by snobs like David Brooks.

To really get a sense of where he’s coming from, you need to read more David Brooks, but since you would rather scratch a chalkboard, I’ll sum it up for you. Brooks believes the major division in society today is not rich vs. poor, nor is it liberal vs. conservative, but rather the educated vs. the uneducated. Guess which group David Brooks likes!

So you, the great unwashed, watching wrestling, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Operation Repo or the very worst thing of all, Fox News Channel, David Brooks has a problem with you. See, we have a “common culture,” and it consists of things David Brooks approves of. Stuff you find in the Smithsonian. Stuff you hear at the opera.

Read the whole thing.

It’s fun laughing at David Brooks’ pompous egotism, but his argument is really just more liberal establishment fantasy. NPR does not assimilate anybody. The availability of some Vivaldi on some FM NPR channel makes nobody switch over on the dial from Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh.

Federal NPR funding is simply a bien pensant gesture expressing our would-be ruling class’s cultural piety and affirming their authority to call the shots. The redneck gas station mechanic in Nebraska may be immune to conversion to membership in a culture that applauds exhibitions of Gay Portraiture at the Smithsonian and that likes to listen to Baroque music in the morning, but he can, by Jingo! be made to pay taxes to support the preferences of his betters.

13 Nov 2010

The American Elite Can’t Get No Respect

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Walter Russell Mead is a liberal, but he recognizes why.

All pundits, including yours truly, get it wrong sometimes, and normally there would be little point in dwelling on past blunders. But it this case, it is worth exhuming these vaporous and embarrassing stupidities for a few moments. Many of our nation’s intellectual leaders wonder why the rest of the country isn’t more respectful of their claims to be guided by and speak for the cool voice of celestial reason. That so many of them gushed over Barack Obama with all of the profundity of reflection and intellectual distance of tweeners at a Justin Bieber concert should help them understand why their claims of superior wisdom are sometimes met with caustic cynicism.

A significant chunk of the American liberal intelligentsia completely lost its head over Barack Obama. They mistook hopes and fantasies for reality. Worse, the disease spread to at least some members of the White House team. An administration elected with a mandate to stabilize the country misread the political situation and came to the belief that the country wanted the kinds of serious and deep changes that liberals have wanted for decades. It was 1933, and President Obama was the new FDR.

They did not perceive just how wrong they were; nor did they understand how the error undermined the logical case they wanted to make in favor of a bigger role for government guided by smart, well-credentialed liberal wonks. Give us more power because we understand the world better than you do, was the message. We are so smart, so well-credentialed, so careful to read all the best papers by all the certified experts that the recommendations we make and the regulations we write, however outlandish and burdensome they look to all you non-experts out there, are certain to work. Trust us because we are always right, and only fools and charlatans would be so stupid as to disagree.

They were fundamentally misreading the mood of the country, the political situation, and the ability of the new president even as they claimed that their superior and universal wisdom gave them the right and the duty to plan the future of vast swatches of the American economy. They were swept away by giddy euphoria even as they proclaimed the virtue of cool reason. Voters could see this; increasingly, they tuned the administration out.

26 Oct 2010

“Not An Elite At All”

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Glenn Reynolds observes that the pseudo-intellectual community of fashion is not really worthy of being described as an elite.

Forget cultural insularity or smugness. The main problem with the “new elite” is that they’re not an elite at all. That is, they aren’t particularly smart, or competent. They are credentialed, but those credentials aren’t so much markers for smartness or competence, or even basic education, as they are admission tickets to the Gentry Class, based on good standardized test scores. That’s fine — ETS was berry, berry good to me — but it doesn’t have much to do with ability to succeed, or lead, in the real world. Worse yet, it seems to have fostered a sense of entitlement.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Very long-time reader and first time emailer. Just my two cents on the elitists.

    I am an elite anti-elitist Tea Partier and I made my first protest signs way back in March 2009. I’m a Yale [BA, Philosophy], Columbia [MA, International Affairs] former Wall Street trader and risk manager who is just about done getting another masters [in Library and Information Science] during a two-year “John Galt” sabbatical from work. I’ve met many, many Tea Partiers at this point and they are not anti-elitist in a general, superficial sense. Indeed, they most often admire those who have succeeded by dint of a good education or hard work or taking advantage of a bit of good luck. The subset of elitists that we are fed up with are the ones in the government, the media, and academia who think (erroneously) that they know better what we should be doing with our time every day and have the right to pick our pockets to fund it. Not only are we tired of being condescended to (and take my word for it, I could wipe the floor with most of them intellectually) but they’re obviously screwing everything up. So, to borrow Lee Harris’ word from his new book, we’re the “ornery” bastards who, from time to time, rise up to put the elite (and effete) corps of impudent snobs back in their place.

Places like Yale and Columbia (both of which I attended myself) are actually full of people with less than all that exciting SAT scores, who were really simply adequately professional performers of routine academic tasks. The lumpen Ivy League graduate tends to be sufficiently skilled in the rapid assimilation of cultural trivia and the manipulation of symbols and ideas to earn a comfortable place in the establishment community. But people of this sort are typically not genuinely intellectual, not well educated, and utterly and completely incapable of independent critical thought.

Members in good standing of the liberal community of fashion obtain all their ideas and opinions off the rack from the establishment media. They care deeply about politics because a strong commitment to fashionably leftwing politics is just like the right address, clothing, personal accessories, and automobile, a key class identifier.

Bad, stupid, and unfashionable people vote Republican, own guns, and remain committed to old-fashioned forms of conventional religion, just as Barack Obama observed aloud during the 2008 campaign. There is obviously something fundamentally defective about them. People who are chic, intelligent, and sophisticated, or at least who think they are, vote faithfully for liberal democrats and subscribe to a body of opinion simultaneously embracing Pacifism, Puritanism much modified by Epicureanism, and secularist Socialism.

The conservative critique of liberal political theory, liberal foreign policy, liberal economics, and liberal notions of environmental catastrophism is actually infinitely more substantive and serious, but conservatives are always being dismissed as stupid for failing to recognize that the smart people are the ones clever enough to identify the correct opinions and alert enough to the advantages of being aligned with the establishment.

Hat tip to Bird Dog.

08 Aug 2010

The Best and the Brightest

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Historian Victor Davis Hanson points out that the past explains how America got where it is today.

If one were to survey the elite campuses around 1975 and talk to those in law school, poly sci, or the humanities, then imagine them 35 years later as our elite leaders in government, the media, the universities, the foundations, and the arts, one could pretty much expect what we now have.

The present symptoms that characterize both our popular culture and current governance — shrill self-righteousness; abstract communalism juxtaposed with concrete pursuit of the aristocratic good life; race/class/gender cosmic sermonizing with private school and Ivy league for the kids; crass and tasteless public expression; a serial inability to take responsibility for one’s actions; the bipartisan mega-deficits; the inability to cut pensions and social security for the baby boomers — from the trivial to the fundamental, all derive from a bankrupt cohort that came of age in the sixties and seventies.

We see the arrested adolescence and hypocrisy that come from that sermonizing generation, whether in Al Franken’s puerile face-making, the ideologically driven suicide at Newsweek, the steady destruction of the New York Times, John Kerry’s tax-avoiding yacht, the Great Gatsby Clinton wedding, Michelle on the Costa del Sol, Nancy Pelosi’s jet, Tim Geithner’s tax skipping, or the constant race-card playing of a Charles Rangel and Maxine Waters. Yes, one walk across the Yale or Stanford campus circa 1975, and one could see pretty clearly what sort of culture that bunch would create when it came of age and was handed power.

17 Jul 2010

Waiting For The Revolution

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Angelo M. Codevilla wonders how long two-thirds of America can possibly be ruled by a well-entrenched elitist third.

Never has there been so little diversity within America’s upper crust. Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America’s upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter. The Boston Brahmins, the New York financiers, the land barons of California, Texas, and Florida, the industrialists of Pittsburgh, the Southern aristocracy, and the hardscrabble politicians who made it big in Chicago or Memphis had little contact with one another. Few had much contact with government, and “bureaucrat” was a dirty word for all. So was “social engineering.” Nor had the schools and universities that formed yesterday’s upper crust imposed a single orthodoxy about the origins of man, about American history, and about how America should be governed. All that has changed.

Today’s ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters — speaking the “in” language — serves as a badge of identity. Regardless of what business or profession they are in, their road up included government channels and government money because, as government has grown, its boundary with the rest of American life has become indistinct. Many began their careers in government and leveraged their way into the private sector. Some, e.g., Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, never held a non-government job. Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America’s ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats. It rules uneasily over the majority of Americans not oriented to government.

The two classes have less in common culturally, dislike each other more, and embody ways of life more different from one another than did the 19th century’s Northerners and Southerners — nearly all of whom, as Lincoln reminded them, “prayed to the same God.” By contrast, while most Americans pray to the God “who created and doth sustain us,” our ruling class prays to itself as “saviors of the planet” and improvers of humanity. Our classes’ clash is over “whose country” America is, over what way of life will prevail, over who is to defer to whom about what. The gravity of such divisions points us, as it did Lincoln, to Mark’s Gospel: “if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

A must read.

23 Feb 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

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Ten rules (sometimes fewer) for writing fiction from Elmore Leonard, Dianna Athill, Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle, Helen Dunmore, Geoff Dyer, Anne Enright, Richard Ford, Jonathan Franzen, Esther Freud, Neil Gaiman, David Hare, P.D. James, AL Kennedy, Hilary Mantel, Michael Moorcock, Michael Morpurgo, Andrew Motion, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Proulx, Philip Pullman, Ian Rankin, Will Self, Helen Simpson, Zadie Smith, Colm Tóibín, Rose Tremain, Sarah Waters, Jeanette Winterson.

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Col. George Washington, Foxhunter (Ralph Boyer, aquatint, Fathers of American Sport, Derrydale Press, 1931)

One day belated notice of the birthday of our neighbor and compatriot in the hunting fields of Clarke County, George Washington.

When he was 14 or 15 years old, George Washington copied out by hand 110 “Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation.”

Washington’s maxims came from a translation of a treatise Bienseance de la Conversation entre les Hommes produced by the pensonnaires of the Jesuit Collège Royal Henry-Le-Grand at La Flèche in 1595. René Descartes studied at the same college just a few years later, 1607 to 1615.

The case of George Washington, I would suggest, can be taken to demonstrate that residence at Harvard, Yale, or even La Flèche is not an absolute requirement for leadership success or good manners.

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WSJ comments on the Obama plan to ram the health care bill through, damn the rules of the Senate and the wishes of the public.

The larger political message of this new proposal is that Mr. Obama and Democrats have no intention of compromising on an incremental reform, or of listening to Republican, or any other, ideas on health care. They want what they want, and they’re going to play by Chicago Rules and try to dragoon it into law on a narrow partisan vote via Congressional rules that have never been used for such a major change in national policy. If you want to know why Democratic Washington is “ungovernable,” this is it.

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David Brooks discovered that something has gone wrong with the meritocratic revolution, and wonders if this might have something to do with the new elite not being quite so meritorious as had been supposed.

[H]ere’s the funny thing. As we’ve made our institutions more meritocratic, their public standing has plummeted. We’ve increased the diversity and talent level of people at the top of society, yet trust in elites has never been lower.

It’s not even clear that society is better led. Fifty years ago, the financial world was dominated by well-connected blue bloods who drank at lunch and played golf in the afternoons. Now financial firms recruit from the cream of the Ivy League. In 2007, 47 percent of Harvard grads went into finance or consulting. Yet would we say that banks are performing more ably than they were a half-century ago?

Government used to be staffed by party hacks. Today, it is staffed by people from public policy schools. But does government work better than it did before?

Journalism used to be the preserve of working-class stiffs who filed stories and hit the bars. Now it is the preserve of cultured analysts who file stories and hit the water bottles. Is the media overall more reputable now than it was then?

The promise of the meritocracy has not been fulfilled. The talent level is higher, but the reputation is lower.

01 Feb 2010

Ordinary Americans Just Don’t Understand What’s Good For Them

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King Banaian, Chairman of the Econ Department at St. Cloud State, discusses at Hot Air the indignation of the bien pensants at the failure of the peasantry to bow down and accept gratefully the socialism that every liberal intellectual knows is good for them.

The notion that we know enough to know what is in someone else’s best interest is [a] fallacy, and I have found over the succeeding decades there are many academics that fall into it. Applied in the political sphere, it takes the form of “why does the public not understand what we are trying to do?” We heard it in President Obama’s State of the Union address last week in his claim that his failure on health care was “not explaining it more clearly to the American people.” It characterizes the thoughts of Thomas Frank in “What’s the Matter With Kansas?,” a book that I found alternately patronizing and pathetic, arguing that it must be false consciousness or hypnotizing demagoguery that leads the working class of Kansas, once home of agricultural Wobblies, to now vote consistently conservative.

That meme is now everywhere. David Brooks calls tea partiers anti-intellectual and Frank Rich calls them comatose. Responding to the election of Scott Brown, the BBC carries a column by David Runciman, a British academic political scientist of high birth (how else to describe someone whose Wikipedia entry notes his viscountcy?) that cannot understand why town halls are filled with people repulsed by Democrats health care reform. It’s to help them, dears!

    But it is striking that the people who most dislike the whole idea of healthcare reform – the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state – are often the ones it seems designed to help.

    In Texas, where barely two-thirds of the population have full health insurance and over a fifth of all children have no cover at all, opposition to the legislation is currently running at 87%.

    Instead, to many of those who lose out under the existing system, reform still seems like the ultimate betrayal.

    Why are so many American voters enraged by attempts to change a horribly inefficient system that leaves them with premiums they often cannot afford?

My friend Marty Andrade tweeted this link with the comment “But I stole this for you,” says the plunderer. “Why do you not take it? Why do you not vote for me?” But it is not so much the politician but the wonk, the analyst who makes such pretty plans, that finds himself exasperated by the failure of the public to appreciate them. No place does this happen more than in academia, particularly in America, where as I’ve argued before the academic does not often travel in either the working class circles or in those the successful businesspeople.

Read the whole thing.

20 Jan 2010

More Understanding, Less Tribalism

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In 1972, reacting to the landslide victory of Richard Nixon over George McGovern, film critic Pauline Kael renownedly protested: “How can that be? No one I know voted for Nixon!”

Megan McArdle offers some timely advice to dumbfounded members of the community of fashion on how to deal with defeat.

In 2004, the day after George Bush was re-elected, New York was a sullen place. At lunch, I sat next to one of my favorite New York liberals in brooding silence for a while, and then her sadness and rage suddenly erupted.

“I just didn’t realize,” she said, “that America hated me.”

What do you say to that? America didn’t hate her; America didn’t know her. America mostly wasn’t thinking about her. Yes, I’ve no doubt that the more tribal political partisans were cackling at the thought of grieving New York liberals (and in 2006, their liberal counterparts were prowling the internet for pleasurable nuggets of schadenfreude–no, don’t deny it, I physically watched them do it.) But most people hadn’t been thinking about my companion when they voted. They’d been thinking about themselves. They’d been trying to do, in their own hamfisted and probably ignorant way, the best thing for themselves and their country.

I’ve got a fine sense of deja vu after reading this on Andrew’s page:

    I simply cannot grasp what motivates these people, what compels them to thwart even the smallest attempts to clean up the enormous destruction they wrought under Bush and Cheney. Irresponsible, hateful, mendacious, sleazy, destructive – these words do not even begin to describe them.

Saying that you “cannot grasp” what motivates others is supposed to indicate their utter moral turpitude, I suppose. And in the case of say, people who rape children, yes, it’s true: I cannot grasp it. Can’t imagine. Don’t want to.

But when you’re using it as a dodge to avoid grappling with the opinion of well over half your fellow countrymen, this won’t do. Being unable to imagine what the majority of Americans might be thinking doesn’t indicate a problem with them. It suggests you kind of need to get out more. Ask around. If there’s one thing any American is always happy to share, it’s his opinion.

But for the shut-ins, and those who are too busy with their needlepoint, I have a useful little shortcut that you can use to try and understand why this vast, pulsating blob of undifferentiated evildoers might be opposing the Democrats’ health care agenda: they think it’s a bad idea.

That’s not so hard to imagine, is it? You have had ideas, and you have opposed the bad ideas of others. You have experience in the domain, so to speak. Think of it as sort of a visualization device.

The next time you are trying to imagine why the people who disagree with you are actively promoting the destruction of all that is good in the universe, grab a soothing cup of mint tea, put your feet up on a comfy pillow, and then close your eyes and imagine what those people would look like campaigning against something that is a very bad idea. 99 times out of a hundred, you’ll find that they look . . . well, exactly like they look when they’re campaigning against your idea. And suddenly the whole thing is no longer so inexplicable, isn’t it?

I mean, we all know that that’s ridiculous, because you have never in your life been wrong about any major question, or had a bad idea of your own, which is why you are so fabulously wealthy and married to the first person you ever dated, who is even now smiling at you in blissful perfection from the arms of your four flawless children. But they don’t know that, you see. As I think I’ve mentioned, they haven’t met you. They won’t know anything about you until you finally accept that Nobel Peace Prize. So you’ll have to content yourself with understanding that while you, personally, may never be in error, other well meaning people sometimes are. And then still other well-meaning people have to get up off the sofa and point this out, lest they lead the entire nation astray.

This does not require arguing that the people who oppose you are right. Obviously, if you thought that, they wouldn’t be opposing you. It just requires a little more empathy, a little less tribalism.

13 Dec 2009

Palin Bashing

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Morgan Freeberg has a number of personal observations about Palin bashers. Several of his points fit my own experience to a T.

1. They’ve achieved a great deal less in life than she has, even though some are quite a bit older than she is.
2. They don’t want to be called “haters,” although their reaction to her is purely negative and purely emotional; I’m left groping for another word and “bashers,” far from being a perfect fit, ends up being the least-unsuitable. ..

6. They breathe hard and their pulse quickens. I haven’t run into too many people who are ready to calmly explain Sarah Palin’s lack of qualifications. …

8. Their lofty opinions of the minimal requirements for the offices Palin has sought, or might seek, is selective. When the topic of conversation shifts to Joe Biden, suddenly it seems the Vice Presidency doesn’t demand a whole lot out of anyone.
9. They don’t seem to think it takes a whole lot to govern Alaska, or to even live there. They don’t appear to think very highly of Alaskans. One wonders if they’d back a Constitutional amendment establishing a “geographical litmus test” for future candidates, and if so, how many other states would go in the “No Can Do” column

It seems to me that Palin provokes fury in members of the community of fashion simply by being an outsider. As the Tanenhaus mugging in the New Yorker so effectively demonstrated, to the American elite the possibility that someone from outside their own class and culture and residential regions could possibly aspire to national leadership seems incongruous and insulting.

Sarah Palin, I have noticed, also provokes a special animus on the part of the lavender left. Andrew Sullivan, for example, seems about to tear himself into pieces à la Rumplestiltskin by an excess of negative passion inspired by Sarah Palin’s very existence. My guess is that the authentic femininity of a beautiful woman when associated with traditional cultural values unfriendly to sexual inversion has roughly the kind of impact on the likes of Andrew Sullivan that the crucifix has on vampires. The volume of the hissing and the screeching is directly proportionate to the frustration of the faux female confronted by what he recognizes as his definitive nemesis and rival. For those of us who had Roman Catholic childhoods the image of those ubiquitous statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary treading on the head of the serpent always come to mind when reading Andrew Sullivan on Palin. It’s all very Jungian: the serpent does not like the idea of the feminine principle, the Mother Goddess Creatrix, which can crush him into the earth with ease.


Move fast, Andrew!

16 Aug 2009

Better Elect Another People Quick

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The people had forfeited the confidence of the government and could win it back only by redoubled efforts. Wouldn’t it be easier to dissolve the people and elect another in their place? — Berthold Brecht.

Nancy Morgan, at American Thinker, comments on the anger of the democrat elite at the common people daring to talk back.

The face-off between the ruling party and the people continues to unfold, as Democrat politicians hold town hall meetings across the country to build support for the Obama administration’s latest power grab, misleadingly labeled ‘health care reform.’

The faux outrage politicians manufacture on demand has been replaced by real outrage. Outrage at the American people for failing to understand the nuances, the broad outline of a 1,000 page plus bill that most politicians haven’t even read. Hey, that’s what staff is for, explained new Democrat, Arlen Spector.

Peons from fly-over country are daring to challenge the carefully scripted and (deliberately?) misleading talking points. Talking points which, by the way, have been endorsed by the media. Don’t these guys read the New York Times?

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are using the standard liberal tactic of diverting attention from the issue by demonizing the dissenter, in this case, the American people. According to Pelosi and Reid, voicing objections to the federal government’s take over of 17% of the formerly free market economy is ‘un-American.’ Harry Reid has gone a step further, tarring dissenter’s as ‘evil mongers.’

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has blithely dismissed the burgeoning dissent by informing one and all that these ‘townhalls are not representative of America.’ Obama, meanwhile, is trying to divert the issue by blaming the ‘headline hungry television networks’, accusing them of ‘enflaming an ugly backlash.’

Unused to any opposition that can’t be spun to their advantage or ignored, Democrats are desperately trying to convince Americans that the tidal wave of opposition is not genuine. Used to viewing every issue in political terms, our elected officials are actually convinced that the disruptive townhalls are merely the product of an evil conservative cabal. After all, every person these lawmakers know agree with them on this issue. Its called the ‘inside the beltway syndrome.’

Despite a new $12 million ad campaign designed to soothe Americans into relying on misplaced compassion instead of common sense, pesky Joe Six-Pack and Susy Homemaker still don’t get it. And adding insult to injury, American citizens are starting to question where all the money is coming from to run these ads. And by the way, who’s signing the paychecks for the new army of health care advocates who are being paid $12 to $13 an hour for their support? Inquiring minds want to know.

Answers to these questions are not forthcoming. Like the classic case of a wife catching her husband in bed with another woman, the question has become, “Who are you going to believe? Me, or your lying eyes?”

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