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Thread: 'Elitist' Tag Knocks Education

  1. #1

    'Elitist' Tag Knocks Education

    By Stanley Crouch

    [url]http://www.realclearpolitics.com/printpage/?url=http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/05/elitist_tag_knocks_education.html[/url]

    Nothing has been quite as exciting and as disappointing or even disgusting as the grand drama of this Democratic contest for the nomination.

    We have seen Barack Obama rise and, with a new tone, make biracial identity a public fact of American life. We have also seen Americans reinvigorated, surging with a refreshing patriotism that is fully aware of the country's shortcomings.

    We have seen America's history of struggling toward fairness become, perhaps for the first time, a common heritage that crossed lines of color, class, religion, region and sexual identity.

    In Obama's world, every American can lay claim to the Constitution, to the Abolition movement, to the destruction of the slavery system by the Civil War, to women getting the vote, to organized labor, to the defeat of fascism and to the victories of the Civil Rights movement. Those were not the struggles and the victories of special interest groups.

    As Patrick Buchanan predicted, the only hope for Obama's foes was to knock him off of his pedestal and into the mud-wrestling we have seen define our politics. But the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was the big bomb that didn't quite go off.

    Wright's ethnic Gong Show - and the vast right-wing conspiracy that Hillary Clinton joined when she helped to give it credence - may have allowed Clinton to greasily slip through the door of victory in Indiana, but it raised issues that should make us stop on a dime.

    Columbia- and Harvard-educated, bad-bowling Obama is an elite, the conservatives - and the Clintons - claim. He is out of touch with the working class, they say.

    [B]It has become commonplace for the predictable millionaire puppets of Fox News and their conservative talk radio counterparts to present themselves as the voices of the working class in combat with an educated elite from places like Harvard.[/B]

    But beneath those cliches fester ideas that are deeply anti-democratic.

    They are anti-democratic because they scoff at this basic truth: Education is the key to social mobility in our country. The stereotyped working class has no innate limits. It has produced the majority of doctors, engineers, architects, educators and others who realized the dreams of their families by studying hard and moving into careers quite different from those of their parents and their neighbors.

    Education has always been viewed as suspect by everyone from slave owners to totalitarians. Wherever in the world you find them, they share one hostility: They hate books.

    The presidency is not an Academy Award for Best Performance as a bowler, a fast food gobbler, a whisky and beer guzzler, a hard-hat-wearer or a hunter. We ought to know how far leadership capabilities are from surfaces, slogans and costumes.

    And we should be ever suspicious of anyone or any group that scorns education, that pretends to believe that only the simple and the uncomplicated can express the national ethos.

    That is absolutely ridiculous in a country from which so much technological and scientific innovation has come. Tell that to Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers or Bill Gates, none of whom were from the upper class. Or are we to believe they were just simple men looking for a loud bar and a cold beer?

    The precious opportunity that our democracy provides is the chance to stop, look, listen and think through all that history has taught us about the bottom and about the top.

    Real leadership is something internal, not superficial, and should be judged by substance, policy and solutions that are empathetic but realistic, inventive, fiscally responsible and feasible. No one knows the taste of pie in the sky, but we have all felt and smelled the putrid humidity of hot air.

  2. #2
    It used to be only land holding males got the vote... now _that_ was elitist.

    or was it? Maybe the people who get the right to vote should have some sort of vested interest in the outcome?

  3. #3
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    Obama aside....

    If you interpret elite to equal smart and well educated, how exactly are those bad qualities for the POTUS to have?

    I mean, I generally seek out smart and well educated people for most services in life, everything from doctors, to dentists, to lawyers to auto mechanics. Why is it when electing a president I want someone I can *pretend* is not any smarter or better prepared then myself? Someone I can ignore how rich they, how well connected, how elite and allow them to fool me into thinking they are just an average joe..

    Look at Hillary, for a large portion of the public she was successfully able to recast herself as a beer drinking, gun toting, pickup driving, working class tough guy. After 15+ years in the public eye and mountains of evidence to the contrary, she was successfully able to rebrand herself over the coarse of a single month all the while announcing that her and her husband have earned over 100 million dollars since the millennium and now have just loaned her campaign 11.4 million.

    Are we that dumb, or that insecure that we need engage in this charade with the candidates before voting for them?

    Why can't we just vote for the smartest, best educated, most accomplished person? Shouldn't that be the idea?

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=CTM;2534051]Why can't we just vote for the smartest, best educated, most accomplished person? Shouldn't that be the idea?[/QUOTE]

    You would think, Chan...wouldn't you?

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2534070]You would think, Chan...wouldn't you?[/QUOTE]

    It's really maddening what these guys are forced to do to appease "bubba"..

    How is Obama's bowling score or orange juice for breakfast relevant to being president?

  6. #6
    big-government conservatives and ivy-league liberals are how the ultra-rich use both political parties to manipulate the rest of the population into believing that either party will provide change. Every 4 years Americans fall into the same trap. Both parties are elitist to the core.

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=CTM;2534051]Obama aside....

    If you interpret elite to equal smart and well educated, how exactly are those bad qualities for the POTUS to have?

    I mean, I generally seek out smart and well educated people for most services in life, everything from doctors, to dentists, to lawyers to auto mechanics. Why is it when electing a president I want someone I can *pretend* is not any smarter or better prepared then myself? Someone I can ignore how rich they, how well connected, how elite and allow them to fool me into thinking they are just an average joe..

    Look at Hillary, for a large portion of the public she was successfully able to recast herself as a beer drinking, gun toting, pickup driving, working class tough guy. After 15+ years in the public eye and mountains of evidence to the contrary, she was successfully able to rebrand herself over the coarse of a single month all the while announcing that her and her husband have earned over 100 million dollars since the millennium and now have just loaned her campaign 11.4 million.

    Are we that dumb, or that insecure that we need engage in this charade with the candidates before voting for them?

    Why can't we just vote for the smartest, best educated, most accomplished person? Shouldn't that be the idea?[/QUOTE]

    I am convinced that the powers that be do not want a society that is well educated. They would simply ask too many questions. The main stream media would be seen as backround noise and would not be taken seriously. They want us distracted, tired from working three jobs and living week to week with our bills. Debt runs this country and we have a country conditioned to be impulsive.

    So don't be educated, let the TV do the thinking for you. Don't become informed on how utterly corrupt our government is. Just sit back and worry about who wins the next American Idol.

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=CTM;2534083]It's really maddening what these guys are forced to do to appease "bubba"..

    How is Obama's bowling score or orange juice for breakfast relevant to being president?[/QUOTE]

    It is when we have a society conditioned to having 30 second sound bytes tell us breaking news like what Britney Spears is doing now. We have become conditioned to care about garbage that should be read in the national enquirer. Instead, these stories make the front page on many tabloid "news" papers.

    And then when a story like the scooter-libby trial breaks, three-quarters of the population has no idea what it means. Or their told by Fox Propaganda that it means nothing, just continue to follow American Idol :zzz::zzz::zzz:

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=CTM;2534051]Obama aside....

    If you interpret elite to equal smart and well educated, how exactly are those bad qualities for the POTUS to have?

    I mean, I generally seek out smart and well educated people for most services in life, everything from doctors, to dentists, to lawyers to auto mechanics. Why is it when electing a president I want someone I can *pretend* is not any smarter or better prepared then myself? Someone I can ignore how rich they, how well connected, how elite and allow them to fool me into thinking they are just an average joe..

    Look at Hillary, for a large portion of the public she was successfully able to recast herself as a beer drinking, gun toting, pickup driving, working class tough guy. After 15+ years in the public eye and mountains of evidence to the contrary, she was successfully able to rebrand herself over the coarse of a single month all the while announcing that her and her husband have earned over 100 million dollars since the millennium and now have just loaned her campaign 11.4 million.

    Are we that dumb, or that insecure that we need engage in this charade with the candidates before voting for them?

    Why can't we just vote for the smartest, best educated, most accomplished person? Shouldn't that be the idea?[/QUOTE]

    Well said. I think it's also "smart" to distinguish genuine intelligence and intellectual skill from a mere credential. Lincoln may not have had much in the way of high-faluting credentials, but his sharpness of mind and high-level ability to analyze the issues of his day made him a better president.

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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;2534123]I am convinced that the powers that be do not want a society that is well educated. They would simply ask too many questions. The main stream media would be seen as backround noise and would not be taken seriously. They want us distracted, tired from working three jobs and living week to week with our bills. Debt runs this country and we have a country conditioned to be impulsive.

    So don't be educated, let the TV do the thinking for you. Don't become informed on how utterly corrupt our government is. Just sit back and worry about who wins the next American Idol.[/QUOTE]

    I don't know about "powers" since I'm not sure what you mean. I do think there are institutions in our country that are at best ambivalent about "the tree of knowledge." Nothing upset the applecart of obedience faster than a few thoughtful questions. So one need only consider which institutions place a high premium on obedience to authority while discouraging "free thinking" to figure out who prefers Americans to model themselves on the proverbial mushroom (kept in the dark and fed sh*t)....

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    [QUOTE=CTM;2534051]

    Why can't we just vote for the smartest, best educated, most accomplished person? Shouldn't that be the idea?[/QUOTE]



    If we did that, wouldn't Romney have won in a landslide??

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    [QUOTE=CTM;2534083]It's really maddening what these guys are forced to do to appease "bubba"..

    How is Obama's bowling score or orange juice for breakfast relevant to being president?[/QUOTE]

    I was watching The Daily Show the other night and he had this segment that really made me laugh. It showed Clinton at a rally in Indiana and she was playing to the crowd because someone in the audience was holding up a sign comparing her stance on the gas tax holiday thing to blatant pandering. She was laughing it up, saying how it wasn't pandering...while she was standing in the back of a 1952 Orange Ford Pick-up :rolleyes: Like she is some sort of country girl or something.

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    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2534169]If we did that, wouldn't Romney have won in a landslide??[/QUOTE]

    Probably, which is why I said Obama aside originally. I liked Romney as a candidate but unfortunately for him he's as charismatic as a shoe...

    Heck, I can't stand Hillary but even I can admit she's extremely intelligent. Just strikes me as wrong that she had to diminish these credentials to enhance her electability

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=CTM;2534083]It's really maddening what these guys are forced to do to appease "bubba"..

    How is Obama's bowling score or orange juice for breakfast relevant to being president?[/QUOTE]

    [url]http://youtube.com/watch?v=viVAAy_qkx0[/url]

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2534169]If we did that, wouldn't Romney have won in a landslide??[/QUOTE]

    [B]Barack Obama[/B]

    BA in Political Science-Columbia University

    Harvard Law School-Graduated Magna cum Laude and President of the Harvard Law Review

    [B]Mitt Romney[/B]

    BA in -Brigham Young University Summa Cum Laude

    Harvard Law and Business School (Joint Program)-Graduated Cum Laude from law program/Baker Scholar for Business.

    Based on the distinguised schools, degrees earned and honors won, both men are very smart and well-educated. As for accomplishments, Romney has more experience on his resume. But a strong case can be made that is due to the difference in age.

    Overall, based on age factor Romney has more professional experience. But to say that Romney would win in a [B]landslide[/B] is grossly inaccurate
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 05-12-2008 at 12:12 PM.

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;2534252]

    Overall, to say that Romney would win in a landslide is grossly inaccurate[/QUOTE]

    the electorate doesn't take kindly to cult members who wear magic underpants.

  17. #17
    I am myself highly educated which obviously influences my opinions here, but I agree that the 'elitist' label is frightening. The president is, at least nominally, in charge of 300,000,000 people, I would damn well hope that they were as 'elite' as they come. More disturbing is the implicit logic behind this - elite is being conflated with intelligence, and then it is getting a negative connotation? So being smart is bad? American's have become pretty relativized, but I doubt that this logic would be so popular amongst our doctors. This is always a heavily loaded question, but democracy has a lot of less savory elements that too often get overlooked.

  18. #18
    [QUOTE=bitonti;2534258]the electorate doesn't take kindly to cult members who wear magic underpants.[/QUOTE]

    Bigot.....

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;2534252][B]Barack Obama[/B]

    BA in Political Science-Columbia University

    Harvard Law School-Graduated Magna cum Laude and President of the Harvard Law Review

    [B]Mitt Romney[/B]

    BA in -Brigham Young University Summa Cum Laude

    Harvard Law and Business School (Joint Program)-Graduated Cum Laude from law program/Baker Scholar for Business.

    Based on the distinguised schools, degrees earned and honors won, both men are very smart and well-educated. As for accomplishments, Romney has more experience on his resume. But a strong case can be made that is due to the difference in age.

    Overall, based on age factor Romney has more professional experience. But to say that Romney would win in a [B]landslide[/B] is grossly inaccurate[/QUOTE]
    Romney has 1000x more professional successes. Basically, you have all world CEO versus community organizer/lawyer. In terms of whose more qualified, it's not even close..

  20. #20
    [QUOTE=hamburglar;2534272]I am myself highly educated which obviously influences my opinions here, but I agree that the 'elitist' label is frightening. The president is, at least nominally, in charge of 300,000,000 people, I would damn well hope that they were as 'elite' as they come. More disturbing is the implicit logic behind this - elite is being conflated with intelligence, and then it is getting a negative connotation? So being smart is bad? American's have become pretty relativized, but I doubt that this logic would be so popular amongst our doctors. This is always a heavily loaded question, but democracy has a lot of less savory elements that too often get overlooked.[/QUOTE]

    there's a difference between being an "elite" defender of the rule of law and an "elitist" who caters to those who have the most wealth at the expense of others.

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