Defending Elitism – Frankly, I’m Tired of That Argument

Sam Harris takes up the baton to defend elitism. Of course to do so he has to rip Sarah Palin and most of the country.

The problem, as far as our political process is concerned, is that half the electorate revels in Palin’s lack of intellectual qualifications. When it comes to politics, there is a mad love of mediocrity in this country. “They think they’re better than you!” is the refrain that (highly competent and cynical) Republican strategists have set loose among the crowd, and the crowd has grown drunk on it once again. “Sarah Palin is an ordinary person!” Yes, all too ordinary.

That’s right, it’s all about a love of mediocrity and a lack of intellectual qualifications. As I and others have mentioned previously those who think of themselves as worthy of leading us, or at least worthy of telling us what we should think, consistently believe that those who don’t agree with them must be stupid or uneducated or both.

How, they wonder, could anyone even consider a non-person like Sarah Palin (who didn’t have a passport until last year, lives in backwater state and didn’t attend an elite university) for high elective office in this country?

I mean for heaven sake folks, look at what the elites have managed to do for us thus far: we’re in the middle of a trillion dollar financial bailout to be stacked on 5 trillion in existing debt, Social Security is failing and Medicare is out of control. Taxes and spending are too high, thus hurting families and businesses, and likely to go higher. Our education system stinks to high heaven. We have no energy policy and are at the mercy of foreign states who don’t like us very much. We’re also in the middle of an invasion of illegal immigrants which government seems unable to stem. Government is both too big and too intrusive while at the same time appearing totally inept, incompetent and unfocused. And the plan of at least one side is to make it bigger and more intrusive.

Yes, please another helping of that. If the elites we have can offer nothing better than that, I say bring on all the Sarah Palins we can find. They certainly can’t do any worse.

So it’s not that those who see hope in the type of person Sarah Palin represents are stupid or uneducated. Instead they’ve finally seen through the blatant lie perpetrated by the likes of Sam Harris that it takes the proper schools, the proper checkmarks and the proper ideology, er, intellect, for someone to be deemed acceptable. That’s served us well to this point, hasn’t it Mr. Harris?

We’ve seen what “acceptable” in the eyes of Harris and his ilk bring and for the rest of us, it is “acceptable” no more. Get off your high horse and broaden your horizons Mr. Harris. The country is made up of 300 million citizens and many, many of them are probably more capable of doing the job than those who graduate from “the right schools”. It’s about leadership, sir. Not what school you attended, which cocktail circuit you frequented and how well known you are in Washington, New York and Los Angeles.

That is business as usual. In that regard, I’m all for change. And it appears, given the reception Palin has received, so is most of the rest of the country.

[Crossposted at QandO]

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