Posted by: Deborah D | October 20, 2010

They’re not elites — just wrong.

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They’re not elites – just wrong.

Noemie Emery hits back at Anne Applebaum who penned a column defending Obama and company from the charge of elitism made by, among others, Sarah Palin. This is a brilliant response to both Applebaum and Palin from the Washington Examiner.

Anne Applebaum… the author of a great book on the Soviet Gulag, is defending the court of President Obama against charges made by Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, Ginni Thomas, et al, that Obama and similar Ivy League babies represent an arrogant and unseemly elite.

Her case seems to be that a) the Ivy League, when it began in the 70s to recruit the poor and minorities, created the first meritocracy ever seen in this country; b) that its graduates are our deserving, legitimate leaders; and c) that Palin and Thomas, among many others, are ingrates who ought to shut up.

You can read the Applebaum column to which Emery refers here:

…America has been a meritocracy from the very beginning, placing John Adams and Alexander Hamilton on the same plane as the children of grandees and planters; the rich and the poor have always shared power; and Ivy credentials have never meant all that much.

She goes on to mention presidents such as Andrew Jackson and Lincoln as not having Harvard degrees. Then she goes on to describe the presidents from 1933-1963

… when a Hudson Valley patroon, a failed haberdasher from Independence, Missouri, a soldier from Abilene and the “first Irish Brahmin” faced the Depression, the Nazis, the Cold War, and desegregation with decent results, and no whining.

Two were Harvard grads, and two weren’t. She also mentions Reagan, graduate of Eureka College, as an example of how an Ivy League degree doesn’t mean all that much as far as leadership is concerned.

…resentment of modern elites is not jealously of one’s “betters,” as Jonah Goldberg is quick to explain:

“It’s only one subset of Ivy Leaguers that seems to bother anybody….the lawyer-social engineers-journalist-activists they churn out by the boatload,” as he writes in The Corner. “To the extent the Ivy League comes up it is as a code word [for an aggressive, progressive agenda] that is pissing so many people off.”

As the Ivy League grew more diverse demographically, it became more conformist in attitude–and more estranged from the country at large. Goldberg is right, but he omits the real reason this “elite” is resented: because it is so often wrong.

She calls Applebaum’s “meritocracy,” a meritocracy without merit.

Saying the Berlin Wall fell when the world “stood as one” is naive and delusional. Thinking a man will be a great leader because of one speech, two books, and the crease in his pants is a sign of poor judgment.

Ignoring mass protests, plunging polls, and three huge shocks at the polls is willful stupidity. Thinking one can pass a bill that impacts everyone against the will of most of country without courting a backlash is nothing short of inane.

It’s bad enough to know someone is wrong in just about everything he/she does, but when they are wrong and either don’t know it or refuse to accept it because they are “smarter” than everyone else, that is maddening. But, when they are wrong and more and more seem to be doing these things purposely while not admitting what they are trying to do, that’s worse. That’s frightening. That’s when people realize they are fighting for something not just against something. We are fighting for our country’s survival and against the insane destruction of our country by those “smarter” than everyone else, who think they can run the country into the ground and everything will be A-Okay when they’re through. It takes a really arrogant group of people to think they can do these things and there will be no repercussions either politically, economically or internationally. We, as a nation, are reaping the whirlwind.

Please read the whole thing here:


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  1. It’s a real shame when the people in the White House meet and the smartest person in the room is a misguided fool with no real world experience and lacking in leadership ability. I think a better name for them than elite would be the voguish ignorant, because being in vogue does not mean they are right.

  2. Let’s hope we dumb Americans out here show them how smart we are by throwing their behinds out in less than two weeks and then again in 2012. Their arrogance and ignorance has awaken the sleeping giant known as the American people.

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