Sunday, September 28, 2008

Anti-"Elitist" and proud

Dr Joan Bushell writes:
[Sam] Harris had some wonderful commentary in Newsweek on the Republican VP candidate. Of particular worth is the following comment regarding "elitism" in US politics:
Ask yourself: how has "elitism" become a bad word in American politics? There is simply no other walk of life in which extraordinary talent and rigorous training are denigrated. We want elite pilots to fly our planes, elite troops to undertake our most critical missions, elite athletes to represent us in competition and elite scientists to devote the most productive years of their lives to curing our diseases. And yet, when it comes time to vest people with even greater responsibilities, we consider it a virtue to shun any and all standards of excellence. When it comes to choosing the people whose thoughts and actions will decide the fates of millions, then we suddenly want someone just like us, someone fit to have a beer with, someone down-to-earth--in fact, almost anyone, provided that he or she doesn't seem too intelligent or well educated.
Generally, the American people do not reject "elites" because they are intelligent or well educated.

Wise people are foolish if they cannot adapt to foolish people. --Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

A wise man is a man who knows how little he knows. --Socrates.

Instead, the American people reject "elites" because they are fools who have not learned to adapt nor recognize how little they know. I have additional thoughts on the subject here.