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The Prejudices of the "Educated Class"

Populists owe a huge debt to David Brooks for his succinct classification of the enemies of The People as the "educated class." Especially so since his fellow elitists are flocking to that banner. Take for instance Charlie Blow (no links to the Tired Gray Crone):

Welcome to the mob: an angry, wounded electorate, riled by recession, careening across the political spectrum, still craving change, nursing a bloodlust.

There is a scene in the movie "Gladiator" where two Roman senators are discussing the games that the emperor has revived. One laments: I think the emperor "knows what Rome is. Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they'll be distracted. Take away their freedom and still they'll roar. The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the senate. It's the sand of the coliseum. He'll bring them death. And they will love him for it."

That was America during the dawn of W. -- too many too easily manipulated. But people grew wiser and restless. And they revolted. As they did, a young crowd-pleaser in Chicago, cloaked in hope, sprang up, won them over and shaped the mob into a movement.

My.

Chuck seems to be playing to the pre-Brown election memes here. Specifically numbers 2 (There has been a political realignment.) and 5 (Barack Obama's charisma can carry the Democrats through to victory.). These memes should have been buried with Coakley's electoral ambitions, yet here they are prominently on display. He also demonstrates a willful ignorance of the difference between an electorate and a mob.

First of all, a mob would deal with the source of its displeasure directly. In the absence of smashed windows, spontaneous arson, and violence (all of which have been conspicuously absent from the Tea Party Protests, though well represented in the counter protests, cf Ken Gladny's treatment by the SEIU), such a classification is ludicrous.

Second, in a point of inconvenient fact contrary to Chuck's thesis, the most mob-like behaviors seen in the last decade were those of the "Anti-War" protests of the left.

Thus the classification of the Tea Parties as a "mob" while failing to apply the same term to the "anti-war protests" bespeaks a clear prejudice on Chuck's part.

But by all means, keep on condescending; that'll swing the electorate back your way!


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Comments (15)

Eggheads use a numerical sc... (Below threshold)
serfer62:

Eggheads use a numerical score called IQ as a status rank although none can skin a deer, start a fire, replace carburator or thermostat...but this number makes them elitest in their minds, hense superiours that can tell the masses what to do and how to live.
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Dudes, we're Americans and can do anything or know a neighbor who can. We know how to balance a checking account, which charities to support and that someone whose trying to kill us gets shot at.
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So all eggheads & politicans get in a circle and use your logic to arrival at starting a fire with a screwdriver using circular logic of course

Charlie will be one of thos... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Charlie will be one of those 'intellectual elites' standing in the road on November 5th, scratching his head and going "What happened?"

But as Ron White has noted, "You can't fix STUPID!"

That was America d... (Below threshold)
jim m:
That was America during the dawn of W. --

Ah yes. the Gladiator reference is apt as his premise sounds as though it comes from Roman mythology. "and George W. sprang fully formed from the cleft in Dick Cheney's head..."

Never mind that the reasons people felt disquiet about their government was primarily fatigue from 8 years of Clinton scandals. People were more than a little put off by a president getting blow jobs in the oval office while talking on the phone with advisers and diplomats. People also still remembered the fiasco of the travel office and Hillary care.

Heck, Hillary Care is one of the chief reasons she lost to Obama in the primary. People deeply disliked the way she operated. She was secretive and controlling. Obama's promises of openness were in direct contrast to how she had been.

Academics like this ass want you to think that history starts wherever it is convenient for their narrative.

In reality his description is an equally apt description of America at the Dawn of The One. Too many people, too easily lead and "a young crowd-pleaser in Chicago, cloaked in hope, sprang up, won them over and shaped the mob into a movement."

Or more accurately put: A young demagogue from Chicago, cloaked in deceit, sprang up, fooled them with empty rhetoric and shaped a cult of personality.

Obama still believes his cult of personality hype. He cannot see that his presidency stands on the brink of ruin.

This may not end well. The... (Below threshold)
kevino:

This may not end well. The GOP opposition may not be organized enough or put together a slate of attractive candidates to stop the Democrats at the polls. But even if they do, what then? Both parties have proven themselves to be incompetent and incapable of turning away from the corruption of Washington. The only difference between the DNC and the GOP that I can see is that the GOP hasn't gone completely insane: at least they won't intentionally drive the country off the cliff the way the DNC seems happy to do. But that is that enough to turn things around?

The key to the battle of the ballot box is for the voters to throw out all incumbents, and hope [Yes, Hope is all we've got.] that they have the courage to give us smaller government, put the country on a track to be competitive again, and be willing to be willing to serve only one term. I don't see that happening.

With the leading voices fro... (Below threshold)
jim m:

With the leading voices from with the GOP being Steele and Gingrich, neither of whom even remotely get it, I do not see them being the solution without the voters constantly after them holding their feet to the fire.

The GOP my not be completely round the twist but they aren't far behind the dems, and Steele et al would follow them with glee if given half an opportunity.

Steele and the GOP leadership is still part of the problem. They don't get it. They think that the losses in Virginia, New Jersey and now Massachusetts are about them. They hate the Tea Party movement nearly as much as Keith Olbermann and they will drive off conservative candidates who voice Tea Party ideals.

In fact the GOP party apparatus can lay claim to exactly one victory: The NY congressional contest lost when they supported Dede Scozzafava, who ultimately dropped out and endorsed the dem. That's how conservative she was. Her politics were to the left of the democrat candidate.

That's where today's GOP leadership stands. They supported Scozzafava and ignored Brown. Perhaps they laid low on Brown because they did not wish to bring about any voter backlash, but then that would simply be an acknowledgment of their own significant unpopularity.

"With the leading voices fr... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

"With the leading voices from with the GOP being Steele and Gingrich"

*Neither* of those two dolts are 'leaders' of the Republican Party inasmuch as some would lead you to believe. Steele is head of the RNC, Gingrich is a wandering prophet without a tribe in the desert.

You are correct that the GOP leadership doesn't 'get it'. They are all about 'ear marks' and spending and hate the conservative Tea Party for what they represent, which is a return to smaller government and less taxation, true conservative values that they have abandoned or merely give lip service to when they want support from the conservative base.

What they really hate is that they have no way to control the movement because the Tea Party is a local level movement that is nation wide. The revolution *is* taking place and there's not a damn thing they can do to stop it. Its purpose is to get conservatives elected, not 'party faithful' that have voted how the leadership, not the voters who elected them wished.

Massachusetts is officially... (Below threshold)
Neo:

Massachusetts is officially a "regress of grievances"

Well enough Americans are P... (Below threshold)
serfer62:

Well enough Americans are P.O.d about the DC GOP that they are organizing on the web.
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While Gov Palin may be forgiven for supporting McNasty the money & support goes to JD...
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Pass it on

RE: Tea Party movement<br /... (Below threshold)
kevino:

RE: Tea Party movement
The Tea Party is a big step forward, but the question is: Will they be ready to advance candidates to take on the Washington establishment in 2010? I don't see how. What they can do is establish a voice to ask voters to take down incumbents.

RE: GOP leadership
I agree. [What leadership?] The current GOP leadership is a joke. Hell, up until Bown's election, Steele and the RNC couldn't even see a way to take back the house - at all. It's hard to win battles if you don't even try.

--------

Crony capitalism is one of the problems that corrupts the whole system:

http://biggovernment.com/2010/01/22/obamanomics-crony-capitalism-disguised-as-progressive-reforms/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI4MC304yUU

P.J.O'Roake once said, "When politicians decide what gets bought and sold, the first thing that gets sold are politicians."

Carney, in the reference above, notes that when Republicans took over after 1994, they didn't fix the problem: they made it worse.

This points to one of the first things that I want the GOP to do: they should adopt the Domino's Pizza strategy. Domino's took a hard look at their product and what people thought of it. They acknowledged that their past product sucked. They admitted it in public, told the public what they were going to do to fix it, and then asked for another chance. The GOP needs to acknowledge their past mistakes and explain how they are going to fix it.

Otherwise, we're just stuck with a two party system where neither party can govern.

Eggheads use a num... (Below threshold)
Brett:
Eggheads use a numerical score called IQ as a status rank although none can skin a deer, start a fire, replace carburator or thermostat...but this number makes them elitest in their minds, hense superiours that can tell the masses what to do and how to live.

Painting with a broad brush, and I think you are in the right area, but not on the specifics. It's not the IQ that they are using for a measure. There are plenty of people in everyday life with very high IQ's that don't meet the litmus tests they use for "elite intellectuals". It's how "detached" they are from day-to-day activities. Part of that is liberalism - there's nothing that defies common sense or reality more than the current liberal mindset.

The vast majority of the "intellectuals" are posers who just parrot the talking points, and try to outdo each other on how ideologically pure they are. That's why they continually ratchet up the level of stupidity - they have to "top" each other. That's also why there's a sort of ironic truth to the use of the word "progressive". The intent is to camouflage the fact they are liberals, but in fact it does pretty well represent the continual run to the extremes as they all try to outdo the last guy so they establish their legitimacy as intellectuals. You see it all the time with the posters here.

Of course many are quite desperate to avoid anyone discovering that they aren't that bright, so when confronted with actual counter-arguments, they almost immediately resort to name-calling, strawmen, or deflection. This, too, you see here all the time. It is the hallmark of both online posters and also real-life confrontation. In their own circles, they never hear anything that actually conflicts - just something that agrees, and then takes it one step further. It's an echo chamber. So they have no idea how to respond, and, not being that sharp to begin with, can't come up with anything on the fly.

So, I don't think it's IQ. I could go to a Mensa meeting. or become an Ivy League professor, flaunt my IQ, and they would still treat me like a retarded stepchild because I don't meet their limited view of what it means to be an "intellectual". And as you point out, take them out of their cloistered little world, and they are darn near useless. We are seeing that now with Obama, etc. This is the first real job any of the current administration has had.

Brett,I think you ... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Brett,

I think you miss the point in much the same way you accuse serfer62 of missing the mark.

What David Brooks describes as the "educated class" I would describe as the chattering class; those who went to the right schools with the right professors and the right courses to further reinforce their identify as an elite. It's far more about social circle and certification than about actual education or intelligence. See also John Forbes Kerry... But I digress.

For my self, I am now at the point of considering Mr. Brooks observation that certain points and policies were rejected because they were supported by his soi dissant "educated class" as prescriptive; a practice we should all follow.

He speaks wistfully of thes... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

He speaks wistfully of these Roman elites and the way in which they saw the unwashed masses beneath them. One gets the distinct impression he admires that view which puts things into a comfortable perspective, one in which he is all wise yet so under-appreciated for that wisdom. After all, he's supremely educated and we're just, well, too dumb to realize it, so easily distracted with shiny objects and simple lusts.

Screw him and the horse that brought him to town.

Oyster (@ 12) writes:... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Oyster (@ 12) writes:

He speaks wistfully of these Roman elites and the way in which they saw the unwashed masses beneath them. One gets the distinct impression he admires that view which puts things into a comfortable perspective, one in which he is all wise yet so under-appreciated for that wisdom. After all, he's supremely educated and we're just, well, too dumb to realize it, so easily distracted with shiny objects and simple lusts.

Screw him and the horse that brought him to town.

That pretty much covers it!

He speaks wistf... (Below threshold)
He speaks wistfully of these Roman elites and the way in which they saw the unwashed masses beneath them.
I got a sense while reading Marx that he was wistful for the days of feudalism when serfs were virtually the property of their lords.

Those who insist that socialism and fascism are not the same thing are only trying to deny that both faiths worship at the same altar. They are about as different as sneeches with or without the star on the belly.

I think the use of the wo... (Below threshold)
Brett:

I think the use of the word "accuse" is a bit strong. Perhaps "suggest".

What David Brooks describes as the "educated class" I would describe as the chattering class; those who went to the right schools with the right professors and the right courses to further reinforce their identify as an elite. It's far more about social circle and certification than about actual education or intelligence. See also John Forbes Kerry... But I digress.

That's undoubtedly an element of the issue - class distinctions. Just like the rampant use of race-based distinctions, and gender-based distinctions, etc. My God, if the Democrats had managed to find a Black lesbian midget from the West Bank*, they would have dropped Barry as fast as they dropped Hillary.

But I still think that the overall problem is trying to establish ones "bona fides" and cover the fact that they aren't particularly intelligent. Ivy League and society connections or history are just a shortcut since those infer the "correct" political orientation. They conveniently ignore such facts as W. finishing Yale with a higher GPA than Lurch.

Incidentally, I think a related process also explains the special ire reserved for black people (and other ethnic minorities) who are also conservatives. There's the assumption that they have the ultimate liberal qualifications (since liberal thought is consumed with matters of race, gender, sexual orientation), and then, somehow, they are nonetheless not buying the party line. This confuses and confounds them and they lash out in ways that would make the grand dragon of the KKK blush. "How dare you! Great White Father has come down to help you out of your squalid existence, how dare you say you can make it on your own!" Just look as some of the stuff Michelle Malkin gets - they come right out and say it, with no apparent embarrassment or sense of irony.


*$1 to The Dead Milkmen, paraphrased. Lesbian left-handed midget Eskimo albino didn't quite fit




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