Friday, July 11, 2008

Elitism

Russ Vaughn has authored a poem published at American Thinker. It’s so wonderful; I just have to quote it here:

We're Oh So... (a poem)
by Russ Vaughn

We’re hip, we’re cool and oh so arty;
We’re Democrats, the smarter party.
We’re sophisticated unlike you;
We understand merci beaucoup.
We’re urbane while you’re provincial;
We’re worldly-wise, so existential.
We’re cultured, complex, so refined;
We’ve left you ignorant serfs behind.
We’re witty authors of clever puns,
While you clods cling to God and guns.
Were you not so closed and clannish,
We’d have you peons speaking Spanish.
We say all this with knowing smirks;
We’re Democrats, you red-state jerks

In my opinion, this poem captures the attitude I’ve personally observed from those who consider themselves the “elite.” I went to law school in South Dakota, and maintain my bar affiliation (my license to practice law; not a place where I drink) in South Dakota. I spent almost 23 years in the military, holding several interesting jobs and was eventually promoted to Colonel. When I first entered the military, I was somewhat awed by those of my peers who earned their law degrees from Ivy League schools or well-known “elite” law schools. That didn’t last long. I quickly realized that, while going to school on a prestigious campus may open some doors to folks that aren’t opened to others, the quality of the education depended more on the efforts of the person being educated than the people doing the educating. I learned that this South Dakota girl could hold her own with the “elite.” Nevertheless, I still encounter elitist attitudes from those with foolscap hanging on their walls from schools like Harvard; particularly when they find out my law degree (earned more than 20-years ago) is from the University of South Dakota. Why is that? Don’t my years of experience and my body of work demonstrate I know what I’m doing? Why should my work and my opinions be discounted because I graduated from a small state law school? It’s beyond me. I tend to evaluate people based on what they do and how they present themselves, not on where they live or went to school. So, I have trouble understanding an “elitist” attitude; but I can sure see it when it exists.

I see it in Senator Obama. So does Rev. Jesse Jackson. For some reason, his whispered, overheard comment that “Barrack talks down to black people” has been overwhelmed by his subsequent crude comment about Senator Obama’s genitals. I don’t know if that is deliberate on the part of the mainstream press, or not (my suspicious mind thinks so). But I think the more interesting part of Rev. Jackson’s comment is right on the mark. Senator Obama does talk down to black people. He talks down to everyone. He is an elitist. While he talks about personal responsibility, he wants government to “fix” things. He thinks that he could meet personally with hostile nations and convince them to “be good.” He wants to fix the immigration problem by having us all learn Spanish, or French, or whatever. Apparently, being American isn’t good enough; we have to become cosmopolitan. We’re belittled for turning to God for help and guns for self-protection. As an “elitist,” Senator Obama believes that government, and those running the government, know how to run our lives better than we do. After all, they’re the elite. So he’ll tax us all to redistribute the wealth and make more entitlement programs so that those entitled will continue to support the elite in power. After all, they’re the elite and know better than us. Senator Obama is a good speaker. He does well hiding his elitism under popular words and a smooth delivery. But it’s there, if you know how to spot it.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have always believed the greatest leaders in this world have been great motivators of indiviuals, willing to sacrifice more yourself than those around you, willing to lead by example, willing to put those you lead above yourself. I too have seen the views of having a less than the "best education" coming from a smaller college and have had to do it better just to be given an oppurtunity to compete in todays business world.

lela said...

Anonymous, I agree with you that the greatest leaders are also the greatest motivators....those who instill a desire to move forward and accomplish the vision the leader has been able to communicate to his or her followers. I guess we'd better add great communicator to the list of leadership attributes.

Thanks for the comment!