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A response to Jonah Goldberg on anti-elitism

Jonah Goldberg of the National Review has responded at some length to the column I wrote on Tuesday about meritocracy. His response made me think that there is still more to say on this subject.

Goldberg seems to think the anti-elitist rhetoric that is in wide use at the moment (the subject of my column) is acceptable because it is aimed at a particular elite: the liberals, the Obamas, “a very specific and very self-styled elite.” He should listen harder, because in fact the rhetoric is far more sweeping than that, encompassing not only liberals but anyone with higher eduction. Sarah Palin told Bill O’Reilly that Americans are seeking to rid themselves of “spineless” people with an “Ivy League education.” Glenn Beck has mocked the Ivy League at great length. Christine O’Donnell’s political ad (the one that begins “I didn’t go to Yale…”) doesn’t attack “liberals who went to Yale.” It attacks anyone who went to Yale.

What interests me is the fact that this backlash has come now, precisely when the Ivy League’s long campaign to make itself less elitist has finally borne fruit. We can argue about the merits of that campaign, or the merits of the Ivy League. But clearly, our black president and first lady would not have graduated from Harvard Law School in the 1950s. The fact that they did do so in the 1980s explains, in part, where they are today. There may be many things wrong with it, but Harvard Law School is no longer "elitist" in the traditional, landed-gentry sense of the term. Whatever else it may be, Harvard Law School has become an engine of upward mobility.

It seems odd that conservatives are attacking institutions that can create opportunities for people not born into wealth or privilege – particularly since conservatives support, at the same time, the elimination of the estate tax. If privilege is the enemy, why not tax estates at 100 percent?

Perhaps it's not surprising that this issue has tied conservative intellectuals in knots, particularly those at the National Review (a magazine whose masthead used to feature my husband, and for which I used to occasionally write). On the one hand, the magazine was founded by an old-style elitist, William F. Buckley, and plenty of Ivy Leaguers have written for its pages. On the other hand, the editors apparently feel obligated to support Sarah Palin and Ginni Thomas’s inarticulate and wide-ranging broadsides against “the elite” – all of the elite, which by definition includes themselves.

So anxious is Goldberg to dismiss the idea that a part of the right is “anti-education” that he actually attributes arguments to me that I never made. I never mentioned envy, for example, but he attacks my “theory of envy” as “not merely wrong but actually silly.” He also goes on, nonsensically, about liberals who are “bossing people around.” What, conservatives never boss anyone around? They never think they know best?

Nor does he seem to realize what the consequences of this burst of anti-elitist rhetoric are likely to be. A generation ago, the Republican Party had the lead among educated voters. George Bush senior easily defeated Michael Dukakis among college graduates. But in a remarkably short period of time, that advantage has vanished. Doesn’t the Republican Party want those voters back again?

By Anne Applebaum  | October 13, 2010; 8:06 AM ET
Categories:  Applebaum  | Tags:  Anne Applebaum  
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Comments

I believe this anti-intellectual/anti-education meme is being driven by the right, spurred on by corporate America for a reason: the less intelligent people are, the easier they are to control.

Posted by: bienefes | October 13, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"New York Times: Republicans are better informed about political issues than blacks, Hispanics, and young people."

The elite left is a myopic echo chamber of emotion and perversion.

The lily white liberal left cannot handle information beyond the narrative they are taught.

The liberal elite is self-annointed and profoundly antiAmerican

No wonder the democrats look like the bar scene from Star Wars......a throng of deviants, welfare dependent losers and semi-educated (gender studies does not count in the real world any more than ebonics)


Dump all democrats in November and take a leak on a leftist elite

Posted by: georgedixon1 | October 13, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Saying "I didn't go to Yale" is the same as attacking liberals? Sounds like pretty standard humble rhetoric to me.

I guess the old courtroom cliche, "I may not be a big city lawyer" was really an attack on all big city lawyers.

The flailing around by the left about these made up issues is laughable. Liberals just can't accept that America rejects their terrible policy ideas, so they come up with silly theories about what is wrong with the electorate.

Here's a thought. Maybe your ideas are being rejected because they suck.

Posted by: bobmoses | October 13, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

In answer to your question, Anne, no - the Republican Party does not want those educated voters back. Their concerted effort to destroy public education is their effort to grab and retain power. The more educated people become, the less likely they are to vote for Republicans, at least today's version of Republicans.

Posted by: jackjack1 | October 13, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I agree that it is bizarre these attacks are being made on "Ivy League" elitists now that the best schools in the country base admittance and, crucially, financial help entirely on merit and not on whether your father and grandfather attended.

I know an Ohio couple whose two sons were given "full ride" scholarships to Princeton and Columbia because of their academic and other achievements in secondary school. My friends are a social worker and a library assistant and neither are Ivy League grads. And in case someone wants to bring up racial preference, my friends are white.

Posted by: purdyjack | October 13, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"I believe this anti-intellectual/anti-education meme is being driven by the right, spurred on by corporate America for a reason: the less intelligent people are, the easier they are to control."

So says the person repeating talking points and peddling conspiracy theories.

Not only do I agree with your concluding sentence, I also commend you for providing evidence that is correct. :)

Posted by: bobmoses | October 13, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

My Grandparents immigrated from Poland. My Grandfather was an iron miner who never learned to write. My Grandmother was the "elite." She could read and write. My Grandparents worked like dogs to give my Father and his siblings the one thing they could not have had in Poland...an education. All my aunts and uncles went to college.

The ability for any American to go to college is what set us apart from other countries. I will never consider education "elite." As a veteran my most prized benefit is the GI Bill.

Ivy League or not, rightwingers want to dumb down 'Murica. I don't look down my nose at those who have chosen not to pursue a higher education because we all work together in the US. Wingers have nothing else so they attack the fundamental things that make our country great. They do more harm than any terrorist.

Posted by: arancia12 | October 13, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"The more educated people become, the less likely they are to vote for Republicans, at least today's version of Republicans"

Your ignorance is laughable:

"Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public"

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/us/politics/15poll.html


Keep bleating about how anyone who disagrees with your narrow ideology is dumber than you. We'll keep running circles around you.

Posted by: bobmoses | October 13, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

This is an interesting debate that goes to the core of what is happening in the US. The simple fact: behind the mask of populism, the traditional elite of wealth is mounting an attack on the elite of education.

Posted by: pughdv | October 13, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

arancia12 -

Actually, mindless partisans like yourself are leading the charge into dumbing down America.

Like most intolerant people, you view all you disagree with you as dumb, evil or dumb and evil. You are no different than the biggest right wing zombie. The only difference is that you are on the losing side, but my guess is that unthinking drones like yourself are used to losing (and then making up excuses for why you lost).

Posted by: bobmoses | October 13, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

No wonder the democrats look like the bar scene from Star Wars......a throng of deviants, welfare dependent losers and semi-educated (gender studies does not count in the real world any more than ebonics)


Dump all democrats in November and take a leak on a leftist elite

Posted by: georgedixon1
____________________

You surely represent the bigoted right well, George.

I guess my husband and I are outliers. Both of us military veterans, 52 years of service between us. Both of us with Masters degrees earned through deployments and TDYs and 12 hour shifts. Both of us employed and paying taxes. So we really don't represent what you call a typical liberal although we are both very liberal.

You however, fit the model of the intolerant, ignorant right perfectly.

Posted by: arancia12 | October 13, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I am saddened to see how many on the left are swallowing this "anti-intellectual" nonsense. Based on the level of thought demonstrated by the whiners on this blog, I don't think any of you have to worry about being confused with intellectuals. LOL

Posted by: bobmoses | October 13, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

bobmoses says:


"I believe this anti-intellectual/anti-education meme is being driven by the right, spurred on by corporate America for a reason: the less intelligent people are, the easier they are to control."

So says the person repeating talking points and peddling conspiracy theories.

Not only do I agree with your concluding sentence, I also commend you for providing evidence that is correct. :)
------------------------------------------
Funny, coming from someone who continually parrots Fox News/right-wing radio talking points on these boards. Unlike you, I can think for myself, and form my opinions from my own observations. It has been my observation that Republicans and right-wing wind-bags have spent much time in the last few years denigrating education and educated individuals. This isn't some left-wing fantasy. There are still a few sane conservative observers who are saying the same.

Posted by: bienefes | October 13, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Bobmoses, you really need to look in the mirror. The hate and fear fairly drips from your posts.

Posted by: arancia12 | October 13, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

In other words, Jonah Goldberg let the cat out of the bag. Conservatives are hyprocritical. They will use "elitism" as as a substitute for liberalism, and hope that that the less educated conservatives don't notice that many leading conservatives are well educated as well. Jonah Goldberg and his ilk now manning the NR is the reason Bill Buckley was glad to leave this mortal coil.

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | October 13, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and Bobmoses, other than a personal attack, you gave no information about exactly what you disagree with in my first post. Typical.

Now I have to go to work. You can spend all day on the couch posting.

Posted by: arancia12 | October 13, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

The Republican war on education is finally bearing full fruit. What I mean is, in order to support candidates like Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, Carl Palladino, and the rest of the TEA Party crowd, you have got to be seriously, virulently, adamantly, REALLY ignorant.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | October 13, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"Funny, coming from someone who continually parrots Fox News/right-wing radio talking points on these boards"

LOL. What on earth are you talking about. Fox News and right wing radio are a joke (just like you).

Stop lumping everyone who disagrees with you into some ignorant stereotype. It really highlights both your ignorance and intolerance.

Now go off and get back to whining and hating folks. Your peers in the Glenn Beck crowd might be getting a leg up on you. LOL

Posted by: bobmoses | October 13, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"Now I have to go to work. You can spend all day on the couch posting."

Any other baseless assumptions you need to make about me (and anyone else who disagrees with your narrow partisan views).

Not only are am I dumber and less moral than you, I must also be lazier too, right?

I love poking mindless partisans.

Posted by: bobmoses | October 13, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I believe the purpose of the right's campaign against intellectual elites is exactly the same as their decades-long campaign against the mainstream media.

In the case of the media, when it reports something that doesn't fit into the right's ideology, they immediately claim media bias. That way they never have to enter the debate about whether or not some aspect of their ideology might be wrong. When the media reports something that does fit their ideology, then they embrace it.

In the case of intellectual elites, and I would contend that the right includes just about anyone in academia in this group, if they do some research that calls the right's ideology into question, they immediately shift to the elitism argument rather than deal with the consequences that this new knowledge has on their ideology. Climate change is a classic example of this but there are many, many more in the fields of economics, sociology and medicine.

In short, on the right ideology trumps facts and knowledge.

Posted by: tunkefer | October 13, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I liked Goldberg bettr wen he was wrastlin.

Posted by: RollaMO | October 13, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Words! Words! Words1 We are sick of words!What we need is honst politicians who really represent us. Where are they hiding?We have been sucking on the half filled bottle and nipple of socialism so long we haave lost our senses.
Lets keep our freedom. Rally around the the founders experiment! This was a great country. Lets bring it back in November!

Semper fi

Posted by: bilmul83 | October 13, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

tunkefer -

That's quite a rock-solid justification you have developed for why anyone who disagrees with your intrinsically correct views is dumb, evil or dumb and evil. Could you come up with a broader stereotype?

Would love to hear what other rationalizations you come up with in your personal life. Let me guess, there is something wrong with every girl who rejected you and everyone who achieves more than you has cheated in some way, right? LOL

Posted by: bobmoses | October 13, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"The lily white liberal left cannot handle information beyond the narrative they are taught."

And the home schooled, barely literate, inbred far right is who we should turn to?

YeeeeeeHAAAWWWWW, let's take our country back from....uhhhh.....our country! YEAH!! General Lee was a saint and he had a Hemi!!

Give me a break

Posted by: massmedia77 | October 13, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"The more educated people become, the less likely they are to vote for Republicans,...."


And there you have it in a nutshell...so the home schooled, barely literate, inbred far right is who we should turn to?

YeeeeeeHAAAWWWWW, let's take our country back from....uhhhh.....our country! YEAH!! General Lee was a saint and he had a Hemi!!

Give me a break

Posted by: massmedia77 | October 13, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

bobmoses:

I don't recall using the words "dumb" or "evil" in any way in my post so you criticism is empty.

If I had to put a label on it , I guess it would be that the right has become intellectually lazy, choosing to use rhetorical tricks to avoid meaningful debate. The right wasn't always this way but I believe it has become increasingly so over the past 15-20 years.

Posted by: tunkefer | October 13, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Elitism isn't the same as a meritocracy, just like elitist isn't the same as elite.

Sorry, but indoctrination into partisanship at an ivy league school doesn't qualify one for political service, unless you consider membership in the old boys club a qualification.

Posted by: Benson | October 13, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't communism all about the non-elites vs. the elites?

Posted by: scoutldr | October 13, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Isn't communism all about the non-elites vs. the elites?

Posted by: scoutldr | October 13, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

The truth is we were perfectly happy and proud of our "elites" when they were, what's the word? Oh yeah. Competent.

I don't know if you've noticed, but the genius cluster running our major public and private institutions have made a real hash of things. Let the kids from State U have a whack at it. Heaven knows they can only do better.

Posted by: august2 | October 13, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

@pughdv - Spot On.

I have wealth and education, not training mind you, but education. My educated side likes the Democrats' support of science and tolerance and intellect, they make me feel good and cosmopolitan and confident that there are leaders that want everyone to have a shot at success - in other words, the Democrats appeal to the educated elite in me. My wealthy side likes tax cuts, keeping more of my Capital Gains and the way both political parties have subsidized my ability to make money investing outside of the USA. The wealthy side of me also really likes eliminating Estate Taxes - I love money I don't lift a finger to earn. The Republicans appeal to my wallet, but nothing else.

So, if Democrats rule the roost, I get to feel better about where we're headed as a Nation, but it may cost me a lot of cash over the years. If the GOP rules the roost, I keep more money working for more money and so on. The Moral of the Story: Elites will ALWAYS come out on top.

Posted by: jmccas | October 13, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Educated and thinking people cannot vote for this incarnation of the GOP. A party that has to lie and cheat people into voting for them has no use for anyone who can take apart the lies without breaking a sweat. They have to appeal to people who are envious of people who were able to go to college. America is not a meritocracy, despite a few Horatio Alger successes such as Pres. Obama. The real elite landed-gentry types like GWB pretend to be good ol' boys, and laugh their way to the country club while pitting the little people against each other by dissing anyone who worked for an education instead of having it handed to them.

Posted by: wd1214 | October 13, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

My brother is a Vietnam veteran (1968-69) and Harvard Law School graduate ('73) and is MUCH prouder of his Army service than of his law degree! He likes to quote William F. Buckley who famously said, "I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard".

Posted by: DorothyfromColumbus | October 13, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

You just don't get it - the issue isn't whether your precious Ivy-league compatriots are smarter than the average bear (though I'd suggest plenty of super-smart people got educated elsewhere). The issue is the subset of them that alarmingly want to stick their condescending, social-engineering, never-had-a-real-job, never-had-to-meet-a-payroll, sucked-off-the-government-teat-my-whole-life noses into every aspect of our lives and tell us what to do. Forget it - don't want that, won't put up with that. Stay out of our business and out of our wallets, that's the big lesson you're all trying so hard to avoid hearing. How's that working out for you so far?

Posted by: JWMich | October 13, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

What about the economic elite who are plowing huge sums of money into political campaigns mainly for reactionary purposes? Are not the multi-millionaires and billionaires who are driving the media and campaign funding the ultimate elitists?

Posted by: TomSimone | October 13, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I'd suggest to all Liberals to continue your educational pursuits and let the conservatives dummy-down. Don't want an Ivy League education? Don't go. But don't come crying after you finish your degree at some BS Liberty Univ. and except to land that coveted job.

Politicans may speak at lengths about how an education is worthless; the people who sign the paychecks know otherwise.

So take your 4 year degree from Liberty U. or Pumpkin U. and compete against a Yale grad to get the $100K job at a top law firm. Then go visit the politicians office and ask why your degree is substitute for newspaaper in a bird cage.

Posted by: ScottChallenger | October 13, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

A poor response to a poor column. Applebaum is doubling down on Ivy arrogance this week.

http://wcollier.blogspot.com/2010/10/applebaum-redux.html

Posted by: bugmenot3 | October 13, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Obama got a fake ride through affirmative action.

Both authors are dismissed from a real discussion of "elitism" by lumping in "harvard" graduates that could have never gained admission if compared fairly with peers.

Affirmative action makes comparison across races impossible.

Obama can almost never claim "elite" status unless he actually does something. He is ONLY a man that waltzed through the ivys because of his color.

Posted by: docwhocuts | October 13, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I have to laugh whenever a right winger "rails" against elites.

George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush are elites.

George Will, Charles Krauthammer, and Bill Kristol are elites.

Silly republicans...tricks are for kids.

Posted by: gipper01 | October 13, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Anne Applebaum remains clueless. The Conservatives and Tea Party sympathizers I know are not anti-intellectual or anti-education. If anything, they are against the idea that having a PHD from Harvard or Yale confirms the wisdom and practical ability of the individual.

Bill Gates, Steven Jobs, and many others achieved an enormous amount without ever graduating from college. Would you have us believe that Larry Summers and Christina Romer know more about job creation than enrepeneurs who have built huge businesses from nothing.

Wisdom and the ability to accomplish important tasks is not endowed by a Harvard degree or having a circle of Yale connections.

Posted by: pilsener | October 13, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Angelo Codeville in his new book "The Ruling Class" says that there are two characteristics that epitomize the Ruling Class in contrast to the Country Class:

1) Reliance on and belief in government as the best solution to problems, and

2) They believe that they are the rational ones, and that they own science, and that all their opponents are irrational and emotional.

"Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America's ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats. It rules uneasily over the majority of Americans not oriented to government."

"The two classes have less in common culturally, dislike each other more, and embody ways of life more different from one another than did the 19th century's Northerners and Southerners -- nearly all of whom, as Lincoln reminded them, "prayed to the same God." By contrast, while most Americans pray to the God "who created and doth sustain us," our ruling class prays to itself as "saviors of the planet" and improvers of humanity."

http://spectator.org/archives/2010/07/16/americas-ruling-class-and-the

It's not the level of education that's the issue; it's allegiance to liberty vs. strangling bureaucracy.

Posted by: Bellamia | October 13, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

You are so right, Ms Applebaum, and I love this:

"If privilege is the enemy, why not tax estates at 100 percent? "

Really, you're either for education or you are against it. Did they complain about elitism when George W. Yalie Bush was in office? Funny, I don't recall hearing a peep. But I've long since decided that the conservative GOP will say anything, any falsehood that suits them at the time, and more than half of their followers will take it as gospel because they do not think for themselves, at least not rationally.

Posted by: baileywickFL | October 13, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

So there are those whom believe those educated in an Ivy league school are dependant on government handouts?

I got some ocean front property in Idaho to show you...after your done geting your re-education from Beck and Fox Opinion.


Posted by: ScottChallenger | October 13, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

If Ivy League schools are so open and welcoming, why are their faculties so overwhelmingly liberal? Something like 90% of Harvard professors regularly vote Democratic. This is either because few truly intelligent persons can possibly hold conservative views, or because the self-selecting and self-regarding gatekeepers of our finest educational institutions believe this to be so and teach that this is so. If Ms. Applebaum accepts the first proposition, she isn't just an elitist, she's a moron. If she accepts the second, she ought to acknowledge that in a political context the phrase "I didn't go to Yale" means "I don't think you are an idiot because you aren't a registered Democrat."

Posted by: dupremail | October 13, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

My brother is a Vietnam veteran (1968-69) and Harvard Law School graduate ('73) and is MUCH prouder of his Army service than of his law degree! He likes to quote William F. Buckley who famously said, "I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard".

Posted by: DorothyfromColumbus
******************************************
Can we then assume your brother is doing something other than being a lawyer and making the kind of money usually associated with a Harvard law degree? It would be so embarrassing otherwise.

As for Buckley, if he were still around I think it's safe to say that he would agree with same thing being said about being governed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Buckley didn't have much patience with sophistry of any political color.

Posted by: st50taw | October 13, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Elitism is an attitude. It is when someone believes that they can provide for a person better than that person can provide for himself. They use this agreement to deny this person their freedoms. They prove that they know better through their education. This is what the right is rebelling against, not education.

Also, why do people feel the constant need to insult and stereotype rural Americans? I'm sure the outcry would be enormous if the tables were turned.

Posted by: EH12 | October 13, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

GeorgeDixon1 wrote:

"The liberal elite is self-annointed and profoundly antiAmerican

No wonder the democrats look like the bar scene from Star Wars......a throng of deviants, welfare dependent losers and semi-educated (gender studies does not count in the real world any more than ebonics)"

*****

Utter nutcase. If you want to see everything that's wrong with the right-wing, just read this lunatic's postings (and try not to barf).

Posted by: chert | October 13, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The anti-elitist rhetoric reminds me of the folks in the middle east, particularly Iran.

They stand up and yell "Death To America", then off camera ask the reporter how they can get their children into a US college.

Neither movement really means what they say... it is all a big joke to try to keep or gain power on the backs of a wave of dummies.

Posted by: baldinho | October 13, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Dupremail wrote:

"This is either because few truly intelligent persons can possibly hold conservative views, or because the self-selecting and self-regarding gatekeepers of our finest educational institutions believe this to be so and teach that this is so."

*******

Uh, Dupremail, the fact is that few intelligent persons can possibly hold conservative views. Why? Well, conservative views continued to hold that the Earth was flat and that the sun revolved around it long after more liberal/progressive views debunked that notion as superstitious nonsense. Conservative views hold that taxation is unnecessary for the functioning of a modern, civilized society used to roads, streetlights, policing, fire and ambulance service and other similarly useless amenities. Conservative views hold that everything that happens today occurred in a societal vacuum, and that there is as a result no inequality of opportunity. Conservative views preach social Darwinism. Conservative views think peace is hard and impractical and, as a result, extol war. Conservative views, in short, are so utterly bankrupt of sense either domestically, economically, politically or internationally that I wonder that the adherents of these views (we'll call them "simpletons") are able to properly function from day to day. Applebaum is right-wing, but even she is now finally seeing the very obvious writing on the wall.

Posted by: chert | October 13, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Liberal elites are so above us mortals.....


http://reason.com/blog/2010/10/13/you-know-who-else-spelled-crys

Posted by: georgedixon1 | October 13, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

It's working. The divide and conquer syndrome brought to us by special interests spreading propaganda about "the other side's belief system, wealth, lifestyle, eye color, education. When in reality we have to all work together as citizens to make this country work FOR citizens (as opposed to the desires of special interests). Do you really want to live like it was 1800 with no electricity, cars, roads, schools, clean water, clean air, etc. etc., all the things that take a cohesive population to attain and maintain. Or should we work together to compete in the world in producing modern jobs that provide us all work and income, and a self-sustaining lifestyle? Would you prefer third-world conditions? It all started when Ronald Reagan stated that we need to move away from manufacturing into a service economy. That happened with off shoring, then all those great "service" jobs were offshored too. We either reinvent ourselves or go backwards. Personally, I like modern living standards. How about you? Are we going to let them divide the people? Then we all have to work together. Yes, it also means paying taxes.

Posted by: clairevb | October 13, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Applebaum is incorrect to think that anti-Ivy-League sentiment is NOT anti-liberal/progressive/leftist sentiment in another form. It IS anti-progressive sentiment in another form.

Posted by: DoTheRightThing | October 13, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Odonnell says "she didn't go to Yale" but she lied on her resume and said she went to Harvard.

My experience with people who make these stupid anti-elite statements is that they are usually resentful that they were not qualified to get into betters schools. Judging by odonell's performance it is no wonder that it took her decades to get a Bachelors. She should be grateful they let her into any school at all.

Posted by: John1263 | October 13, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

the crusade against the liberal elite: the conservative elite exploiting the relatively uneducated rank and file for personal gain and political power. It's that simple.

But I understand the impulse; no one likes a smug know-it-all, and the smug liberal elite seems to vastly outnumber the smug conservative elite.

Posted by: angaloid | October 13, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Anne, as I suggested in the comment field yesterday, a far bigger problem with your essay is that almost none of your claims regarding admission to elite colleges have any connection to the findings of actual education research. The preferences elite colleges give based on race and privilege are far bigger than you claim. These institutions are not nearly the engines of upward social mobility, or mechanisms for identifying true intellectual merit, that you claim they are. Didn't anyone at Yale teach you how to get to the library to see what the research actually says?

Furthermore, you betray a profound misunderstanding of Michael Young's essay, which becomes a cautionary tale far earlier on than you seem to think. The "meritocracy" he depicts is not a utopia, but a dystopia. The rebellion comes because those on top, convinced of their innate superiority, mistreat everyone else.

Anyone wishing to see what the research actually says about college admissions is welcome to click through the links to it on my Web site, www.colorandmoney.com.

--Peter Schmidt, Senior Writer, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Posted by: peterschmidt | October 13, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Applebaum's pointless and senseless diatribe is yet more proof that the loony left has completely lost touch with reality.

Posted by: SayWhat5 | October 13, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Jonah Goldberg is a juvenile little brat with a mind that's about 1/4 as effective as he thinks it is. Why would you ever attempt to engange suich a putrid little man in a discussion??

Posted by: SmallBusiness | October 13, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Poor Jonah hasn't the intellect to know when to keep his twattle off the printed page. He always has been three and a half cans short of a six pack! Winner of the runner off of the mouth award for what passes for a conservative these days.

Posted by: trbajaz | October 13, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

This is a semantic exercise....ivy educated individuals become 'elites' when they think they know how to manage other peoples' lives.

Posted by: twann9852 | October 13, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The broader un-electable sometimes form an "elite" network of resistance to the duly elected. A clique of uncooperative citizens who simply refuse to honor any duly elected government. Such "nice folk" are not really for democracy at it's core set of values. ... so many of them form resistance groups, to hinder, obstruct and bring down the other side's "army", at all costs.
The recent reference by some in the GOP to Bonaparte's defeat at Waterloo has tinges of this attitude in my opinion. ... Backfire city much?

Posted by: deepthroat21 | October 13, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Jonah Goldberg is a fat retard. I win.

Posted by: SmallBusiness | October 13, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Down with education! Vote republican.

Posted by: LifeBeforePrinciple | October 13, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Apparently, elite universities have only been generating tokens, not actually opening up opportunities to people.

Posted by: blasmaic | October 13, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The Tea Party's seemingly new
"Anti-Eiltism" has been a Hallmark of almost every populist movement since at least the Pairie Leaque of William Jennings Bryant and I can personally and distinctly recall Vice-President Spiro Agnews famous put down of his Administration's intellectual tormentors as "Nattering Knabobs" during the Nixon years.

In whatever era anti-elitism raises its pointy head it demonstrates a strong under current of tribalism and a resentment of the outsider. In the Tea Party's case the main message of anti-eltiism is stated clearly and loudly when they link it repeatedly with the phrase of "Take Back America". Just Who is doing the taking back and from whom America is being taken back is never expilictly stated but the message is always the same-"Our tribe intends to exclude and drive out the interloper or the "Other".

The upcomming mid-terms gives the citizenry therefore the opportunity to reject the Republican Tea Party's call to return to an earlier era of government by Tribal influence and regionalism and to continue to insist that government is most effectively and most eqitably provided by election to authority based on the personal Merit of the candidate and the effectivness of their policy implementation. The Choice is very clear


Posted by: oregonbirddog | October 13, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Goldberg has been and always will be a momma's boy. The semen-stain-on-the-blue-dress collecting mother indoctrinates her son (at a relatively young age, I suspect) into the wonderful world of right wing nuttery. This is something all young Catholic men and women, looking back on their childhood, understand perfectly well.

Posted by: wturecki | October 13, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Just seems to me that liberals and conservatives are talking past each other. I have a version of that kind of conversation with some conservatives I come in contact with:

Me: Well as I see it the problem is A, B, and C and the solution should be X or Y, maybe Z, according to (some article I read) and (some other piece of data) etc, so what do you think?

Conservative person: You don't get it! You're condescending! Freedom! Low taxes! Small government!

I just wish we could talk about the issues like peers and have a conversation. I have education (PhD level, state U if you need to know) and I want to use all my faculties in trying to deal with the problems of the day and decide how to vote etc. And I do want to understand other viewpoints, I really do! But when people get all offended about being condescended to or just spout generalities it goes nowhere. You don't think I "get it?" Fine, so explain what you think we should do. With details. And don't get upset if you are challenged. Seriously.

Posted by: catherine3 | October 13, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse


Applebaum writes:
A generation ago, the Republican Party had the lead among educated voters... Doesn’t the Republican Party want those voters back again?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Isn't this comment proven in the negative? When the Republicans fail to recognize the simple facts related to the current economic crisis, yet feel their policies should continue?

Besides, the Tea Party is simply an attempt by real Republicans to distance themselves from former President George W. Bush and his devastating economic, domestic, international and military policies imposed by his administration.

If the Tea Party's platform is SOOOOOO different, why are their candidates still running under the GOP moniker?

Don't they feel their "incredibly successful" platform is capable of standing on its own?

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | October 13, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Look you bunch of goobers, the sun doesn’t revolve around the earth, global warming isn’t caused by sun spots and cutting taxes for the rich while simultaneously waging two wars doesn’t help the economy. If you want the country run by a bunch of morons and inbred half wits from South of the Mason Dixon, go ahead and do your worst. The liberal eleeeeeetists who you so despise will still be raking in the dough while you are patching up your double-wides with Bondo.

Posted by: codexjust1 | October 13, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Look you bunch of goobers, the sun doesn’t revolve around the earth, global warming isn’t caused by sun spots and cutting taxes for the rich while simultaneously waging two wars doesn’t help the economy. If you want the country run by a bunch of morons and inbred half wits from south of the Mason Dixon, go ahead and do your worst. The liberal eleeeeeetists who you so despise will still be raking in the dough while you are patching up your double-wides with Bondo.

Posted by: codexjust1 | October 13, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Just to get this straight. You are responding to a man who criticizes "elites" while the same guy had his mother pay for his college tuition and subsquently has used his own economically elite family connections to secure his jobs? But what do I know; I worked my way through college employed full time on the third shift of a dyehouse. So to me its that fatuous Goldberg who is the real elitist. Born on third baee and thinks he hit a triple.

I could debate Jonah Goldberg on just about any current topic with the caveat that I would let him chose the side he wants to defend, since I dont't wish to take advantage of the guy.

Anne, Jonah Goldberg is a pretty stupid human being and anyone with intelligence who has had the misfortune to read his excremental musings knows it.

Posted by: kuvasz | October 13, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The Republican war on education is finally bearing full fruit. What I mean is, in order to support candidates like Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, Carl Palladino, and the rest of the TEA Party crowd, you have got to be seriously, virulently, adamantly, REALLY ignorant.

***********************************
Christine O'Donnell states that she "attended Oxford". She actually went for some seminar or training class - the location was Oxford. She didn't attend Oxford, in short. But who's trying to be more elite here?

Rand Paul - attended Baylor and received an MD. from Duke University School of Medicine.

Carl Paladino - attended St. Bonaventure University and Syracuse University College of Law. Received J.D. degree at Syracuse.

Sharron Angle - B.A in Fine Arts from University of Nevada.

****************************************

The last census in 2000 found that only 27.2 percent of Americans had any kind of college degree. 8.9% had a Master's and 3% had a Doctorate. What is most telling is this table:

# 1 District of Columbia: 45.7%
# 2 Massachusetts: 36.7%
# 3 Colorado: 35.5%
# 4 New Hampshire: 35.4%
# 5 Maryland: 35.2%
# 6 New Jersey: 34.6%
# 7 Connecticut: 34.5%
# 8 Vermont: 34.2%
# 9 Virginia: 33.1%
# 10 Minnesota: 32.5%
# 11 California: 31.7%
# 12 Utah: 30.8%
# 13 New York: 30.6%
# 14 Kansas: 30%
# 15 Washington: 29.9%
# 16 Missouri: 28.1%
# 17 Arizona: 28%
# 18 Georgia: 27.6%
# 19 Illinois: 27.4%
# 20 Rhode Island: 27.2%
# 21 Delaware: 26.9%
# 22 Hawaii: 26.6%
# 23 Florida: 26%
# 24 Oregon: 25.9%
# 25 Wisconsin: 25.6%
= 26 South Dakota: 25.5%
= 26 Montana: 25.5%
= 26 Alaska: 25.5%
# 29 Pennsylvania: 25.3%
# 30 North Dakota: 25.2%
# 31 New Mexico: 25.1%
# 32 South Carolina: 24.9%
# 33 Nebraska: 24.8%
# 34 Ohio: 24.6%
= 35 Nevada: 24.5%
= 35 Texas: 24.5%
# 37 Michigan: 24.4%
= 38 Iowa: 24.3%
= 38 Tennessee: 24.3%
# 40 Maine: 24.2%
# 41 Idaho: 23.8%
# 42 North Carolina: 23.4%
# 43 Oklahoma: 22.9%
# 44 Wyoming: 22.5%
# 45 Louisiana: 22.4%
# 46 Alabama: 22.3%
# 47 Indiana: 21.1%
# 48 Kentucky: 21%
# 49 Mississippi: 20.1%
# 50 Arkansas: 18.8%
# 51 West Virginia: 15.3%

Now, compare this to the table found here and you'll see why the "elite" is being attacked. The GOP is going for the Bubba vote.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/141548/States-Competitive-Terms-Party-Identification.aspx?utm_source=tagrss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_term=Politics

Posted by: MichelleKinPA | October 13, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

For all of you who are so confused, there is a profound difference between elites and elitism. Lots of people had privileged, expensive educations (like Clarence Thomas or George Will). The difference is that they don't deign to rule over the rest of us with government-based, nanny-state solutions. They prefer to let individuals decide. Unlike the Obama-led elitists, they don't condescend to the American people and insist that they know what's right for them. It's called individual freedom---and it works.

Posted by: dan1138 | October 13, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

This needed to be stated again:

Liberals just can't accept that America rejects their terrible policy ideas, so they come up with silly theories about what is wrong with the electorate.

Here's a thought. Maybe your ideas are being rejected because they suck.

Posted by: bobmoses

Posted by: bbface21 | October 13, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Teabag Party = Koch Brothers (billionaire elitists)

Would fat Goldberg car to comment?

Posted by: SmallBusiness | October 13, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The Ivy League no doubt still consistently produces some of our country's top minds in law, medicine, and the sciences. Regardless of those graduate's political leanings, it is difficult to dispute their contribution to American and world society at large.
Unfortunately, the weak sister of those academies, the cultural and gender study areas, have contributed little but professional whiners to that same society. The intellectual rigor commanded by the traditional mainstays of these universities is comparatively, glaringly absent in these academic categories. Indeed, even the entrance requirements to graduate programs in these subjects of study at "elite" universities such as Columbia, do not even require standardized Graduate School Entrance Examinations.
It is a common refrain from students and professors familiar with the curriculum that the typical American Studies program would be better characterized as Anti-American Studies. For example, the application of a Marxist analytical framework to Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer" or Melville's "Moby Dick" would provide an accurate portrayal of a normal exercise within an "elite" university's American Studies program.
The "anti-elitist rhetoric" that Ms. Applebaum may hear seems to truly be reserved for those who can't get through ordering their double espresso latte without incorporating words such as "hegemony", "paradigm shift", or "positionality" to a startled clerk. It is only when "elites" such as this assume moral superiority and a more advanced intellect than the great unwashed, that there is a natural resentment.
This resentment is evident today as the average American who may have merely read "Tom Sawyer" in school without the benefit of that Marxist analytical framework are deemed somehow "anti-intellectual" simply because they may hold differing political or philosophic views than their supposed intellectual superiors. In essence, "if you don't vote for me, you simply cannot understand the complexity of the good I am trying to do for you".
The Democratic Party has underestimated the intelligence of those great unwashed at their peril.

Posted by: carolinadreams | October 13, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

georgedixon1 wrote:

"The lily white liberal left cannot handle information beyond the narrative they are taught."

"No wonder the democrats look like the bar scene from Star Wars......a throng of deviants, welfare dependent losers and semi-educated (gender studies does not count in the real world any more than ebonics)"

- - - - - - - - - - -

If you thought that your claim of a "lily-white liberal left" would somehow negate your stupid racist statements in the paragraph that follows it, you're utterly clueless.

Posted by: FrankIBC | October 13, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Let's not confuse populism with either conservatism or liberalism. Anti-elitism has been a hallmark of American populism at least since Andrew Jackson. Sometimes the left assumes the mantle, sometimes the right, but all the time there are elite leaders who cynically and hypocritically use that rhetoric.

For the first half of the 20th century the left had the populist mantle. Indeed, Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed with pride that his own social class considered him a traitor. These days, the right has assumed the populist stance. Both had valid points and obvious hypocrisy. No doubt the left will eventually become populist again some day.

Posted by: maxikins | October 13, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"New York Times: Republicans are better informed about political issues than blacks, Hispanics, and young people."

The elite left is a myopic echo chamber of emotion and perversion.

The lily white liberal left cannot handle information beyond the narrative they are taught.

The liberal elite is self-annointed and profoundly antiAmerican

No wonder the democrats look like the bar scene from Star Wars......a throng of deviants, welfare dependent losers and semi-educated (gender studies does not count in the real world any more than ebonics)


Dump all democrats in November and take a leak on a leftist elite

Posted by: georgedixon1 | October 13, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't make it into an Ivy, huh George? Suck on it. Plenty of people who worked harder than you did got in.

Posted by: Bridge3263 | October 13, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Could it be that anti-elitism is because it's obvious the emperor has no clothes? Doubling down on Afghanistan when you had a chance to get out is not a sign that your Ivy League education served you very well. And ask any employer if a job candidate from an "elite" university is likely to be more productive than one from "state college." Nope. We should have learned this from Vietnam, but we didn't: The Best and the Brightest aren't.

Posted by: pmaguire1 | October 13, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"For all of you who are so confused, there is a profound difference between elites and elitism. Lots of people had privileged, expensive educations (like Clarence Thomas or George Will). The difference is that they don't deign to rule over the rest of us with government-based, nanny-state solutions."

Except of course on what to do with their bodies, their religion, who they marry, their choice of language, what can be shown on TV and played in music, what goes in the library...

Stop yapping about "individual freedom" when all you really mean is you don't want to pay taxes and let everyone else go to hell because you just don't care as long as you got yours (but don't think of taking your SS/Medicare away because you most certainly earned them unlike those other slackers).

Posted by: kreuz_missile | October 13, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum, you have fallen directly into Mr. Goldberg's trap. Conservatives have long argued that they don't want a bunch of "elitists" in Washington telling us ordinary Americans how to live our lives. This was / is the argument against the Federal government intervening to protect the rights of Black people in the South ("This is our way of life, they should stay out of it"). This is the argument against the Federal government stepping into protect workers' safety ("We don't need a bunch elitist bureaucrats in Washington telling us how to run our mines"). The list could go on but you get the point. "Elitism" is just a synonym for the Federal government doing the job it is supposed to do and State governments won't do. The whole issue of who went to which university is just a way to couch the argument into populist terms.

Posted by: dkimbrough | October 13, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Books? Schoolin'? Education?

That's for limp-wristed liberal types.

Real men don't need none of that, they just join the tea party and get told what to think by Fox "news" and Rush "Oxycontin" Limbaugh!

Posted by: losthorizon10 | October 13, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

SayWhat5 wrote:

"Applebaum's pointless and senseless diatribe is yet more proof that the loony left has completely lost touch with reality."

******

Uh, SayWhat? What if I told you that Anne Applebaum was an unabashed conservative? Would that in any way change your utterly retarded comment? No. I'm sure it wouldn't. You're a right-winger. With your type the facts will NEVER get in the way of dogma.

Posted by: chert | October 13, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Books? Schoolin'? Education?

That's for limp-wristed liberal types.

Real men don't need none of that, they just join the tea party and get told what to think by Fox "news" and Rush "Oxycontin" Limbaugh!

Posted by: losthorizon10 | October 13, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Anne, as you know, there is no difference whatsoever between Republicans and Democrats on being among the elite. All the rhetoric is merely campaign tactics. The leadership of the elite in this country is indeed more diverse in gender and relgion (slightly) than it used to be, but less diverse in almost every other area.

The nation is completely controlled by graduates of Ivy-League universities in a way that has never before been possible. They are far less inclusive than a country club and make sure that all those in important positions are members of that same club. Consider the follwing:

-for the first time EVER the last four presidents have all attended either Harvard or Yale,

-for the first time EVER, all of the Supreme Court Justices have attended either Harvard or Yale (Ginsburg attended Harvard but tranferred to Columbia)

-for the last 31 years the Chairmanship of the Federal Reserve has belonged exclusively to a Harvard gradute.

-we can ever narrow it down further to just 5 schools. 18 out of the top 25 richest Americans according to Forbes, personally attended Harvard, Yale, Columbia, MIT, or Stanford. Lest you think that this was how they made their fortune please note that many like the Walton family and Mars family made their fortune outside of Ivy League circumstances, but sent the children there to become members of the club, so to speak.

Mrs. Astor's 400 was never so tightly controlled as the stranglehold that a very small number of colleges have on this nation today!

Posted by: 54465446 | October 13, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Back in the bad old 90s, when middle class kids were supposed to go deep in debt to attend an Ivy school, my son went public as did countless of "test-score elite" middle class kids. Today, he probably would get his best deal at an Ivy. Is he not (and never to be) "elite"? Would he be "elite" today?

The whole idea of creating an elite based on schooling choices made as a teenager, is foolish. Creating an entire government by recruiting people who attended certain schools is juvenile.

Last, we used to understand that "character" or "virtue," not intelligence, was the most important attribute we needed in our public officials. Very few societies have elevated intelligence, however defined, in the fashion that we have.

Posted by: rusty3 | October 13, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Books? Schoolin'? Education?

That's for limp-wristed liberal types.

Real men don't need none of that, they just join the tea party and get told what to think by Fox "news" and Rush "Oxycontin" Limbaugh!

Posted by: losthorizon10 | October 13, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Only in the mind of an elitist is the connection made to estate taxes, a simplistic and ideological thought process with the obligatory unintended consequences. If a person works a lifetime to build a successful business, then after death his descendants have to sell the business to pay estate taxes, thus destroying dozens if not hundreds of jobs, has anything been accomplished?

Posted by: wizardman1 | October 13, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Readers should take a look at Goldberg's piece too. It is remarkably uncivil and rather irrational. Both of Applebaum's pieces (whether you agree with her or not) are polite and balanced.

By the way, yes, I too am an elitist, but not of the elite (I earn less than $10 per hour). Do you want head coaches in football to have no experience? Do you want a surgeon without a medical degree? Lawyers who have not passed the bar exam? Sorry, but I want my country to be run by people who know more than I do. They are called "the elite."

Posted by: fnwy | October 13, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse


Applebaum thinks if she doesn't mention Jews, New York Jews, Wall Street Bankers, as 'elites', no one will think of it?
Foolish, it comes up like a greedy sun all over, tho perhaps no in Applebaum's circles?

MOst middle class Americans, suffereing economically now, know in this atmosphere "elites" which used to mean
special people, one way or another,

not means the greedy money grubbers...the
designer t-shirts, the nation breaking
fraud and hidden plunder. The
PENTHOUSES.

when they think of elites they think of the JEWS of Wall Street. The Bankers.
It is cliche, it is history.
Even Shakespeare.

But we get this stuff? And a conversation about Johah GOldberg. A little insidey, 'just uis' chat
in the zionist post.

Posted by: whistling | October 13, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Readers should take a look at Goldberg's piece too. It is remarkably uncivil and rather irrational. Both of Applebaum's pieces (whether you agree with her or not) are polite and balanced.

By the way, yes, I too am an elitist, but not of the elite (I earn less than $10 per hour). Do you want head coaches in football to have no experience? Do you want a surgeon without a medical degree? Lawyers who have not passed the bar exam? Sorry, but I want my country to be run by people who know more than I do. They are called "the elite."

Posted by: fnwy | October 13, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Readers should take a look at Goldberg's piece too. It is remarkably uncivil and rather irrational. Both of Applebaum's pieces (whether you agree with her or not) are polite and balanced.

By the way, yes, I too am an elitist, but not of the elite (I earn less than $10 per hour). Do you want head coaches in football to have no experience? Do you want a surgeon without a medical degree? Lawyers who have not passed the bar exam? Sorry, but I want my country to be run by people who know more than I do. They are called "the elite."

Posted by: fnwy | October 13, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Readers should take a look at Goldberg's piece too. It is remarkably uncivil and rather irrational. Both of Applebaum's pieces (whether you agree with her or not) are polite and balanced.

By the way, yes, I too am an elitist, but not of the elite (I earn less than $10 per hour). Do you want head coaches in football to have no experience? Do you want a surgeon without a medical degree? Lawyers who have not passed the bar exam? Sorry, but I want my country to be run by people who know more than I do. They are called "the elite."

Posted by: fnwy | October 13, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Dear Ms. Applebaum,

I think your article fails to recognize the current state of the Ivy League and seems trapped in a time warp (perhaps back to the time you attended an Ive League school?). The anti elite rhetoric is well-founded and illustrates the extreme disconnect between our current 'ivy league' institutions and mainstream Americans. These institutions have spent all the intellectual capital they earned when they actually were locations of intellectual thought that believed in teaching based on a core curriculum. They have in fact become havens of anti-christian and anti-american sentiment; they have no standards for graduation and the students are not in any way better prepared for work life that other institutions that actually grade and flunk out their students based on their performance. Additionally these institutions have in general made a mockery of themselves in their one-sidedness and are devoid of anything that could be classified as an open dialogue for intellectual discussion.

I recommend you leave your office every once in a while before you write an article.

All best :)

Posted by: katbartley | October 13, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The "upward mobility" that you claim a Havard Law Degree provides is not questioned. What is questioned is whether it "entitles" those individuals to be the policy and decision makers. The need to remove the concept of "entitlement" is what should be the focus of anti-elitism, not concerns about where the policy and decision makers got educated. Unfortunately, today elitism continues because it is still enough to be able to say "I went to Harvard/Yale, Princeton/etc." to get preferential treatment or acceptance of your views. As many can attest, individual experience and personnel success is not enough to get that treatment, unless you are Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, etc.

Posted by: open51 | October 13, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Do you want head coaches in football to have no experience? Do you want a surgeon without a medical degree? Lawyers who have not passed the bar exam? Sorry, but I want my country to be run by people who know more than I do. They are called "the elite."

Posted by: fnwy

=============================================

That's not the point and I think you know it. The "anti-elitism" is a backlash against the pervasive belief that a surgeon or lawyer who went to Yale is by default better than one who attended a school like Ohio State.

Also keep in mind that those who "people who know more than I do" are responsible for the mess we're in.

Posted by: bbface21 | October 13, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse


Yes, yess,
Those TeaParty intellectuals,

Angle
Palin
O'Donnell
Paladino

they're going to be the leaders of what segment of America? Not going to go over big.

Posted by: whistling | October 13, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse


Yes, yess,
Those TeaParty intellectuals,

Angle
Palin
O'Donnell
Paladino

they're going to be the leaders of what segment of America? Not going to go over big.

Posted by: whistling | October 13, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

The flailing around by the left about these made up issues is laughable. Liberals just can't accept that America rejects their terrible policy ideas, so they come up with silly theories about what is wrong with the electorate.

Here's a thought. Maybe your ideas are being rejected because they suck.

Posted by: bobmoses | October 13, 2010 9:18 AM |
-----------------------------------------

If you disagree with the policy ideas, then argue against the policy. Accusing someone of elitism is another matter altogether. It is a way of avoiding arguing about ideas.

Posted by: ablum1 | October 13, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"A generation ago, the Republican Party had the lead among educated voters. George Bush senior easily defeated Michael Dukakis among college graduates. But in a remarkably short period of time, that advantage has vanished. Doesn’t the Republican Party want those voters back again?"
********************************

The Republican Party knows it needs the Southern and "fly-over" bumpkins to win, just as it needs fundamentalist Christians. What its elite (like Goldberg) thinks is that they can continue to manipulate them. Christian conservatives started to realize the charade during Bush and have been defecting by withdrawing from the political process altogether in increasing numbers. Bumpkin conservatives are recognizing it, too; hence the Tea Party.

The GOP's days are numbered, especially if foreign money is proven in this election cycle (I believe it is there and if so, it will be outted in only by an insider). I really see the rise of several new conservative parties to replace it.

Posted by: abqcleve | October 13, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SayWhat5 | October 13, 2010
"Applebaum's pointless and senseless diatribe is yet more proof that the loony left has completely lost touch with reality."

LOL!! Reading is fundamental, you tool. Perhaps you need to go back to school to refresh your reading and comprehension skills. Here is what Applebaum said, and I will highlight the important facts for you:

**Perhaps it's not surprising that this issue has tied conservative intellectuals in knots, particularly those at the National Review (a magazine whose masthead used to feature my husband, and for which I used to occasionally write).**

National Review, a very "conservative" magazine. Articles by "conservatives" to validate the "conservatives" viewpoint. Got that? Okay on to point number 2.

**On the one hand, the magazine was founded by an old-style elitist, William F. Buckley, and plenty of Ivy Leaguers have written for its pages.**

William F. Buckley, one of the "conservatives" that basically launched the "conservative movement". Applebaum is a "conservative" and occasionally writes for the "conservative" magazine. Your contention that she is a "liberal" is nothing short of laughable. Perhaps if you started reading and learning, you would not utter such ignorant comments.you.

Posted by: bushidollar | October 13, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Applebaum, you miss the whole point. This anti-elitism is a necessary, well thought out, cog in the Republican messaging machine. It serves two purposes. One, the Republicans are the party of established wealth and power. They are the party of the real elite. But they'd rather nobody think about that. The anti-elitism is a smoke screen to keep people from looking behind their green curtain. Two, knowing their policies are so often in opposition to expert opinion, the anti-elitism is a way to discredit expert opinion.

My favorite scene in the 2008 campaign was Lady Rothschild (yes, those Rothschilds), working for McCain, deriding Obama as an elitist.

Posted by: gVOR08 | October 13, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The right has exploited the education wedge issue quite skillfully. The reverse snobbery now coming from the likes of Palin, O'Donnel, Beck and others eclipses the garden variety snobbery that used to be practiced by the true elites - you know, the people who actually worked hard in school to achieve something other than celebrity status.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | October 13, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

It takes more than an IQ to run this great nation! It takes common sense, which our current president has none of.

Obama is a result of affirmative action period!! He has also never had a serious job creating anything!

he is a wreck!!

Posted by: jjcrocket14 | October 13, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

It isn't whether you go to Harvard or Yale, or whether your daddy got you into those schools or you got in by affirmative action policies. It's what you do afterward, like going on a vacation to Spain at taxpayers expense despite widespread public outrage and thinking you're entitled. That's being elitist!!!

Posted by: Paaa | October 13, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

... Unlike the Obama-led elitists, they [conservative elites] don't condescend to the American people and insist that they know what's right for them. It's called individual freedom---and it works.

Posted by: dan1138
*****************************

Is that a fact? How do you account for conservative insistence on legislating social and religious norms?

Posted by: abqcleve | October 13, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

dan1138 wrote: "...they don't deign to rule over the rest of us with government-based, nanny-state solutions. They prefer to let individuals decide. Unlike the Obama-led elitists, they don't condescend to the American people and insist that they know what's right for them. It's called individual freedom---and it works."
-------------------------------------------

This is a typical message from the right - a display of loaded terminology like "elitists" and "nanny-state" and "freedom" but without any substantive point to make. It brings to mind Macbeth - "it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." How did we get to this point of empty rage and walking shadows?

Posted by: rgray | October 13, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Tea Party = Koch Brothers (billionaire elitists)

Care to comment, Fat Jonah?

Posted by: SmallBusiness | October 13, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I think one key to the anti-Ivy League rhetoric can be found in Kathleen Parker's column today, in which she looks at the causes of the economic collapse:
"Three, the cozy relationship between Wall Street and Ivy League academia, wherein economists push policies that benefit them financially, is eye-opening. In some cases, business professors and economists at America's top schools were shown to have conflicts of interest as they advanced policies for which they had been paid directly or that otherwise benefited them.
"In other instances, we see that the same people who created policies that ultimately led to these abuses are still -- or were until recently -- running the show. Notably missing from the film, declining to be interviewed, are Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Hank Paulson, Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin."

I think that sums it up nicely.

Posted by: abgood | October 13, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Jonah Goldberg's opinion isn't all that wrong. Certainly the elite offering opportunities and contributing to the world is good and should be respected if not greatly appreciated and awarded. However, there is a problem of the elite when they adopt a statist monopolist stance. The result is that the elite do not seek to contribute and receive just rewards, but to take for themselves and stifle others.

Posted by: cprferry | October 13, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

bbface wrote:

"That's not the point and I think you know it. The "anti-elitism" is a backlash against the pervasive belief that a surgeon or lawyer who went to Yale is by default better than one who attended a school like Ohio State"

Not a better surgeon, a better connected surgeon, more likely to be able to take advantage of all that this nation has to offer and to influence it's future more. Of that, there can be no doubt.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 13, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Well. If this doesn't sound like a little girl whining about the boys on the playground, I don't know what would. Grow up. Whether you think that people out there have any right or business viewing Yale and Harvard people as elitists doesn't make bit of difference. They do see it that way, and that is reality. So quit arguing at the wind, lady.

Posted by: Larryw21 | October 13, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Elite-bashing, he-he, worked for George W., even though he went to Yale (legacy admission). Elites-R-Republicans, people!
Even the thrilla from Wasilla is an elite; she's got millions going into her coffers from speeches, book sales, her Sarah-pac, fund-raising appearances (hers), her gig on Fox, etc. Meg Whitman is a multi-billionaire from her ebay stock and buyout. Ditto Carly Fiorina, from her H-P days, when she almost ran H-P into the ground with her mean-spirited incompetence.. They and their ilk pay big bucks for TV ads and political consultants to make them appear like populists, even though their steady drumbeat of low/no taxes and spending cuts belies their faux populism.

Let's judge Jonah Goldberg with the real test of who is an elite: their actions. Name-calling, lies, posing, living in a rent-a-ranch (Bush) before an election, isn't a way to determine who is an elite.
It's all surface and phoniness.

Posted by: shapiromarilyn | October 13, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Well. If this doesn't sound like a little girl whining about the boys on the playground, I don't know what would. Grow up. Whether you think that people out there have any right or business viewing Yale and Harvard people as elitists doesn't make a bit of difference. They do see it that way, and that is reality. So quit arguing at the wind, lady.

Posted by: Larryw21 | October 13, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

This is a semantic exercise....ivy educated individuals become 'elites' when they think they know how to manage other peoples' lives.

Posted by: twann9852


So when the right tries to tell me how to manage my body, that isn't telling me how to live my life? When they try to legislate the sex lives of military members that isn't telling others how to live their lives? When the right decides how history should be written in text books that isn't telling someone how to live their life? When the right decides who can marry and share their lives that isn't tell others how to live their lives?

Your argument is baseless.

Posted by: agolembe | October 13, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Can't recall who, but someone once said you can always tell a Harvard man because you can't tell him anything. To which I would add: "regardless of his origins."

This is really all a lot of interesting talk. The problem is that our politicians have made some colossal blunders and if we don't turn over the ones who did, then the blunders will continue. This begs the question: Who, exactly, voted for Obamacare and are they up for reelection?

Posted by: hipshot | October 13, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I just wish we could talk about the issues like peers and have a conversation. I have education (PhD level, state U if you need to know) and I want to use all my faculties in trying to deal with the problems of the day and decide how to vote etc. And I do want to understand other viewpoints, I really do! But when people get all offended about being condescended to or just spout generalities it goes nowhere. You don't think I "get it?" Fine, so explain what you think we should do. With details. And don't get upset if you are challenged. Seriously.

Posted by: catherine3
____________________________

Thank you, Catherine. Unlike Christine O'Donnell, you ARE me (well, I'm male, and old, but . . .)--I have three degrees, including an earned doctorate, all from NON-elite institutions. I gladly work, worship, and interact with PLENTY of non-college educated folks here in my beloved West Virginia (true, I'm not a native, but living here for over forty years make me a West Virginian). I sincerely admire the majority of my WV neighbors as hard-working, honest, and truly generous people.

And too often, I feel the same frustrations you have articulated on the occasions when I hear the people I try to engage offering nothing but partisan slogans and refusing to consider actual arguments of substance. They shut ME out of the conversation before I do that to them. I am persuaded that my education HAS taught me to think differently . . . Has it made me a leftist? NO, I'm a centrist, largely because I am now disinclined to accept simplistic answers from ANY point on the political spectrum, including from the worn-out liberalism of my youth. But these dreaded and despised intellectual inclinations of mine also prevent me from being anything like what I see on the contemporary right, particularly if we're talking about the likes of Palin and O'Donnell (where DID all the thoughtful conservatives go? Oh, I know--they've been drummed out of the GOP as RINOs).

When elitism is taken to mean snobbery, I'm against it. But when people act as if knowing something and thinking things through are actual elitist vices, color me elitist. Why should we EVER glorify ignorance??

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism and a very learned man, was once confronted by a man who declared that "God doesn't need your learning!" Wesley's reply (paraphrased here) was dead on: "Most assuredly, sir: God doesn't need my learning. And he certainly doesn't need your ignorance!"

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | October 13, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Johan Goldberg is a right-wing propagandist, with minimal credentials, responsible for one of the most dishonest volumes of the last century: the attempt to revise history so that fascism is related to liberalism rather than conservatism. I think this says enough about Goldberg.

As for the anti-intellectualism of the right-wing, this has been going on for a long time. Right-wing ideology is rooted in authoritarianism, with the idea being that much of our knowledge is already known, to be passed on (without much question) from past and present authorities. Many psychological studies have shown that conservatives are more closed-minded and dogmatic than liberals, traits which again suggest an underlying authoritarian anti-intellectualism.

In contrast, the liberals are more open to traits and attitudes that foster a more intellectual approach: curiousity, inquiry, education, and so on. Still, liberals share some anti-intellectual (anti-science, anti-academic "elitist") tendencies with conservatives, in part because we live in a basically anti-intellectual culture.

Nevertheless, the anti-intellectualism on the right is much deeper and scarier than that on the left. We have ridiculous attacks on history (such as Goldberg's "liberal fascism"), multiplying attacks on science (anti-evolution, anti-cosmology, anti-psychiatry, anti-global warming, and so on. Such attacks on science are not even close to reality - they are utterly irrational and politically biased.

There are two other things to keep in mind. First, right-wingers are threatened with scientific findings that conflict with their religious, economic, and personal beliefs. Not being able to counter the new evidence, all they can do is attack and overgeneralize to knowledge as a whole.

Second, right-wingers are very much controlled by corporate interests, and from a corporate perspective knowledge is something that should be controlled (exploited for profit) rather than discovered and transmitted for the common good. So rather than applauding knowledge and intelligence, our corporate culture pushes mediocrity (at best), celebrity,entertainment, and so on.

Posted by: dougd1 | October 13, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Great note by Peter Schmidt of The Chronicle of Higher Education. One thing he didn't mention was a recent survey that determined that Ivy League colleges not only favor certain minorities over others, but disfavors in college applications such rural and small-town America extra-curriculas as FFA, a wonderful rural-based organization for young people. Why would you imagine they would do that?

Only one answer comes to my mind: East Coast Ivy League Elitism.

Posted by: tom75 | October 13, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"That's not the point and I think you know it. The "anti-elitism" is a backlash against the pervasive belief that a surgeon or lawyer who went to Yale is by default better than one who attended a school like Ohio State."

As an Ohio State graduate I might be inclined to the latter before the former but I would chose the Yalie before a graduate from Reagents, Liberty, or Bob Jones.

Posted by: rlambert12 | October 13, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Demonizing education while calling for a pre-emptive attack on Iran is what Palin's teabagger elite are all about.

Posted by: areyousaying | October 13, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

The problem isn't that talented people go to Harvard or Yale law school -- it's that despite their talent, they couldn't advance without those degrees, those connections. Could Bill Clinton have made it had he decided to attend the University of Arkansas Law School instead of Yale? What if Barack Obama had continued his undergraduate studies at Occidental rather than Columbia? Neither would be any less intelligent; they simply wouldn't have been accepted by the power structure. (Compare that to Hubert Humphrey's era, for example.) And that's the problem -- unfortunately, the American progressive movement is afraid to call out the Ivy League for its elitism. We have to find a way to hire and promote talented people, even if they went to a public college in flyover country (shudder).

Posted by: VPaterno | October 13, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

>>The issue is the subset of them that alarmingly want to stick their condescending, social-engineering, never-had-a-real-job, never-had-to-meet-a-payroll, sucked-off-the-government-teat-my-whole-life noses into every aspect of our lives and tell us what to do.

live from Teri Schiavo's hospital room, Dick Cheney and his FIVE DEFERMENTS laughingly approve of this message.

Posted by: redlineblue | October 13, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

In response to Anne's previous column on this topic I pointed out that there are at least two distinct kinds of elites -- a merit elite and a power elite. As an example to demonstrate the difference I pointed to the Wall Street bankers who grossly bungled their fiduciary responsibilities to pension funds, insurers, home mortgagors and, in some cases, stockholders and lower level employees in their own companies while proving admirably capable of protecting and enriching themselves. That's elite power.

When Tea-partiers rail against Ivy League educations I do not think it is actually those diplomas bother them. They simply assume that educational background has something to do with what really nettles them: the way high level policy debate seems to ignore their own preferences and complaints, as indeed it does because the power elites, and the politicians that cater to them, are really only looking out for themselves.

Posted by: Adam_Smith | October 13, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Goldberg's notion that "this particular elite is hellbent on bossing the country around that will make America less meritocratic," is as old as democracy itself, often invoked in support of the most disgraceful policies. For example:

"We should realize that a city is better off with bad laws, so long as they remain fixed, than with good laws that are constantly being altered, that lack of learning combined with sound common sense is more helpful than the kind of cleverness that gets out of hand, and that as a general rule states are better governed by the man in the street than by intellectuals. These are the sort of people who want to appear wiser than the laws, who want to get their own way in every general discussion, because they feel that they cannot show off their intelligence in matters of greater importance, and who, as a result, very often bring ruin on their country."

Cleon, son of Cleaenetus,
Athens, BC 427,
In support of the extermination and enslavement of the population of Mytilene,
Thucydides III.37, Rex Warner trans. 1954

Posted by: gmeagher | October 13, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"That's not the point and I think you know it. The "anti-elitism" is a backlash against the pervasive belief that a surgeon or lawyer who went to Yale is by default better than one who attended a school like Ohio State."

As an Ohio State graduate I might be inclined to the latter before the former but I would choose the Yalie before a graduate from Reagents, Liberty, or Bob Jones.

Posted by: rlambert12 | October 13, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum:

Conservatives complain of liberal elites in the sense that liberal elites are paternalistic. In conservative conversations, use of the term "elites" is synonymous with "those who impose mandates on us, and/or look down on us, as though they are our betters."

The type of paternalistic governance conservatives complain of most is the type often seen from the Left. The Left usually seeks a well-meaning paternalism - which nonetheless erodes our freedoms and costs a lot of taxpayer money.

As a scholar of the Soviet Union, Ms. Applebaum, you should particularly understand how a government that espouses a philosophy of helping the downtrodden can be terribly oppressive.

So - if someone goes to Yale or Harvard - but opposes paternalistic government policies - conservatives and the tea party movement would embrace them (and their educational excellence). They would not be called "elite" by conservatives in the negative sense described above.

Posted by: cbbarksdale | October 13, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Goldberg's rejoinder published in National Review efectively pointed out the flaws in Applebaum's argument. Personally, I went to Duke (is that elite? I guess it depends on who you ask) and was taken aback by the volume of snobs, folks who really thought they just knew better than everybody else, and placed little or no value on the views of others, especially if they graduated from (gasp!) a public university. I also have practiced law for a long time and have been taken aback by the deep sense of entitlement of Ivy League grads. I have met some outstanding Ivy League grads; I have met some mediocre ones; and I have met some knuckleheads. I would hire a graduate of the Univeristy of Kansas with horsesense over an Ivy League grad who tells you how smart they were to get into the Ivy League any day. The "elites" are usually the ones who have no respect at all for the views of others, and believe life should be easy on them since they went to Harvard/Yale Yale/Harvard. The government is currently chock full of those types. Frankly, it is like dealing with teenagers at times. I wish I had a dollar for every Ivy League grad who drifted from job to job, insisting that their cuurent job is beneath them.

Applebaum's "diversity" argument is ridiculous. It is classic liberal diversity: we have black liberals, white liberals, female liberals, male liberals, liberals of every ethnicity, rich liberals, poor liberals (but no middle class liberals since they cannot afford to go) and liberals from around the globe. There is always room for a self-proclaimed Republican who notes how horrified they are by Republicans, especially if they went to public universities (hello David Brooks and David Frum).

I wonder if it were a relative of Applebaum who famously said words to the effect that "no one I know voted for Nixon -- how did he win?"

And spare me the best and the brightest. The best and the brightest gave us Vietnam, the Great Society, etc. Give me Harry Truman over Adlai Stevenson.

Posted by: haunches | October 13, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

From Goldberg

I love the idea that the people who made the Road to Serfdom and Atlas Shrugged bestsellers again are against merit!

>>>>> No, the argument is that they are selective about the type of merit they support.

Also, from Goldberg

I’ve seen not one instance of Tea Partiers denouncing engineers, physicists, cardiologists, accountants, biologist, archeologists or a thousand other professions who’ve emerged from elite schools.

>>>> Unless they believe in the theory of evolution or believe in global warming.

Posted by: ablum1 | October 13, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

And spare me the best and the brightest. The best and the brightest gave us Vietnam, the Great Society, etc. Give me Harry Truman over Adlai Stevenson.

Posted by: haunches

_____________________

I served 24 years in the military. Not the military elite, the enlisted force.

They were as snobby in their own way as anyone who attended Harvard, Yale, or Duke. It was exactly like dealing with teenagers. Just try telling most enlisted guys liberals are Americans too. You will earn the labels socialist, communist, and traitor, too.

They are really so insulated they have no idea nor do they care about those who haven't worn a uniform.

So elites don't just come from Ivy League schools and don't just have money. Snobbery starts with a point of view that elevates one group over another. There are Tea movement snobs too.

Posted by: arancia12 | October 13, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Arancia12 -- You may be right about enlisted personnel being snobby in their own way (though I would dispute just how snobby an enlisted guy can be, or how silly such snobbery would be). The key difference is that an enlsited guy has absolutely no power over you, except to annoy. Elected officials do. "Elitists" exercise power over your objection because they know better, and are unafraid to let you know just how stupid they think you are. Presidents like Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton understood and respected the people. Obama does not respect the people very much, and his administration is chock full of folks who view the American people as a bunch of yahoos who have no idea what is good for them. We can live with that attitude IF the economy were not flat-lining and there were a sense that things were getting better. They are not.

And we should not kid ourselves that this is strictly a perception of Democratic politicians. Plenty of Republicans have gone down this cycle because they carried themselves as elitists -- Murkowski, Castle, Specter (I must admit enjoying seeing him go down as Democrat), Charlie Crist, etc., none of whom showed much respect for the people.

They may be right, I suppose. If the people are really as stupid as the government believes us to be, they would have no way of knowing how stupid they are.

Posted by: haunches | October 13, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

The problem w/the right's slogans about personal freedoms is that those freedoms do not include:

-Gay marriage rights

-A woman's right to an abortion

-Legalized drugs

-Legalized prostitution

Small government is a code for low taxes and allow big business to operate without recourse for Joe Public for pollution; unsafe conditions; fraud, faulty products. The whole "elite" argument is a smokescreen; pushed by corporate/economic elites to breed resentment among lower or middle class, usually small town or rural social conservatives. The Tea Party is the brainchild of Koch Industries and Freedom Works yet rank and file often fit profile above. This is exactly the profile of the Nazi Party; backed by industrial elites and monarchy hangovers like Hess and Goering who found support among Germany's smaller villages and pushed lie that Germany did not lose WWI; the Jews stabbed Germany in the back. With Tea Party, it is not that in 2006 and 2008, the majority opted for different direction but "their country" was "stolen" by evil Ivy League elites and minorities. Small towns = Real America; educated urbanites and minorities are subhuman scum worthy of eradication, just as in Germany, Jews, teachers, intellectuals and labor leaders were branded traitors to The Fatherland.

Spare me the line about elitism and personal liberty. If I cannot pay for sex from a willing vendor under standard contract rules; cannot use drugs in my own home legally as I would alcohol and if women cannot control their own health and legally consenting grownups cannot determine whom they can marry, then personal liberty really means mass deregulation and is simply a continuation of issues that have forever dominated debate: Segregationists did not want the government protecting blacks; factory owners did not want government interfereing in their operations; meat companies wanted to peddle rotted meat with no consequences.

That's that.

Posted by: Handsome19781 | October 14, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

I read Jonah Goldberg's column last night, expecting to find it engaging and refreshing. I have to say I prefer Applebaum. His article was completely uncivil and demostrates a type of condension (coupled with exteme incivility) that demostrates the very problem of elite institutions. In order to exchange ideas we have to remain respectful and civil.

Applebaum 2 points
Goldberg -5 points

Posted by: katbartley | October 14, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

People who go to Yale may or may not be elite. Individual liberals may or may not be elite. But non-elite individuals may nevertheless be elitists if they are made arrogant by an erroneous belief that they are elite.

That was Ms. O'Donnell's point, and it's not a very difficult one. Strange that you, Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune, and so many other liberal journalists who have written essentially the same article arguing the same non sequitur still don't seem to get it.

Posted by: rew50 | October 14, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

People who go to Yale may or may not be elite. Individual liberals may or may not be elite. But non-elite individuals may nevertheless be elitists if they are made arrogant by an erroneous belief that they are elite.

That was Ms. O'Donnell's point, and it's not a very difficult one. Strange that you, Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune, and so many other liberal journalists who have written essentially the same article arguing the same non sequitur still don't seem to get it.

Posted by: rew50 | October 14, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Applebaum is the kind of obnoxious pedant we all hated 'round the old quad. The ever-so-precious Ivy League has long since ruined its brand, not when they finally deigned to admit blacks & women but much earlier, when self-righteous assistant professors at the Ivies and Public Ivies and Seven Sisters and Annapolis Group, etc., realized how to project their pathological tax-exempt mentality onto the supposedly ignorant public, via social experimentation and bad-faith tactical counsel to the growing supply of machine-elected stooges. None of them ever had to face the music and they continue to self-deceive today, but Applebaum's notion of civilization is so dependent on high-priced diploma factories that she opts to become their human shield. Spare me the Ciceronian lamentations; if your Zoe Lofgrens have to give way to the Ruth McClungs of the world I think the country will survive, thanks.

Posted by: WinstonSmith9 | October 17, 2010 2:40 AM | Report abuse

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