Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Intellectual Elite vs Populism, perhaps?

I don't like to get caught up in events as they are happening. I'm much too apt to put my foot in my mouth. As I have been perusing the results of the US Presidential campaign and "doing my homework" I have become appalled at the Republican's choice of Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President. But not as appalled at that as at the thought it may have been a considered, deliberate choice.

Here's the Wall Street Journal article which argues this.

And here's something which concerns me, personally.

Traditional conservatives were always suspicious of populism, and they were right to be. They saw elites as a fact of political life, even of democratic life. What matters in democracy is that those elites acquire their positions through talent and experience, and that they be educated to serve the public good. But it also matters that they own up to their elite status and defend the need for elites. They must be friends of democracy while protecting it, and themselves, from the leveling and vulgarization all democracy tends toward.

See, I'm deliberately raising my average children to become one of the "intellectually elite." And if that's too much of a stretch, then I am certainly doing my best to raise them above the fray of what passes for education in the public school system which, at best, is anti-intellecual.

Lilla says, "They must be educated to serve the public good."

Interesting question: What would that be? And who gets to define it? I think I may be looking up some of the authors he mentions in the artcle.


lorijo said...

I don't know if it was a well thought out choice. We have heard McCain really wanted Joe Lieberman (but was told no due to the fact he's a pro choice democrat) or Tom Ridge (again, no due to the fact he's a really moderate republican). When he couldn't have those two, they pushed Mitt Romney, but McCain apparently wasn't fond of that idea. Palin may have been a compromise pushed by the more hard right-wing side of his party. At best he had one or two meetings with her prior to choosing.
My biggest problem with her- and I had many- was that she did not seem to value education- in herself, her children or those around her.

Anne (in Reno) said...

I cannot understand the constant devaluation of education in modern society. Especially from people who reap its benefits (medical advances to say the least). I want to be part of the intellectual elite and I am excited to see them running my country again! It is something I aspire to, not something I look down upon.

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