To stake their claim to authority America’s elites, especially the intellectual elites, have lately shown themselves to be irrational and emotionally unhinged. Having suffered too much therapy they want you to know that they have real feelings and that they are happy to share them with you. They learned from therapy to overcome their sense of shame, so they regale us with their emotions and do not know that they look like perfect fools.
Curiously, they believe that acting unhinged is a powerful argument against a president that they consider to be unhinged. Their protestations, their sound and fury, must ring hollow.
Never doubt that they love democracy. They love it so much that they refuse to accept the outcome of the recent presidential election. They are hard at work, as we speak, trying to delegitimize the Trump victory. If they could overturn the results they would. Instead they prefer resisting Trump, making it impossible for him to govern. They say they are defending democracy from perfidious Russians, but they are undermining democracy by their own refusal to accept the election results.
I add these points to those made by Victor Davis Hanson in his recent column about the failure of America’s elites.
Hanson explains that people who are supposedly the best and the brightest have been trafficking in patent absurdities and outright stupidities. The Times’s superannuated foreign affairs columnist, Tom Friedman recently suggested that Trump’s election should be counted among the great catastrophes in American history, like Pearl Harbor and 9/11. As I have occasionally mentioned, the only Friedman I now read is George.
Not to be outdone in the race to the intellectual bottom, the New Republic, which used to be a respected journal of liberal opinion, opined that Donald Trump must be suffering from neurosyphilis. Now, that explains why Hillary lost.
These intellectual elites seem to be hell bent on discrediting themselves, on showing us that they are neither the best nor the brightest. Hanson argues that no one should be surprised that the American people revolted against their guardians by electing Donald Trump. The behavior of the elites explains why Trump won.
Hanson lists some of the greatest hits of our intellectual guardians and overlords. He begins with this:
In California, state planners and legislators focused on things such as outlawing plastic grocery bags while California’s roads and dams over three decades sank into decrepitude. The result is crumbling infrastructure that now threatens the very safety of the public.
Beyond the fact that the elites assured us that Hillary Clinton was a lock for the presidency, they also presented us with this spectacle:
Rhodes Scholar and former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice lied repeatedly on national television about the Benghazi debacle.
Let us be clear, yet again. No one in the mainstream media cared that Rice had lied. No one asked who had put her up to it. Our self-appointed protectors in the press uttered not a peep about it. Now, of course, they are lecturing us about their love of facts. As I have often pointed out, they have no interest and have never had any interest in any facts beyond those that advance their narrative.
Hanson muses about that these members of the elite become elite because they possess the proper credentials. That would be, academic credentials. But, given the state of today’s American academy, they have not earned their status. They have had their status conferred by academic institutions that are, dare we mention, hotbeds of brainwashing and indoctrination. The name of Middlebury College comes to mind today, but another famed institution of lower learning will pop into the headlines tomorrow.
And, let’s not forget that these institutions are laboratories for diversity. How is that working out?
Elitism sometimes seems predicated on being branded with the proper degrees. But when universities embrace a therapeutic curriculum and politically correct indoctrination, how can a costly university degree guarantee knowledge or inductive thinking?
Is elitism defined by an array of brilliant and proven theories?
Not really. University-sired identity politics has not led to racial and ethnic harmony. Is there free speech or diversity of thought on campuses? Did progressive government save the inner cities?
All things considered, the people who graduate from these institutions with the most laurels and encomia have often not earned them. Unless they are studying STEM subjects they have been granted their degrees, not so much because of their achievement, but because of their mastery of the dogmas of political correctness.
American universities no longer reward merit. They do not believe in hard work. They believe that reality is what they say it is, and that they can change it by speaking differently.
The problem is that the American people, in their wisdom, are no longer willing to play along. Won’t get fooled again.
The public no longer believes that privilege and influence should be predicated on titles, brands, and buzz, rather than on demonstrable knowledge and proven character. The idea that brilliance can be manifested in trade skills or retail sales, or courage expressed by dealing with the hardship of factory work, or character found on an Indiana farm, is foreign to the Washington Beltway, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley.
Instead, 21st-century repute is accrued from the false gods of the right zip code, high income, proper social circles, and media exposure, rather than from a demonstrable record of moral or intellectual excellence.
Nothing is quite as painful as being exposed as an imposter. No one revels in being revealed to be a fraud. Those members of the intellectual elite who are unworthy of their academic credentials and who have accomplished little in their careers, are seriously unhappy about facing the fact that their titles and their glory were a fiction, were what the bard called “an insubstantial pageant” that was destined to fade away. Don't think that they will go down without a fight. Alas, they have finally found something worth fighting for.