"Because Sarah Palin is not only a conservative, but a Western populist, she is far less amenable to control by the New York-Washington axis of bureaucratic insiders, media commentators and think-tank grandees that dominate the Republican Party elite. McCain's advisers discovered this late in the campaign, when they complained she was going rogue and attacking the Democratic candididate instead of quietly and dutifully following Mr. McCain into genteel defeat. This independence, combined with her huge popularity among the conservative base, means that the Republican East Coast elite knows it has to destroy her now, before she becomes the obvious alternative to a second Obama term. ... It must be understood that the East Coast elite would far rather lose the White House, House and Senate than lose its influence over the Republican Party. ... The social conservative measures such as California's Proposition 8 that conservatives have been told to abandon have nevertheless proven to be popular vote winners even in democratic states, whereas elite-approved measures such as alien amnesty, the foreign occupations and the Wall Street bailouts are hated by Republicans and Democrats alike. It is illogical, bordering on downright insane, to conclude from this that less of the former and more of the latter will result in any improvement in Republican fortunes", my emphasis, Vox Day, 10 November 2008 at http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=80571.
"Among the many wonders to be expected from an Obama adminstration, if Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times is to be believed, is ending 'the anti-intellectualism that has long been a strain in American life.' ... During the 1930s, some of the leading intellectuals in America condemned our economic system and pointed to the centrally planned Soviet economy as a model--all this at a time when literally millions of people were starving to death in the Soviet Union, from a famine in a country with some of the richest farmland in Europe and historically a large exporter of food. ... In the 1930s, it was the intellectuals who pooh-poohed the dangers from the rise of Hitler and urged Western disarmament. It would be no feat to fill a big book with all the things on which intellectuals were grossly mistaken, just in the 20th century--far more so than ordinary people. ... How have intellectuals managed to be so wrong, so often? By thinking that because they are knowledgeable--or even expert--within some narrow band of the vast spectrum of human concerns, that makes them wise guides to the masses and to the rulers of the nation. But the ignorance of Ph.D.s is still ignorance and high-IQ groupthink is still groupthink, which is the antithesis of real thinking", Thomas Sowell, 11 November 2008, at http://townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2008/11/11/intellectuals.
"Strip away the fluffy historical and theoretical camouflage in Mark Lilla's 'The Perils of "Populist Chic"' (Weekend Journal, Nov. 8) and you find a Democratic creed that is simple, arrogant and all too familiar: 'We smart few know what's best for you not-so-smart masses.' ... What this Columbia professor really means in that she isn't Ivy League educated and isn't from New York City. His attack on the current crop of Republican intellectuals implies that his elite Democratic colleagues got it right in their selection of Barack Obama, who both Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton criticized for his lack of judgment and who both said isn't ready to be president", Peter Murray letter to the WSJ, 15 November 2008.
"Prof. Lilla urges conservative intellectuals to 'own up to their elite status and defend the need for elites.' The need for elites? Most of us nonelites are a little down on elites right now after the role they played in the current mortgage crisis and its resulting meltdown of the financial markets and global economy", Robert Smith letter to the WSJ, 15 November 2008.
"The professor who teaches at an 'elite' university that bans the Reserve Officer Training Corps but allows the president of Iran to speak, surely shouldn't be in politics. A saying someone told me a long time ago still holds true: Those who can, do; those who can't teach. I would rather have a tested executive from a nonelite school than an untested elite-school graduate who has never had to manage anything or maintain a balanced budget", Wayne Dettinger letter to the WSJ, 15 November 2008.
"For Prof. Lilla, Gov. Palin's appeal to 'ordinary Americans' is 'populist demagogery' and represents a 'vulgarization all democracy tends toward.' Given this bleak view of our republic from the liberal intelligensia, give me a double shot of Gov. Palin's 'populist chic'," William White letter to the WSJ, 15 November 2008.
"But the academic elite deserve no excuse. There is no clearer example of 'populist chic' than Barak Obama's utterly sophomoric mantra of cosmic change. Yet the eminent Dr. Lilla chooses to leap into the Gov. Palin scapegoat fest as his excuse to trash the entire conservative world view. What is that called: 'chutzpah chic' or just plain cheeky ignorance?", Charles Kiene letter to the WSJ, 15 November 2008.
"In times like these, when conservatives are licking their wounds and trying to figure out what comes next, a helpful framework exists. It starts with a simple, self-evident fact: There is such a thing as elite opinion that is not the same as popular opinion. ... At other times, elites in a democracy have a tendency to get overly bound up with social status and careerism, and there is a premium on conformity. Having the right views, and the right way of expressing such views, becomes an emblem of elite status and a harbinger of career advancement. More and more issues become 'not debatable.' At such times, elite opinion is likely to to see itself as self-evidently superior to popular opinion, and its role toward popular opinion as--shall we say--educative. ... The reason elite opinion makers are set on destroying [Palin] is fear. They sense that like Ronald Reagan, and unlike say, Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty, she really, genuinely doesn't care what they think, and for that reason is willing and able to go over their heads and make a strong, direct appeal to voters. ... One of they key characterisitics of elite opinion, particularly at times like the present when it has become so unanimous that it has forgotten what it is to have a real debate, is repetition of the claim that some issues are settled, or no longer subject to serious debate", my emphasis, Jeffrey Bell, 17 November 2008 at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=15785&R=13CD722F23.
ML is a Columbia humanities professor. Professor Lilla, most esteemed sir, in addressing you, I kowtow in the Japanese manner. I, a Sans-culotte am one whom your piece oozes contempt for. I have no special regard for Nobel Prize winning economists' opinions. I've been taught by some, I went to school with one. So? Two were behind Long-Term Capital Management. I think your revulsion at Palin's nomination arises from her being an Ivy League degreeless Sans-culotte. That's it. A Palin's becoming president would be an Ivy League disaster. People would: hold mock funerals in Harvard Square and tear their clothes on 116th Street and Broadway. The wails from Hanover, NH, New Haven, CT and Providence, RI would be so loud they would be heard in Boston and New York! Jim Cramer would yell "short-sell Harvard"! The Ivy League would bemoan its end as "gatekeeper of presidents". Do you believe double Ivy Leaguer Obama a huckster and a demagogue? I do. Feel free to look down on me for this. I saw this "adversary culture of intellectuals" in college in the late 1960s. I ask: why did "conservative intellectuals" take about 15 more years to see it? I ridicule ambassadors and diplomats. So? Learned professor, have you the temerity to call me an ignoramus? You're probably surprised I knew the word and used it properly, aren't you? Have you considered exchanging your current appointment for one at the University of Laputa?
How right you are Mr. Murray.
Yes Mr. Smith.
Dettinger, the good professor knows one thing about Obama, he has two Ivy League degrees and that's all he need know.
Kiene, I agree. I doubt Obama could have survived in my fifth grade class intellectually. Really. But the O-man was Harvard Law Review president. What does that say about Harvard Law School?