Lessons from Hick U

The Left is very worried we are about to put a brainless bimbo one heartbeat away from the White House. Sam Harris, the well-known atheistic author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation, recently targeted Sarah Palin in a haughty, if not slightly panicky, Newsweek editorial   His theme may be summed up more simply than his highly sophisticated diatribe will allow, and it runs like a logical postulation:

We shouldn't put a rube in the White House.

Palin is a rube.

Palin suffers from rubeness because she believes in God.

There is plenty in the good atheist's missive that amounts to Democratic talking points, including the silly charge that the passport-challenged Palin "has glimpsed so little of the earth's surface" -- as if dealing with people from across both ponds is so vastly different than governing the diversity inherent in an entire state (which includes, by the way, a healthy mix of whites, aboriginals, Asians, blacks,  Polynesians, and the occasional wife-beater).

But the real issue for Harris becomes a liberal's call to action:  Reasonable human beings, he insists, must not allow Palin, who holds only a bachelor's degree from Hick U (otherwise known as the University of Idaho), to sit near or at the helm of world power with a brain that has been systemically retarded by the vestigial misfiring of evolutionary happenstance -- called "faith" by the grunting millions. No matter the accomplishments of this popular mayor and proven governor, who earned her political stripes by stomping hard on the establishment, beginning with her own party, all the while expanding upon her mom-inator designs; she is still a moron because she "spent the past 44 years on earth" believing a lie, "that the biblical God consciously directs world events." What is she, a traditionalist? How passé!

After ranting against Christianity and its dangerous theocratic schemes to control the minds and reproductive organs of every single American, Harris asks: "How has ‘elitism' become a bad word in American politics?" Elitism, says the author, should be the first thing we demand of our leaders. After all, "we want elite pilots to fly our planes, elite troops to undertake our most critical missions, elite athletes to represent us in competition and elite scientists to devote the most productive years of their lives to curing our diseases." Why then wouldn't we want elite politicians?

It's a good point, but we'll have to forgive the author's inability to detect the subtle, but critical, difference between the term "elite" and "elitist." (Apparently liberals have more trouble with nuance than their mentally deficient opposition -- who knew?) "Elite" as an adjective signifies best of breed, and we all want that, no matter how such talent is acquired; but "elitism" connotes pride in privilege and entitlement based on class alone. That's quite a different thing.

Our modern universities, believing themselves the sole purveyors of eternal truth, attempt to bake elitism into every student that manages to secure a postgraduate degree, which is often touted as a worthy  substitute for common sense and real-world experience. But learning is meant to serve as a foundation, not a replacement: a point missed by intellectuals. Without the balance, education produces the loftily out-of-touch, which comes in many flavors: worthless politicians, money-grubbing lawyers, revisionist professors, Marxist-leaning radicals, theory-enamored economists ... the list goes on and on.

Elitism is sure to create the highest, but rarely the best.

Note that often the stellar products of such privilege feel compelled to condescend to us, the mindless masses. We all have  been fed the myths of Obama's inner city roots and Biden's blue collar connections. These are fantasies designed to let us know that they, the superior ones, have earned the right to lead, not by education, but by growing up in the school of hard knocks. But as soon as a real graduate of that school -- and a mother, to boot -- deftly navigates her way to the top, the upper-crusties cry foul.

Harris cannot begin to imagine how Palin, were fate to place her in the Oval Office, could deal with the difficult and complex issues of our time. Indeed, the details of each, especially given the obstructive nature of the Left at every turn, is where nuance and politically savvy come into play, but the reason those of us in the Hayseed Club don't worry about Palin's ability is because we know that the answers, in the final analysis, are relatively straightforward. "You can't blink," said Palin in her interview with Charles Gibson, summing up the sort of conservative decisiveness that stands in sharp contrast to the vacillation of liberals, who blink so much they are nearly blind.

The economy, for example -- the pressing issue of the moment -- is readily helped by a general policy of noninterference: Keep government out of it as much as possible, let the market work, and punish cheaters. Not too tough, really. Had this been more rule than exception in the Clinton administration, we would not be facing the current meltdown.

Terrorism -- another pressing issue, despite what liberals want you to believe -- is dealt with in the exact opposite way, with heavy interference. It is not a subject to spend countless hours determining what to do. For Palin and her supporters, it comes down to "find 'em and kill 'em." It's better to cut to the chase, so to speak. For all his education, Bill Clinton missed this point, leading us straight to 9/11.
The Left is very worried we are about to put a brainless bimbo one heartbeat away from the White House. Sam Harris, the well-known atheistic author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation, recently targeted Sarah Palin in a haughty, if not slightly panicky, Newsweek editorial   His theme may be summed up more simply than his highly sophisticated diatribe will allow, and it runs like a logical postulation:

We shouldn't put a rube in the White House.

Palin is a rube.

Palin suffers from rubeness because she believes in God.

There is plenty in the good atheist's missive that amounts to Democratic talking points, including the silly charge that the passport-challenged Palin "has glimpsed so little of the earth's surface" -- as if dealing with people from across both ponds is so vastly different than governing the diversity inherent in an entire state (which includes, by the way, a healthy mix of whites, aboriginals, Asians, blacks,  Polynesians, and the occasional wife-beater).

But the real issue for Harris becomes a liberal's call to action:  Reasonable human beings, he insists, must not allow Palin, who holds only a bachelor's degree from Hick U (otherwise known as the University of Idaho), to sit near or at the helm of world power with a brain that has been systemically retarded by the vestigial misfiring of evolutionary happenstance -- called "faith" by the grunting millions. No matter the accomplishments of this popular mayor and proven governor, who earned her political stripes by stomping hard on the establishment, beginning with her own party, all the while expanding upon her mom-inator designs; she is still a moron because she "spent the past 44 years on earth" believing a lie, "that the biblical God consciously directs world events." What is she, a traditionalist? How passé!

After ranting against Christianity and its dangerous theocratic schemes to control the minds and reproductive organs of every single American, Harris asks: "How has ‘elitism' become a bad word in American politics?" Elitism, says the author, should be the first thing we demand of our leaders. After all, "we want elite pilots to fly our planes, elite troops to undertake our most critical missions, elite athletes to represent us in competition and elite scientists to devote the most productive years of their lives to curing our diseases." Why then wouldn't we want elite politicians?

It's a good point, but we'll have to forgive the author's inability to detect the subtle, but critical, difference between the term "elite" and "elitist." (Apparently liberals have more trouble with nuance than their mentally deficient opposition -- who knew?) "Elite" as an adjective signifies best of breed, and we all want that, no matter how such talent is acquired; but "elitism" connotes pride in privilege and entitlement based on class alone. That's quite a different thing.

Our modern universities, believing themselves the sole purveyors of eternal truth, attempt to bake elitism into every student that manages to secure a postgraduate degree, which is often touted as a worthy  substitute for common sense and real-world experience. But learning is meant to serve as a foundation, not a replacement: a point missed by intellectuals. Without the balance, education produces the loftily out-of-touch, which comes in many flavors: worthless politicians, money-grubbing lawyers, revisionist professors, Marxist-leaning radicals, theory-enamored economists ... the list goes on and on.

Elitism is sure to create the highest, but rarely the best.

Note that often the stellar products of such privilege feel compelled to condescend to us, the mindless masses. We all have  been fed the myths of Obama's inner city roots and Biden's blue collar connections. These are fantasies designed to let us know that they, the superior ones, have earned the right to lead, not by education, but by growing up in the school of hard knocks. But as soon as a real graduate of that school -- and a mother, to boot -- deftly navigates her way to the top, the upper-crusties cry foul.

Harris cannot begin to imagine how Palin, were fate to place her in the Oval Office, could deal with the difficult and complex issues of our time. Indeed, the details of each, especially given the obstructive nature of the Left at every turn, is where nuance and politically savvy come into play, but the reason those of us in the Hayseed Club don't worry about Palin's ability is because we know that the answers, in the final analysis, are relatively straightforward. "You can't blink," said Palin in her interview with Charles Gibson, summing up the sort of conservative decisiveness that stands in sharp contrast to the vacillation of liberals, who blink so much they are nearly blind.

The economy, for example -- the pressing issue of the moment -- is readily helped by a general policy of noninterference: Keep government out of it as much as possible, let the market work, and punish cheaters. Not too tough, really. Had this been more rule than exception in the Clinton administration, we would not be facing the current meltdown.

Terrorism -- another pressing issue, despite what liberals want you to believe -- is dealt with in the exact opposite way, with heavy interference. It is not a subject to spend countless hours determining what to do. For Palin and her supporters, it comes down to "find 'em and kill 'em." It's better to cut to the chase, so to speak. For all his education, Bill Clinton missed this point, leading us straight to 9/11.