John Kerry makes a fool of himself at Harvard
Failed presidential candidate and scion of the tassel-loafer set John Kerry has made a fool of himself at Harvard, unspooling his thoughts for the student body at a commencement Wednesday.
"I'm often asked what the secret is to have a real impact on government," he said. "Well, it's recently changed."
"I used to say, either run for office or get a degree from Harvard Kennedy School. With this White House I'd say, buy Rosetta Stone and learn Russian," he joked. The audience cheered.
It's incredible, what passes for humor among the toffs of the yacht club set with the legacy admissions. It's also remarkably similar in elitism to his insult to U.S. troops stationed in Iraq who couldn't possibly get into universities, as he claimed in 2006:
Kerry said, "You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
Does Kerry really think learning the language of Russia is an elementary thing, a stupid man's pursuit, compared to attending Harvard's Kennedy School? Is he serious in claiming that learning any foreign language from scratch is easier than for some legacy admission to get into Harvard and bee-ess his way around the Harvard seminar table sounding lofty and important in his pretentious bow tie?
I'm calling him light in the loafers on that one, a lazy man's claim on humor because he really never tried to learn any foreign language and never knew of any crisis in the Russian language aspect of scholarship, which certainly exists. For Kerry, the status of getting into Harvard amounts to more intelligence and a right to rule than the effort required to learn an actual foreign language, all because it comes through a commercial software program that anyone can buy. So gee, if anyone can buy one, it's must be unimportant to the likes of Kerry. Hence his disdainful insistence that Trump start with Rosetta Stone.
How much of the Russian language does Kerry know? How much did Obama know? How much did Ben Rhodes know? The answer is a big fat zero. Obama knows no foreign languages. It's highly unlikely that the creative writing major Rhodes had the discipline to learn one. As for Kerry himself, his only foreign language is French, which is one of the easiest ones for a native English speaker to master. Kerry also had the advantage of learning it immersion style, not through hard study, because he was raised in France as a child, an opportunity most American kids don't get. Color us unimpressed.
And if the Democrat "narrative" is what he is pushing – that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton – why would learning Russian and presumably becoming more sympathetic to Russia as a natural result advance Kerry's "bad Russians" narrative? Such is the inchoate character of this clubby poofter.
What makes it astounding is its ignorance of the issue at hand. Does this former secretary of state not know that Russian is the least studied strategic language among U.S. graduate students? And that his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, made a fool of herself by presenting the Russians with a badly mistranslated "reset" button that signaled a severe lack of expertise among State Department staff in Russian language skills? Why again is Rosetta Stone being held up as the figure of fun here?
How many Russians do most Americans know, anyway? How many kids in school study the Russian language? On the other side of the equation, how many Americans do most Russians know? The connections are negligible. Other than from a small wave of immigrants from the 1980s and 1990s, the Russians are largely unknown to us. Since the Cold War's end in 1991, Russian language and Russian area studies at universities have dwindled precipitously, to just 371 bachelor's degrees, 12 master's degrees, and one – count 'em, one – doctoral degree. Those figures are from 2014, and the Department of Education hasn't gotten around to updating them in the past three years, but the trend line from the charts is clear: it's a 66% decline since 1969, and it's the only strategic language and studies area that has seen any such decline. Chinese, Arabic, and Korean have all seen soaring gains. Russian is the only one that has fallen. Neither we nor the intelligence community has the knowledge base needed to make informed decisions about the country.
But somehow, in the elitist mind of John Kerry, learning the Russian language, especially if it is learned with a commercial program, is the mark of a stupid person. Given that the schools are failing to teach this language so badly, Rosetta Stone is often the one carrying the water – quite unlike looking important and speaking groupthink at Harvard seminars.
The conclusion is clear: Lurch has made a fool of himself. And not for the first time.