On Kavanaugh, since when has the press cared about educational diversity?
The media are supplementing the Democratic Party's all-out attack on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Last week I saw a syndicated article from the Washington Post with a new line of attack: a sudden concern about the lack of diversification regarding the Supreme Court justices in their educational backgrounds.
The elite background does not end with them. If the Senate approves Trump's nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, every justice sitting on the Supreme Court will have attended either Yale's or Harvard's law school. (Ruth Bader Ginsburg started at Harvard and transferred to another Ivy, Columbia.)
The shared elite backgrounds of Supreme Court justices, some experts say, is a disadvantage because scientific research shows diverse groups make better decisions.
We know this concern is fake because, as far as I can tell, reporters weren't concerned when Obama nominated two justices from Harvard or Yale, and they weren't concerned when he nominated a third who didn't make it to a vote, Merrick Garland, also from Harvard. But now they are concerned?
We also know they don't really care because they would have fought Judge Amy Coney Barrett with the same vigor with which they are now fighting Kavanaugh, yet this mother of seven (including two adopted Haitian children) was educated at Notre Dame.
Personally, I think diversity is good, and I have never been impressed with or cared about whether someone was educated at an Ivy League institution. All I care about is that he knows that judges are supposed to rule based on the laws Congress passes and based on the Constitution as amended. They are absolutely not supposed to make laws themselves or rewrite laws based on what they believe.
Throughout my life, I have seen a lot of stupidity from highly educated, supposedly intelligent individuals and a lot of intelligence and common sense from those who don't have a college degree or some other pedigree. The piece of paper is just a piece of paper.
We just went through eight years with a Harvard-educated president who had little concern for the law or the Constitution; wanted to amass great power for the government; and led from behind on foreign policy, including promised flexibility to Russia. I saw almost nothing in his policies that indicated intelligence or common sense, yet repeatedly he was called smart.
The best two-term president in my lifetime was Ronald Reagan, who was educated at Eureka College in Iowa and who understood that capitalism and the private sector are what made the U.S. the greatest economic power in the world. He also led from the front on foreign policy, ending the Cold War and bringing down the Berlin Wall. Reagan's policies were intelligent and showed tremendous common sense, yet he was repeatedly called stupid.
I have recently been reading a biography of Leonardo da Vinci. He said something profound and relevant today about the elite, who consider themselves superior because of where they were educated.
From Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson, page 17:
I am fully aware that my not being a man of letters may cause certain presumptuous people to think that they may with reason blame me, alleging that I am a man without learning. Foolish folk[.] ... They strut about puffed up and pompous, decked out and adorned not with their own labors, but by those of others[.] ... They will say that because I have no book learning I cannot properly express what I desire to describe – but they do not know that my subjects require experience rather than the words of others.
Leonardo was a genius with a limited formal education who understood that practical experience is more important that reading and theory.