L.A.’s George Gascon is the latest to obsess about academic credentials
One of the things that’s become painfully clear of late is the leftist obsession with academic credentials. The Biden’s are Exhibit A but there’s a new addition to the ranks of educationally obsessed leftists: George Gascon, the new Los Angeles District Attorney. When the mother of a murdered man who will not see justice because of Gascon’s new guidelines heckled Gascon, he insulted her education level. He later apologized, but the point was made: Credentialism is everything.
Universities developed in the Middle Ages to educate clergymen. Many of America’s most famous institutions were created for the same reason. At a certain point, universities and colleges came to be seen as an appropriate place to “finish” a gentleman’s acquisition of knowledge. They were expected to know Western history (going back to the Ancient world), Latin, Greek, the Bible, geography, classic Western literature and, if they had an aptitude, math, and languages.
Over the years, the universities added more subjects and expanded the student body from gentlemen to all men, to women, to people who weren’t white or Christian. Always, though, they embraced an idea of a shared culture and a body of knowledge that all educated people should share.
By the time I hit U.C. Berkeley at the end of the 1970s, we were still required to take “breadth requirements.” That is, no matter your major, UC Berkeley one of the first schools to openly embrace leftism in the 1970s, still believed that everybody should have some insight into the Western canon, from literature to history to basic biology and math.
Joe Biden was lousy at the Western canon. He was a mediocre student, both at college and at law school. He was so lousy that he got into trouble for plagiarizing while in law school and then plagiarized again during his first presidential run.
Biden was so insecure about his intellectual and academic failures so he did what Biden always does: He lied about them. Famously, during his first presidential run, he called a potential voter stupid and then boasted with incredible fluency about his intellectual prowess:
Almost every word Biden said was a lie.
And then there’s Jill Biden. She’s a reminder of the old saying that it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt. Her weird insistence on being called “doctor” when she has a doctorate in education always hinted at intellectual insecurity.
When Joseph Epstein wrote a polite, funny attack against her use of the title, Jill should have set the tone by laughing at it or being gracious. Instead, she allowed her supporters to create a cause célèbre, which predictably led people to Jill’s thesis. This revealed that Jill Biden is a first-class moron. No wonder she wants to be called “doctor.” Every morning, she can look in the mirror and say, “You’re not stupid. You’re Dr. Jill Biden.”
What the Bidens reveal is that, on the left, credentials are their badges of honor proving that they’re better people than you are. These are not educated or intelligent people. Nor are they wise or moral. They know it, too.
I think that’s part of why leftists are so determined to destroy education in America. They are a cadre of little emperors who cannot afford to have the people they seek to control realize just how intellectually naked they are. If the people trapped in their failed school districts gained knowledge and wisdom, they would instantly abandon their allegiance to these intellectual pretenders.
The latest entrant in the naked emperor category is George Gascon, a man who believes that allowing criminals to run riot is a good thing. Gascon has ordered an end to prosecutions for “lifestyle” crimes (drug use, theft, minor assaults, etc.) and seeks to minimize sentencing for all crimes, no matter how heinous. These diktats, of course, harm most the people Gascon claims to revere: poor people and minorities because they’re the ones who must travel the filthy, dangerous streets and upon whom these criminals are most likely to prey.
On Saturday, Joshua Rodriguez’s mother angrily shouted at him that he was betraying her son, who was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered. Gascon, confused as to what she was saying, leveled at her his most venomous insult – she was uneducated:
BREAKING: We've obtained video of LA D.A. George Gascon at the Pomona courthouse today where he can be heard saying "It's unfortunate that some people do not have enough education to keep their mouth shut so we can talk" as the family of a murdered victim yells at him. @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/IkHVhhp25u— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) December 19, 2020
Here's a rule of thumb: No modern degree confers a mantel of worthiness or intelligence on its possessor. For 50 years, academia has been churning out credentials for people who hold certain ideological viewpoints, a practice that’s accelerated in the last 20 years. Just look at Joe and Jill Biden and at George Gascon to know exactly what I mean.
IMAGE: George Gascon. YouTube screengrab.