28 June 2010

Ivy League follow-up

I argued a few days ago that the Ivy League is held to a very strange standard, which results in professions of love or hatred but nothing in between. Not surprisingly, politics often uses it for a bit of rhetorical point-scoring.

Rick Santorum, the hyper-conservative former Senator from Pennsylvania who regularly says completely insane things, also has a reflective side. He nicely sums up what he considers President Obama's detachment from "the American people" (all errors in the original):
Obama is detached form the American experience.  He just doesn’t identify with the average American because of his own background.  Indonesia and Hawaii.  His view is from the viewpoint of academics and the halls of the Ivy league schools that he went to and it’s not a love of this country and an understanding of the basic values and wants and desires of it’s people.  And as a result of that, he doesn’t connect with people at that level.
So in essence, if you've had anything to do with the State of Hawaii or an Ivy League university then you're not really American. (Unless of course you're Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, Charles Krauthammer, John Ashcroft or one of the many, many other conservative bigwigs who darkened the halls of the Ivy League--then somehow your elite education does not cloud your judgment about the hoi polloi.) Last time I checked, that's not the way it works.

(Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan.)

UPDATE (29 September 2010): Amazingly, according to Newsweek, Christine O'Donnell, the batty Sarah Palin-backed Republican candidate for Senate in Delaware, has claimed to have studied at both Princeton and Oxford. Of course neither is true and she only got her bachelor's degree last year. The incident shows how even those who most vociferously oppose academic elitism are in thrall to it (in the same way that it cannot be coincidence that so many anti-gay preachers have been caught carrying on same-sex affairs with parishioners and rentboys).

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