Hatred of the Good

 Posted by on 16 May 2008 at 4:53 pm  Culture, Politics
May 162008


I’m going to talk a little politics now, but nothing I say should be taken as an endorsement, nor should approval of one isolated aspect or policy of a candidate be taken as agreement with or approval of anything else about him or her.

I’ve become a bit of political junkie this election year because of the historic demographics of the Democratic party candidates. It has been informative, usually painfully so.

I took a hit watching television this morning as Pat Buchannan and Katrina Vandenheuvel discussed the problem of the “elitist” label that Barack Obama has been fighting. The accusation of “elitism” has been political Kryptonite, so this is serious stuff.

Buchanan said Obama reeked of Harvard Law Review, or something to that effect (Obama is a past President of the Harvard Law Review). Vandenheuvel pointed out that President Bush went to Yale and Harvard Business School. Buchanan laughed, shook his head, and replied derisively, “But Bush was helped through Yale and Harvard!”

The clear implication being that the fact that President Bush didn’t earn admission into an Ivy League school, while Obama had earned it, meant that his alma mater couldn’t be used to tag Bush as an “elite” the same way it could be hurled as an accusation at Obama.

So down is officially up — to demonstrate that someone has earned a value is to indict him for it.

Not that I haven’t been aware all along that the “elitism” issue is perverted, in that it turns what should be an achievement into a slur. This morning’s exchange was just so close to an explicit denunciation of the good for being the good that it blew my hair back.

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