Saturday, August 23, 2008

Who's an Elitist? McCain or Obama?

Thanks to Mike's Blog at for turning me on to this thoughtfully written site I've included their take on elitism in this country. A word wrongly used against Barack Obama in an attempt to redefine it's meaning by the Republican spinmeisters.

Elitism: Cultural or Financial? Straight Talk on McCain’s Out-of-Touch, Warped Understanding of the Economy

Republicans have been banking on the “elitist” label to tar intelligent liberals as “out-of-touch” for at least the past eight years… to the detriment of the Republic. The trick was to link intelligence and deep policy thinking to higher education, and let higher education stand as a proxy for (1) the hated university professor and (2) the money to pay for higher education, drawing on both ideological and class divides. Let Rush Limbaugh do the rest.

Somewhere along the way, though, the term lost touch with its original meaning: “elitism” was, originally, only offensive insofar as it connoted entitlement, and removal from reality. But the “financial” aspect of elitism dropped out somewhere in the Bush years, leaving “elitism” as a purely cultural theme, attributable only to intelligent liberals, confounding its original pejorative nature. Knowledge earned through hard work is hardly elitist; it’s in line with the American ideal of the self-made individual.

Now, talking down to someone who’s lost their house? Misunderstanding the troubles of those with less than 1/1000th of your net worth? Blaming individuals for a market problem? That’s elitist, out of touch, and condescending.

Read on....

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