Monday, September 27, 2010

Dumbing Down The Elections

I find it interesting how we as a society seem to be against our politicians being elitist lately. That is, we're against those in politics coming across as ivory-tower academics of the intelligencia. We, the People, it seems, prefer our leaders to be of the people, elected to office by the average Joe and Jane from among the unwashed masses. We prefer the candidate we would rather sit down and have a beer with.

The reason I find this so interesting is that it openly admits that we want our standards for our leaders dumbed down. We don't want the smartest, the most educated, the most studious and the most intellectual to be our leaders. We don't want the smart ones at the helm. We prefer commonality over excellence.

Obviously, what stuns me about this is that those who advocate this are openly stating how they want those running things to be dumber, less educated, and less intellectual. Then, after having said it, they parade this opinion about themselves as if it's somehow some sort of truism we can all agree with. "Elitist, Ivory-tower, out-of-touch," they say.

Seriously? You honestly don't want the brightest bulbs in the chandelier? You prefer the duller knives in your drawer? You'd rather have two bricks short in your load and be satisfied with two fries shy of the Happy Meal?

It's official: The lunatics are running the asylum.

Case in point, take the current race for Wisconsin Governor between Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Barrett has a B.A. in Economics from UW-Madison, and a Juris Doctorate from UW Law School. He's a member of Phi Beta Kappa. You know, exactly the qualifications we ought to be looking for in a Governor. Scott Walker, by contrast, graduated from Delavan-Darian High School, and then attended Marquette University, but apparently did not graduate, as his own campaign website fails to brag that he did so. He left college to work for IBM.

The contrast between these two could not be more stark. True, IBM is no mere blue-collar job to have on your resume, but not graduating is not graduating. He was not a supervisor at IBM, but merely an employee. An associates degree would at least be something, but we don't even have a brag of that on Walker's campaign website. And working for IBM, as every Dilbert fan knows, is hardly an exercise in being in touch with reality! And these days, one needs at least a bachelor's degree to qualify for any kind of a supervisory job, wheter it be a mere school teacher, or the foreman for your local garbage men. Being a County Supervisor is exactly the sort of job one could have while returning to school part time, but Walker chose to shun academia during his tenure. And this guy thinks his lack of study qualifies him to be governor? Maybe so in 1910, but not in 2010! No way!

Let's only briefly touch on the fact that Barrett has the courage to stand up to wife-beating thugs armed with tire irons, while Walker doesn't have the courage to even go back to class!

Walker is currently leading Barrett 53% to 42% among likely voters according to a CNN/Time poll.

We're living in the fucking Twilight Zone, I swear!

Russ Feingold vs. Ron Johnson is an entirely different case. Feingold has two B.A.'s and is a Rhodes Scholar who went to Oxford. He received his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. Johnson, by contrast, is also well educated, but achieved this without scholarships by working his way through school. He is one thesis paper short of an MBA, having forestalled that final step to go into business with his brother-in-law. What amazes me in this instance isn't the contrast in education, because even though I think Feingold has a clear edge, these two seem about even. What gets me regarding these two is the phase-shift which takes place. Ron Johnson is a business owner. He's "the boss" of his company.

Hang on, don't we hate the boss?

Of course we hate the boss! We all hate the boss! The boss is a jerk! The boss is a blowhard! The boss is the very essence of the ivory tower elitist individual we all hate while they're giving us orders in the workplace!

Unless, that is, he happens to be a Republican running against Russ Feingold. Then he's "one of us," a "man of the people."

What an unbelievable load of bullshit! Look, if you want to vote for Johnson because he's a hardworking and upstanding guy (and I believe he is), then do so. Hell, if he didn't consistently stand for Christianity-biased violations of freedom, even I wold consider voting for him. But please don't do so because you think he's an average citizen. He hasn't been average for a very long time. He's exactly the "elitist" some of you presumably hate.

Look, I frankly don't want some average Joe running things. I want the elite in government. I want the best, and the smartest, the most well educated and the hardest working people in government. I want the cream of the crop, and damn it, I'm PROUD to say so! Our nation deserves nothing less. And everyone who is currently attacking President Obama for being an elitist, including Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, had better justify to me why they actually want a lower standard for America's leadership. I want them to explain how they can dare take this stand, and not want to crawl under a rock for shame.

Enough already with, "I want dumb like me" in politics!

Eric

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