Most of the really big problems in the world are caused by the smartest guys in the room. Having a high intellectual rpm is not necessarily a good thing. This grim reality reminds me of William F. Buckley’s famous comment about responsible governance.
“I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.”
Some might say he was speaking hyperbolically. I don’t think so, but even if he was, if I said it, I wouldn’t be.
The ruling elites have a deep set of pathologies going, and many of them have by now manifested themselves as severely dysfunctional. But one of their pathologies that still works on a lot of people is their ability to act convincingly like they are still the arbiters of cool.
In a recent post about Sarah Palin, this comment came up in the thread, and I thought it worth repeating here. The word cool-shamed in there is worth a million dollars. Grab that word, study it, and when you are done you will understand why conservatives with nuance-ability are so good at pedaling backwards.
“The shrill left approach is effective, though, when it comes to people easily embarrassed or cool-shamed. I think a lot of hard conservative types aren’t willing to associate with things generally liked by mainstream red-staters who lack nuance. To them, liking Palin is similar to openly liking The Blind Side or Fireproof. Being seen to have unsophisticated tastes (even by one’s enemies) is just too much to bear . . . the last thing we need is a leader with nuance. We need the right principles, black and white vision, and an inability to feel fear (or poll pressure).”
We don’t need sophisticated economics. We need people who understand the difference between bigger numbers and smaller numbers. We don’t need nuance in race relations. We need to judge people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. We don’t need wise men who manage an endless series of nation-building wars. We need our wars to be purposive, rare, and short. We don’t need a candidate who wins the grudging respect of the professional left. We need a candidate who has an uncanny ability to set them all off as barking mad. In sum, this means we need a candidate who is embarrassing to the conservative establishment.
As for me, I would rather do a sweep of Tea Party rallies and be governed by the first 400 people we found wearing Uncle Sam hats than by the faculty of Harvard.