The Emperor Has No Clothes

I honestly believe that the American model of government is flawed, failed, outmoded for one very simple reason: a person with no formal training or expertise but a lot of charisma can become president – which makes as much sense as going to a witch doctor for a cure instead of a board certified physician. For all his short-comings Nixon passed the bar exam and could read financial statements.

I just recently learned that the practice of OSTRACISM was introduced into the democratic cities of ancient Greece PRECISELY so that any citizen who is getting too popular and charismatic could be BANNED for 10 years to prevent them from usurping power. Now we have the reverse. The best media whore gets to lead the nation. And they get on all the talk shows.

But the real issue to me is…. no matter how smart someone is or how much they read or care about brain surgery… would you WANT them to perform brain surgery upon you without all the training and certification that goes into becoming a brain surgeon? The idea that someone/ anyone with only a high GPA and some flair for business could charismatically rise up through the ranks of public popularity and become a world leader is to me fundamentally flawed. Someone once commented that each and every military general is a professional historian who has studied every battle from Thucydides through the Civil War to Vietnam. Consider the process which produced histories fine generals. What is even more flawed and broken to me is the idea that any single individual regardless of training or credentials could save or destroy a nation. I don’t KNOW what the answer is because I am a basically stupid person will very little formal training. What I do sense is that “the emperor has no clothes” and I am the only average twit who has become aware of this and made some mention of it. Andy Warhol is said to be famous for transforming art from a lone starving artist in a garret into a Corporate enterprise employing 200 people. Yet the Presidency seems stuck in that 18th century paradigm of the lone artist. Even McCain’s rhetoric about being a “rogue” and a “maverick” bring to mind the image of some wild beast incapable of the cooperative effort necessary to haul logs in a teakwood forest or plow the north 40 field.

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What utterly BLOWS my mind is that large segments of America LOVE to portray themselves as Jesus loving Bible-based Christians and YET a tiny, bizarre cult like Skull and Bones at Yale, where the do God only knows what with the stolen bones of Geronimo (clearly demonic practices) … that such a weird group should produce so many of the nation’s influential leaders. And G.W. Bush willingly did all that sh!t and then sobs about how he gave his life to Jesus one day while strolling along the beach with NO LESS than Rev. Billy Graham himself. How is Skull and Bones any different from the worship of Moloch? Yale finally came out of the dark ages in the 60s when they became co-ed. When are they going to demolish Skull and Bones. Kingman Brewster earned immortal fame from saying no to them on tap day and a total of nine have declined the “honor” I believe.

James:
I think it is a liberal conceit to imagine that Republican Presidents like Eisenhower, Reagan, and George W. Bush, were stupid. You just don’t get to that level in politics being stupid. Nancy Reagan said that ‘Ronnie was always reading, and always thinking about history and politics'[I paraphrase]. George W. had a mediocre GPA at Yale, but it was higher than John Kerry’s. And stupid people don’t make it through Harvard Business School. Eisenhower, of course, was the organizational genius who won the Second World War. It hurts Democrats to describe Republican leaders like these as stupid.

Another gripe I have with the Democratic party is their insistence that ‘we just didn’t explain our policies well’. No, the people didn’t like the policies, and that’s why a Revolution is happening on Tuesday.

I don’t think those who describe the Democratic party as elitist are criticizing them for being educated. They’re criticizing them for a monolithic worldview inculcated at elite institutions of learning such as the Ivy League. About ninety percent of the faculty at such places describe themselves as Democrats. Views that help one get along, whether as student or professor, tend to be Democratic views. Taxing Republicans, who are overrepresented among small business owners, is usually considered a righteous part of Nature’s plan. I might add, at the risk of pointing out the obvious, that the rise of Big Government and the Welfare State since WW2 has been a tremendous jobs program for highly educated white people, and, in recent years, for well educated minorities too.

Two books published in the 1990s explain how things came to this pass. One ‘The Bell Curve’, was written by two Harvard professors who apparently didn’t get the political correctness memo. It was roundly condemned for somehow justifying racism, but in fact the book is mostly about the role of IQ in changing social structures. I suggest reading it, rather than listening to its many critics who haven’t read it. The other is Christopher Lasch’s post-humously published, ‘The Revolt of the Elites’. It is about the rise of symbol manipulating intelligentsia and the threat to Democracy. Lasch described very clearly, twenty years ago, the conflict which we will see played out at the ballot box on Tuesday.

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Barbara:

I’ve been at a lot of institutions. Never seen one dominated by Democrats. That’s a self-serving fiction. So is the belief that big govt. somehow dates from the 20th century, whether WWII (as here) or the more commonly invoked ND. The “small business owner” is far more endangered by the Republican agenda that serves corporate consolidation than he is by taxes, which are fairly small compared to the rest of the world. Witness how many small business owners actually move to Somalia, which is of course a deregulated heaven for capitalism.

Fortune:
What is this “monolithic world view” taught at “Ivy League institutions?” These are all conservative institutions – the administration is largely highly conservative, with only a few loud liberal faculty, usually. And thopse faculty are ignored by everyone but sensationalists. It seems to me that those who talk about the “Ivy League” like this haven’t actually gone there. The days of “God and Man at Yale” or whatever disappeared during the Reagan years. These schools are now solely by the rich, for the rich – complete welfare for the rich. Who tend to be conservative. Just my observation from actually being around these places.

William:
From my sorry, distant vantage point our entire system of governance seems like A CRAP SHOOT. Supreme Court Justices cling to their post for dear life until a President of their liking can get into office and appoint a replacement to their liking. And that appointee reigns until the Almighty Himself deigns to smite them with decrepitude. Does no one else see this as a ludicrous and inane system? What would make MORE sense to me is if a COLLEGE of justices were formed who would serve as a highly trained POOL from which to draw Justices. They would listen to each and every case and write their own opinions prior to the court ruling. One year after each case those opinions would be open to an examination and criticism by judicial peers who would grade and comment. One year after that critiquing the “virtual decisions” of that college of justices would enter into public domain and be perused by students of the law and the general public. THEN, when a justice needs to be replaced there is a highly trained pool of excellent candidates whose predilections are a matter of indelible public record. How would such a system be any WORSE than the non-system presently in place.
I should think such a system would be far more efficient. Oh and by the way PLEASE OUTLAW the absurd practice of filibuster. Have you NO SHAME? If you insist on something like filibuster then I suggest you substitue JUGGLING so at least there will be some skill and amusement to the process and “dropping the ball” will have an entirely new meaning.

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