Monday, November 15, 2004

Validation by Defeat

If Democrats are losing elections then it can only be because the people are not smart enough.

Even while John Kerry was making blunder after blunder during his campaign and making a mess out of its management the meme was being propagated in the mainstream press that he was too smart for most people to properly understand. That he didn't poll well and eventually lost the election was, to them, just more evidence of the stupidity of ordinary Americans.

From George Will:

It is passing strange. As the American public has become more educated, American intellectuals have become more disparaging of the public's intellectual incapacities and moral shortcomings. In 1940, more than half of the U.S. population had only an eighth-grade education, or less. Now that 85 percent are high-school graduates, 53 percent have some college education and 27 percent are college graduates, it is an article of faith among the progressive intelligentsia that the public is becoming increasingly obtuse, bigoted and superstitious.

There was a time—say, from the early 1930s to the mid-1960s, the period of the Democratic Party's ascendancy—when progressives thought their job was to increase the material well-being of ordinary Americans. It is not mere coincidence that the Democratic Party's strength has waned as its intellectuals' disapproval of ordinary Americans has waxed.