The best read of the weekend was a New York Times opinion column. No, I’m not kidding.
Not only did token conservative Ross Douthat blow the lid on the self-perpetuating elitism of the Ivy League, he did it in the pages of the elites’ favorite Sunday morning newspaper.
Susan Patton, the Princeton alumna who became famous for her letter urging Ivy League women to use their college years to find a mate, has been denounced as a traitor to feminism, to coeducation, to the university ideal. But really she’s something much more interesting: a traitor to her class.
Although the column was exceptional, my favorite part was the horrified reaction of Times readers in the comment section. Mockery of the "Well, I never!” responses made for an entertaining Sunday on Twitter. The outrage provided keen insight into the minds of elitist liberals, who Thomas Sowell calls “the anointed.”
Below is a sampling of the reactions, presented just as they appeared on the New York Times site. The paper shutdown the comments section before noon, perhaps to spare their readers any further embarrassment.
What I would like to ask Mr. Douthat is, can you think of any other reason besides elitist snobbism, that a PhD in philosophy might not marry or be close friends with, an auto mechanic. Could it be that they wouldn't have anything to talk about? Or even a lowly English major trying to share his/her love of literature with an uneducated bank teller. How about a mathematics professor sharing his life with a beautician? I in no way wish to disparage any of the professions I mentioned…
Oh, of course not. Many of the commenters mockingly conflated matriculation to a certain school with “smart.”
Some of the responses sounded like conservatives making fun of pretentious academics.
Sorry, I nodded off there for a minute.
Some people in the comments thought that Douthat (and I on Twitter) were somehow insulting all Ivy Leaguers. Far from it. I would have loved the opportunity and I appreciate those who excelled there.
The problem arises when certain members of that group assume that their diploma makes them a better person than those without one. This is the academic version of the “we-know-what’s-best-for-you” attitude of the current leadership in Washington, D.C. Despite their lofty credentials, the “best and brightest” have made quite a hash of things.
Instead of demeaning everyday Americans, the anointed could learn a few skills. A self-employed plumber could teach them how to balance a checkbook. A weekend soccer coach will show them how to get kids to work together toward a common goal. An office manager can point out that if she creates a mountain of red tape, productivity will plummet.
It’s time our leaders put a higher value on common sense than they do on “proper breeding.”