The War on Elites

Anti-elitism has become a conventional explanation for what is motivating the electorate in 2016 .

Let’s think about that.

An online dictionary defines “elite” as “something prestigious or the best of the best. An example of elite is an Olympic athlete. Another definition is “The group or part of a group selected or regarded as the finest, best, most distinguished, most powerful, etc.”

The use of Olympic athletes as an example is particularly ironic; right now, millions of Americans are glued to televised Olympic competitions, and I’d bet a considerable amount of money that none of them is rooting for our teams to demonstrate less “elitism.”

In fact, I think there are two pervasive–and very different– American attitudes that get lumped–improperly– into the “anti-elitist” category.

Americans are increasingly critical of the misuse of money and power to the detriment of democratic processes that might otherwise ameliorate or solve our social problems. This attitude powered Bernie Sanders’ campaign; it explains the large following that Elizabeth Warren has amassed. It is not anti-elite, however; it is anti-corporatist, anti-oligarchy. It offers a critique of the current power structure that is likely to grow and eventually trigger policy changes that will improve the life prospects for poor and middle-class Americans.

The second attitude that is routinely lumped into the anti-elitist narrative is anti-intellectualism–an attitude that has long been America’s Achilles heel. Suspicion of “pointy-headed” intellectuals has ebbed and flowed through our country’s history; that attitude is responsible for a widespread rejection of science, the arts, and the humanities, among other negative consequences.

An article in Psychology Today addressed Americans’shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism.

There has been a long tradition of anti-intellectualism in America, unlike most other Western countries. Richard Hofstadter, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his book, Anti-Intellectualism In American Life, describes how the vast underlying foundations of anti-elite, anti-reason and anti-science have been infused into America’s political and social fabric. Famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once said: “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”…

Journalist Charles Pierce, author of Idiot America, adds another perspective: “The rise of idiot America today represents–for profit mainly, but also and more cynically, for political advantage in the pursuit of power–the breakdown of a consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good. It also represents the ascendancy of the notion that the people whom we should trust the least are the people who best know what they are talking about. In the new media age, everybody is an expert.”

When a society elevates anger over understanding, shows contempt for knowledge, dismisses the importance of competence, and prefers entertainment to substantive discussion, we wind up with political candidates like Donald Trump–and a government that no longer functions in the public interest.


  1. Well, you certainly outdid yourself today! This is your best ever!

    All of this plays out continually in Indiana. Sadly, the anti-intellectuals control way too much of our lives here.

  2. The problem with supporting a Man Baby like Trump is that his supporters are likely Man Babies as well.

  3. Thanks to Sheila and Theresa at this early morning hour.

    “Intellectual: of or relating to the intellect or its use, developed or chiefly guided by the intellect rather than emotion or experience.”

    “Intelligence: the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations, the skilled use of reason.”

    These two terms should be interconnected but these skills seem to have gotten lost in the power and financial struggles to control all power and do it by having the most money.

    I held highly educated people in high esteem till working with and for them for years; those who maintained my respect were those who understood that all knowledge was NOT contained between the covers of books and knew the difference between knowledge and understanding the human condition and public interest. Being educated does not always mean intelligent or intellectual.

    This country’s fascination and support of Donald Trump defies all reason; there is no intellectual or intelligence level, no amount of reason, knowledge or understanding of the human condition or their needs today. Those who appear most in need of help support him. There is only anger, hostility, racism, bigotry, anti- a long list of entire groups of Americans and support of violence to control those who disagree. On Friday I watched Trump campaign workers come up with numerous excuses for his out of control behavior – and mouth – and all voiced in their own words the earlier comment by one of his minions, “Donald will always be Donald.” Anti-intellectualism and anti-intelligence is certainly interconnected with the current GOP’s full support of an obviously mentally unbalanced man and the vast number of the public working against their own public interest defies explanation. It also instills fear in those of us who see and understand the outcome of this horror show if Trump and Pence take the White House.

  4. Excuse for my “throwing more wood into the fire,” but don’t you think some of the anti-intellectualism might also have to do with something called, I believe, anti-Semitism, which seems to a very hot comodity right now? Or am I just an ALARMIST?

    I remember back when I was practicing law in East Texas, I was trial counsel for a defendant who had killed the victim by shooting him in the back while he was walking away from an argument. The lead prosecutor implied to the jury that they should disregard my closing argument since I was an “East Coast Elitist.” What was he trying to say? Any takers on that one?

    By the way it backfired on him. He should have done more homework. My wife’s great-grandfather was the first attorney to practice law in the adjoining county. When the jury heard that retort, they punished the prosecutor, who by the way had moved to Greenville from New Jersey, with a Not Guilty verdict for my client.

    Anti-Semitism is a powerful weapon. But, you better make sure you know how and when to use it. Someone should have explained that beforehand to the Egyptian judo athletes the other day at the Olympics. Maybe even Donald Trump and the Republican Party could use a little re-education.

  5. JoAnn,

    “On Friday I watched Trump campaign workers come up with numerous excuses for his out of control behavior – and mouth – and all voiced in their own words the earlier comment by one of his minions, “Donald will always be Donald.”

    How long do you think it will take for Pence to convince Trump that all he needs is a little of Pence’s “old time religion.” SINNERS like Trump seem to always find it right at the last minute
    so that all will be forgiven. Let’s be fair, why should Donald Trump be treated any differently?

  6. Throw in Marv’s anti-Semitism, a large scoop of racism, and another scoop of nationalism with all the above and you’ve got the recipe for Donald Trump as the 2016 GOP Residential candidate. The GOP has been using that formula to build its coalition since 1968. What we’re observing is the dismantling of today’s GOP coalition. The question for me is: which groups join the Democratic Party and which groups stay with the GOP? One thing for sure, in my mind, is that the intellectual elites of the GOP ( Paul Ryan, William Kristol, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, David Brooks, etc.) no longer have a party.

  7. Our anti-intellectualism seems more pronounced these days. We wear our ignorance with a pride that is dangerous to a civilized society.

  8. A big part of the problem is that even those of us who are well educated and recognize that anti intellectualism is a loosing path don’t have the information to recognize when corporatism in the form of the insertion of corporate shills into the decision making apparatus of the government (e.g. in the revolving door between the major banks and the Fed and other agencies regulating the banks) are making bad decisions on our behalf (but good decisions for their corporate masters). The anti intellectuals are right to be mad, but they mad at the wrong people. They can’t see that the problem isn’t so much intellectuals as it is cronyism.

  9. Sandy,

    “The GOP has been using that formula to build its coalition since 1968.”

    You’re absolutely right, and that recipe has been a proven winner every time. When Al Gore lost to George Bush #2, everyone including the press blamed it on the re-count. “Bullshit.” The week preceding the election Billy Graham brought his “old time religion” to Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville for one week. They were packed in the stands as well as the seating on the grass. We’re talking about something close to 500,000 people who then went back to their communities and voted for the President of the United States a few days later ALONG with their friends and families all through the State of Florida.

    To make matters worse, one or two days days before the election the Reverend Billy Graham spoke over the Florida News Network carried by most of the radio outlets in the state. He explained while being interviewed, that he was speaking as an individual, not as a minister, and that he was going to VOTE FOR GEORGE BUSH #2. The TV stations in the state then further relayed the message.

    The Democratic Party knew a YEAR in advance and did nothing, nothing, nothing to offset the Republican Party’s advantage. Does anyone who is still in their right state of mind believe that a like RECIPE OF SUCCESS won’t be attempted again? And that the Democratic Party will do a “damn thing about it.”

  10. I’m with JoAnn on the educated class not necessarily being intelligent or intellectual. Many in universities are isolated from reality, and lack remote common sense. Their egos believe since they’ve mastered a topic, they’re masters of all topics.

    As for the conservative group think, I’ve watched them since the development of the anti-government Tea Party. Remember who John McCain chose as his Veep candidate? When I get depressed, I check out YouTube interviews of Sarah Palin. A great remedy for the blues.

    The Tea Party has evolved to include Evangelicals, so the anti-science or anti-intellectualism label was added.

    Because Fox News is their media of choice, they believe all other media is part of a giant conspiracy to support the government. When Roger Ailles wasn’t preying on female staff members, he was concocting a grand conservative branding of Fox News – “the fair and balanced” news option.

    Over years of evolution, the group think has expanded to include many segments who believe our country is being destroyed by _______________.

    President Obama had a chance, or an obligation, to tell the world about the real causes of the financial implosion of 2007-08 when he took office. He ran as a progressive – not a liberal.

    He had a chance to set the course for progressives and firmly replant the American left. He had a chance to inform the global community about the root causes of our financial meltdown…point to Wall Street, capitalism, corporatism, or pure unbridled greed of the executive class and their conspirators – the political class.

    He whiffed

    I’d say after watching this last primary election and reading the #DNCleaks, I can firmly say I know why he choose not to point his finger at Wall Street.

    However, his dishonesty created the conservative “anti-” movement. Donald Trump doesn’t bother me…the next person who follows Donald is the person we should worry about.

  11. Nice article. Let me add that the do nothing Congress of “No!” certainly contributes to the public’s attitude. The folks who create gridlock in Wash. are the first to claim the gov’t can’t get anything done and needs change. Reports of brain eating alien bugs infecting decision makers in DC starts to f’ing true..?

  12. Todd,

    “However, his dishonesty created the conservative “anti-“movement. Donald Trump doesn’t bother me…the next person who follows Donald is the person we should worry about.”

    Obama never had a chance, they were waiting for him the day he took office. “He caused the anti-movement.” Are you really serious?

    “Why shouldn’t we worry about Donald Trump?” I guess, you must be worried about Hillary Clinton.

  13. Marv; in the “too close to call” 2000 presidential election, with close counts nationwide – why was Florida, with George W’s baby brother Jeb the governor – the only state to do the recount? Can’t blame that one on anti-Semitism; did God only have his eyes on Florida that November? I was living in Port Richey, FL at the time and the media was reporting a different outcome with much bogus voter purging.

  14. JoAnn,

    Where was I blaming anti-Semitism for Gore being defeated? Billy Graham has been charged with anti-Semitic statements before, but where did I bring that up? The only blame I’ve put forth this morning is with the Democratic Party and it didn’t have anything to do with religion. It had to do with cowardice. That’s all.

  15. Oh boy! This is another great set of observations. Thank you Sheila!

    But, but – we who comment through this blog are in danger of losing a very important point and, sadly, maybe inadvertantly, feeding the ‘anti-‘ crowd. For want of a clearer juxtaposirion, consider a deep meaning for ‘education’ and ‘training’ the latter is about learning a skill, hopefully a marketable one. The former is about learning to think about what is underneath any skill and what it means and/or does in a particular context. Please, please, do not let yourself believe that there is any important difference between knowledge detailed in books and that gained from other sources. Statements like yours above, sorry JoAnn, function as a dog whistle for the ‘anti-s’ among us who wrongly conflate book-learning and school, contrast the combination with life experience, and come up with a misleadingly shallow definition of education. Book-learning is not sufficient for education, though education cannot occur without book-learning. But, I think you know this and are using a convenient negative tag to make your point, and I maintain that you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater…

    What we need is an education that allows for and encourages engagement with meaningful problems and issues, regardless of whether the meaning is personal and/or more widely based. This is NOT the acquistion of testable information! Being educated means having the courage to engage in growth at every level and context – public and private. This is one of the deep sadnesses of your country’s apparent refusal to consider what science could contribute to the greater good – the loss of the idea that thinking is valuable in itself.

    It is early enough out here that I can now go back to sleep – have a good day all!!!

  16. I just shared on Sheila’s Facebook page a video on a college campus…the video shows a woman randomly asking fellow students some history questions….one of those questions was who won the Civil War….not a single person could answer that one correctly. One girl didn’t know we had a Civil War, one thought we were referring to ‘whatever’ happened in the 60’s and two boys of color thought it was the Confederates. Nobody knew when the USA Independence was or which country we had to fight to get it….she even asked who is our Vice President which prompted one college student to ask if this was a ‘trick question’. Only one girl got it close…she kept thinking John and when the reporter said Joe she then said Joe Biden.

  17. Marv; I wasn’t referring to anti-Semitism regarding Gore’s defeat, you have referred to that reasoning for a number of political problems. I, like Trump, made an attempt at being facetious but evidently missed the mark…again like Trump. I still question why Florida did the only recount in the 2000 presidential election?

  18. JoAnn,

    I thought you were being facetious, but it was hard to tell. My mistake. By now, we know each other pretty well. I just didn’t want Anti-Semitism to be taken out of plain view. It’s been covered-up way too long. It’s always there, but in some instances in can be the overriding factor to everyone’s detriment.

  19. JoAnn,

    “I still question why Florida did the only recount in the 2000 presidential election?”

    Good point. It probably has to do with why you think that is. And I’d bet you are probably right. Buddy MacKay who lost in the governor’s race to Jeb Bush was my “Big Brother” in the legal fraternity I belonged to at the University of Florida. He was really the last realistic Democratic Party contender for the governorship in Florida.

  20. I too fear that part of anti-intellectualism comes from the comparison of common sense and education. I equate common sense to what our senses inform our brain about the world around us, our environment and our culture. When one adds to that information that comes from books and lectures and debates, essentially what others have learned and passed on it becomes education.

    Education never makes you less informed although it can make one less balanced, too often seeing the world through filters colored but what one is educated in.

    When I hear for instance much climate science denial it is informed by common sense which just happens to be wrong. It’s plausible but just not the way things are.

    Sheila points out all of the time logical assumptions about the Constititution and other law that could be true but just aren’t.

    Education usually but not always relates to schooling. Self education is possible but claimed more often than accomplished.

    And education is not achieved in all fields by studying one field.

    Problems confusing common sense and education can be ameliorated by the application of a simple concept; the words “I don’t know”, the most powerful motivators towards education in our arsenal.

  21. I usually don’t respond to comments, but I have to add a point most people seem to be missing. Folks back here in the East Tennessee mountains disdain intellectuals because they are perceived as arrogant, their feces doesn’t stink, condescending people who propose ivory tower solutions to down in the dirt problems. Everybody has heard the old saw, “I’m from the guberment and I’m here to hep you.” Their is a lot of truth to that and the people on the receiving end of that help resent it. If intellectuals want respect from the average people they have to lose their arrogance and learn a little humility.

  22. Knowledge, intelligence, education, awareness or experience (you can add others) is how we make judgements on other people, situations or events. I suspect Einstein probably did not know the line up for the Yankees 1927 Murders Row, yet millions of schools children would have. I suppose what you think you need to know depends on your perspective.

    The Best and the Brightest was a book written by David Halberstam about the Vietnam War and the catastrophic decisions by these people to go to war. The Best and the Brightest all had sterling academic pedigrees. Yet the Best and Brightest along with Presidents and Congress made a serious of decisions that would result in millions of dead, wounded and missing in S.E. Asia.

    One of links provided has the following:
    Gallup released a poll indicating 42 percent of Americans still believe God created human beings in their present form less than 10,000 years ago;
    A 2008 University of Texas study found that 25 percent of public school biology teachers believe that humans and dinosaurs inhabited the earth simultaneously.

    It is understandable if someone who was not taught evolution and the science behind it, would be at a loss to explain it or maybe believe it. We have a great counterweight here in America, Anti-Knowledge. It is not just the Bible Thumper’s who see evolution as a grave threat to their myths and their retention of the power to enforce a certain line of thought. It is also the pandering politicians who reinforce the validity of creationism and Anti-Knowledge.

    I would like to have some reporter ask Pence if he believes in evolution, and if dinosaurs and humans coexisted.

  23. Geraldine, people naturally have pride in accomplishment. Arrogance often is in the eye of the beholder and it is often fueled by the reluctance to say “I don’t know” which is culturally taught and empowered by ego.

    One advantage of education is that it teaches that “I don’t know” is a universal human condition that can only be mitigated by education.

  24. Louie, much of the time anti-intellectualism is powered by the clear vision of retrospect compared to the tough calls of in advance, with incomplete information, and actionable compared to merely opinion.

    Monday morning quarterbacks are unbeatable.

  25. Give a listen , or two to Charlotte Iserbyt . She was Education advisor to Ronald Reagan when this mess started. Those in control are having a f3ild day with society.

  26. Todd:
    “I’m with JoAnn on the educated class not necessarily being intelligent or intellectual. Many in universities are isolated from reality, and lack remote common sense. Their egos believe since they’ve mastered a topic, they’re masters of all topics.”

    I, too, agree that being educated does not necessarily imply that one is intelligent or intellectual. But, I fear that your argument, used in a different context, sounds like a Trump battlecry for anti-elitism. While you do qualify your remarks that it is only “(m)any” in universities who are “isolated from reality, and lack remote common sense”, your implication is that the broad brush is appropriate.

    Being educated does not imply intellectualism. But, in the process of education, the student is hopefully taught to question assumptions, results, and processes. That is what science (in my personal definition) is.

    I do not know all that much. I admit that – happily. Because I KNOW that I do not know, I search for the truth and critique arguments from every side. I see “truth” in arguments on both sides of most arguments and I see problems with those arguments as well.

    As an example, I agree with Marv that anti-semitism is at play here (though I would expand his argument to include anti-everyone but people who look and pray like me). But, I believe more fundamentally that this is a game for the GOP. The game is control and they play whatever strategy that they can think of to win control. These strategies have evolved to Trumpism. Remember, the most important objectives are that businesses are unregulated and that only the poor pay taxes. At this point in history, some think that the only way that this objective can be forwarded is for Trump to be elected.

  27. Geraldine; during the late 1970’s I was secretary/house mother to a new court-ordered, in-patient rehab center for teenagers from throughout the state of Indiana. I got the job (even though only a high school dropout) because I had worked in a methadone clinic and had children with drug problems. It was a new facility ( it happened to be located in the huge old house vacated by Cognition House my son escaped from); we had to clean out the house, I had to order all office and in-patient furniture and kitchen equipment starting from scratch. The newly appointed administrator had been a public health nurse with a degree in nursing; all counselors were fresh college graduates, some with BA degrees, some with Masters in Social Work. The administrator was quite impressed with me when I showed her the filing system I had set up – in alphabetical order.

    The administrator (mother of two pre-school children) resolved all problems and rule breaking by changing the rules; this confused the patients who came to me for help to ask her to force them to obey the rules, not change them. Administrator decided the crux of the problem was that the counselors with ONLY a BA degree weren’t qualified to counsel so they got to babysit, mostly overnight Those with Masters degrees did all counseling. The administrator demanded I return my key to the confidential files and informed me I no longer had access to any of the patient’s confidential information. I was the only person who typed all confidential counseling sessions from the counselor’s hand-written notes. The counselors were careful to remind me not to read their notes as I typed them. It took the near death, two days in a row of the same patient who had overdosed but nursie insisted he told her he was just tired from being up all night after he had left the facility for two days. The near deaths and hospitalization of the boy got the attention of the medical adviser, a psychiatrist, who finally listened to any of our complaints. It was one of the counselors with ONLY a BA degree but knowledge and training in CPR that saved the boy’s life two days in a row.

    Intellectualism, intelligence and higher education vs. common sense, logic, experience, knowledge and awareness of public interest. The kids paid the price in this instance of putting “intellectualism and education” before knowledge and experience. The public pays for these mistakes in judgement; it doesn’t take a college degree to recognize the drug problems and the hundreds of deaths due to lack of common sense gun control…or to recognize that Donald Trump is a very dangerous fool.

  28. One of the things that most Americans are used to, and therefore feel entitled to, is a standard of living somewhere among the top 20 nations of the world.

    IMO that’s only sustainable if we maintain an education level competitive among those same nations.

    We have to earn what we have. We are not entitled to anything.

    Hard lesson for many among us to accept.

  29. Sheila bemoans here often a particular type of educational insufficiency that she calls civic illiteracy. It’s hard to argue that good citizenship doesn’t requires a level of knowledge about the foundations, history and theory of the American dream or that we as a nation don’t suffer dysfunction as a result of too little knowledge of it.

    We are who we are but millennials are still raw material to be shaped into good citizens. Encouraging education is the greatest gift that we can give them.

  30. Geraldine, I agree with you. So much of that sentiment also stems from those who probably wanted to go to school but could not afford it. I know a fair number of people who hold a fair amount of resentment to those who went to college, Jr. College…many wanted to go but affordability was a massive barrier.

    My parents couldn’t afford to send me and like so many the alternative was the military. My dad wanted me to join the military like he did. I did go to college, at times I had to work 2 jobs to pay for tuition and there were too many semesters to count where I couldn’t afford the books or other resources but I plugged along.

    I remember interviewing at Purdue for nursing and they commented on how my grades were not great. I explained how had to work full time and often couldn’t afford books, etc….I was informed that ‘working students’ were not a priority and then got a lecture that college had to be a priority. I got mad and told them that college was such a priority that I was working 2 crappy jobs to afford to go….I also informed the Purdue interviewer that with the increasing costs of college most people have to work. I then walked out… it is that type of attitude….the arrogance and ignorance displayed was beyond obnoxious. I’m glad I didn’t go to Purdue as I went somewhere better. Barnes College of Nursing at Washington University Medical Center in St Louis. They got it

  31. While there are many stories about people’s personal struggles vis a vis education I doubt if any of us has told anyone else that less educated is better for them.

  32. For Geraldine, JoAnn and Rn as well as everyone here wanting some answers to the angry white man syndrome so prevalent in the rust belt, may I recommend the book Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance?

  33. Among the most majestic of human tales are the ones about immigrants who arrive at their “promised land” knowing that it holds no entitlements, only hope and possibility, things that can be earned, and they set about earning.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could implant that belief among all young Americans.

  34. “Aging Girl” is onto something. “Man baby” is the best descriptor yet for Donald Trump.

  35. We have been having anti-elitism since Socrates sampled the hemlock, and yet we have seen examples of where it has been welcomed in Greek history, e.g., the recruitment and mentoring of Alexander the Great by Aristotle, who had little to do with his pupil’s conquering the then known world but a lot to do with building one of the wonders of the ancient world, the great library at Alexandria. There are smart and dumb people in both the under-educated and elite ranks and no party has a monopoly of such people. Lest we forget, George Wallace was a Democrat at one point in time, and Adlai Stevenson was a Democrat as well, while Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican as were Reagan and Bush, Jr., speaking of vast differences in intellectual ranges of candidates of political parties.

  36. There is one other element that tends to exacerbate the problems of anti-intellectualism in general. Intellectual elites, if you will, value questioning. We wish to teach people to think and to question. Saying “I don’t know” is acceptable and we hope it leads to more questioning.

    This is scary as hell. We are being asked to be experts on too many things and the world is changing rapidly. Erich Fromm’s “Escape from Freedom” was first published in 1941 and his insights are still true today. The certainty that the “anti-elitist” proponents offer is comforting. If you are feeling let out, ignored, and frightened by all of the change, you are offered certainty, reassurance and a handy target (The Elitists) – no thinking, no questioning, no uncertainty. That feels so much better.

  37. I’m not especially concerned with anti-intellectualism, but rather, I’m more concerned with pseudo-intellectualism.

  38. To me “pseudo-intellectualism” implies ignorance obscured. I suppose that it differs from ignorance by bring dysfunctional rather than unfunctional.

    It’s a challenge in climate science in that it leads to irretractible denial of reality being easily spread.

  39. A environment that encourages contempt for education and competence Is the soil where narcissism can flourish. It’s not far from “I’m as good as you are” to “I’m better than you are”, and instead of respecting knowledge and informed opinion, that proceeds to contempt and ruinous delusions. A friend who was teaching in a for-profit university made a statement about the area in which he was teaching. A student asked if it was a fact or his opinion. My friend stated “It is both”.

    An environment where contempt for competence has grown leads to narcissism that undermines the society. Narcissism will destroy the values that keep the republic afloat.

  40. On-line dictionary transcribers are not authorities on words meanings intelligently, “elite” being a simple meaning modifier, not an identity factor of any kind. We have many essays and stories to submit in our lives for grades and then for payments once per signature and dateline per employer of our signature and Official Name since DOB records were opened by a Health officer at least 21 years older than your ledger line entry — since 1790 only, an only property by property kept at the office site. Webster’s, even Greek letter houses have records of “elite” longer than Commerce officials do in Americans’ proper names, not membership corporations where they receive payments for their labor sales. Where is Indiana’s up-to-date Statehood history on-line? Through .com? Like textbooks?

  41. Okay, again…we ought to pioneer a new word to take the place of education in discussions such as this…maybe just adding the modifier “pseudo”, or, to be stylish, “faux”…

    JoAnn and others, I believe that when you speak of poorly behaving individuals who through their privileged positions (gained through appeals to others JUST like them) use their enhanced status as the pseudo/faux educated to do whatever damage they can wherever they can in the name of imagined superiority, you dangerously malign the idea of education as an aid to thinking and as a social good. I wish you would stop it. Education and common sense are NOT mutually exclusive, they are necessary to each other. The people you describe are bullies who have somehow got through school (see “assessed by others JUST like them”), they are not educated and neither do they have any common sense!

    Temporary end of rant…

  42. NVL,

    “Temporary end of rant”

    I believe you make a very good point. However, I believe JoAnn in her own way, is also trying to make a very good point. It looks like a “tie” to me.

  43. Phyllis Holden; I’m going to jump in here because I am not the only one who has been totally confused by all but 1 or 2 of your comments. They are all in English and correctly spelled; cannot tell if punctuation is correct due to the inarticulate content of the sentences and confusing subject matter. I hesitated commenting before because I do not want to embarrass you if you have a disability causing these disjointed, meaningless comments. The inability to understand your comments was questioned by another commenter not log ago but I didn’t see a response. If you have a physical or visual disability; I do offer my heartfelt apology.

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