There is an element of the "wannabe" about all this—something that suggests that, if the clock were to be rolled back, every living white person would now automatically stand with John Brown at Harper's Ferry and with John Lewis at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. All the evidence we have is to the contrary: Abraham Lincoln ringingly denounced John Brown, and John F. Kennedy (he of the last young and pretty family to occupy the Executive Mansion) was embarrassed and annoyed by the March on Washington. In other words, there is something pain-free and self-congratulatory about the Obama surge. This has happened before, of course, with the high-sounding talk about the "New Frontier," the "Great Society," and "Morning in America." It's just that this time it's more than usually not affordable. There are many causes of the subprime and derivative horror show that has destroyed our trust in the idea of credit, but one way of defining it would be to say that everybody was promised everything, and almost everybody fell for the populist bait.
In the 1930s, it was the intellectuals who pooh-poohed the dangers from the rise of Hitler and urged Western disarmament.
It would be no feat to fill a big book with all the things on which intellectuals were grossly mistaken, just in the 20th century-- far more so than ordinary people.
History fully vindicates the late William F. Buckley's view that he would rather be ruled by people represented by the first 100 names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard.
How have intellectuals managed to be so wrong, so often? By thinking that because they are knowledgeable-- or even expert-- within some narrow band out of the vast spectrum of human concerns, that makes them wise guides to the masses and to the rulers of the nation.
But the ignorance of Ph.D.s is still ignorance and high-IQ groupthink is still groupthink, which is the antithesis of real thinking.
Well, Obama hadn’t been president-elect for more than 72 hours before he suggested that auto-industry executives descending on Washington to plead for a bailout might get it. Can we save corporate dinosaurs that have been mismanaged for decades? Yes, we can!
In response to: Abbreviated Pundit Round-Up