Monday, July 22, 2013

This Explains So Much! Lots of Obama's People Graduated From Elite Colleges

I recall seeing a cartoon awhile back showing the puppet Ernie from Sesame Street at the doctor's office. Ernie and his doctor were viewing Ernie's x-ray, which showed a giant hand in Ernie's torso.
This explains so much!
Credit: Wikipedia
"This explains so much," Ernie exclaimed.

Yes, and the National Journal's recent report showing where Obama administration officials went to college also explains a lot.  Among 250 prominent officials in the Obama administration, more received a graduate degree from Oxford University (the one in England) than any American public university.

More Obama officials got  their undergraduate degrees from Harvard than any other university.  Forty percent of the 250 Obama administrators got undergraduate degrees from Ivy League schools.  And if you added the one ones who went to other elite schools--Georgetown, University of Chicago, Williams, etc--I am sure we would find that more than half of them went to exclusive private colleges.

In my opinion, this is a bad thing and goes a long way toward explaining why the country is going to hell in a hand basket.

There is a common myth that people who graduate from elite colleges received an exceptional education and acquired skills and values that will make them valuable citizens.  But I don't think that's true. In fact,many of them acquire traits and outlooks that contribute to the degradation  of American culture.

Postmodernism. Most of the people who are schooled at our elite institutions are thoroughly indoctrinated  into the culture of postmodernism.  And what are the characteristics of postmodernism? Secularism (atheism); individualism (selfishness);  and relativism, the cynical worldview that there are no ultimate truths.

Without a moral compass to guide their lives, our postmodern elitists gravitate toward an obsessive drive for recognition, power, and gratification, which is portrayed so powerfully in the recent movie, The Ides of March.  In the beginning of the movie, the main character, played by Ryan Gosling, is a political idealist, but by the end he is a cynical, power-driven schemer, just like all the other political figures in the movie.

Provincialism. I received a doctorate from Harvard Graduate School of Education, which admittedly is the least prestigious school at Harvard; and so I won't say my experience was typical. Nevertheless, I was astonished by the provincialism of the people I met while I was at HGSE.

Most of them had only a hazy idea about United States history or geography. I think I could have given them a child's puzzle map of the United States and most of them would not have been able to put the states in their proper places.

We see this elite regionalism displayed when we look at where Obama's top advisers grew up. According to the National Journal report, half of the top people on Obama's second-administration team grew up in the Northeast corridor (including Maryland and Virginia) or oversees. Only 12 percent of his top people are from the South.

Racism and Bigotry. I also encountered a lot of racism and bigotry during the years I was at Harvard. Not the hard kind of bigotry that is stereotypically displayed in movies about the South, but a soft kind. People in my classes would make offhand remarks about the insensitivity of white males--the same people who would be sure to use the term "mentally challenged" instead of "retarded" when talking about people of limited intelligence.

And the obsession with affirmative action that infests our elite colleges is often nothing more than a thinly disguised contempt for working class white people. It would be one thing if affirmative action benefited a poor white kid who grew up in the Delta country of Arkansas without regard to race , but so often the beneficiary of affirmative action is a minority person who attended an elite private high school.

And bigotry toward Catholicism at our elite colleges? Hey, let's not go there. I've talked about that already.

Not Problem Solvers

It would be OK if Obama's top advisers all came from Harvard or some other elite school if these people were smarter than the rest of us.  But they are not.

Indeed, if Obama's advisers are so smart, what are we doing in Afghanistan?

If Obama's people are such great problem solvers, why haven't we taken one sensible step to solve the student-loan crisis or at least reduce the suffering of people who are overburdened by their college loans?

No Sense of Social Justice

Many of the graduates of our elite institutions believe they have a keen sense of social justice and are particularly sensitive to human rights issues.  But I don't think that is true either.

If these people have such a good sense of social justice, why is our economic system rigged such that pensioners and people on fixed incomes are forced put their retirement funds in the  risky stock market to get a decent return because the Fed keeps interest rates artificially low to benefit the banks?

And if Obama's people have such a keen pining for human rights, why won't Obama and his people allow Italy to extradite Robert Lady, the CIA operative who was convicted of involvement in a kidnapping in Milan?  How can the Obama administration howl for the rule of law when it comes to Edward Snowden while helping Robert Lady avoid the justice that was meted out for him in Italy.

No this country would be better off if we declared a moratorium on Ivy League graduates serving in any public office at the national level--and that includes the Supreme Court, which is stuffed with nine old fogies who all graduated from either Harvard Law School or Yale Law School.

I am only kidding of course. We can't ban people from public office just because they went to Harvard. My point, however is this: Our elite colleges are not preparing people to be good public servants. We need to put people in positions of authority who are truly civic minded, and many of the leaders we need received their education at good public universities, including the universities of the Midwest, the Rocky Mountain West, and the South.

References

Brian Resnick and Brian McGill. More Top Obama Officials Have Graduate Degrees from Oxford Than Any Public University in the United States. National Journal, July 19, 2013. Accessible at:
http://www.nationaljournal.com/decision-makers/more-top-obama-officials-have-graduate-degrees-from-oxford-than-any-public-university-in-the-united-states-20130719




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