Thursday, September 18, 2008

Politico: GOP might regret mocking Elitism and Barbara Streisand (?)

Robert M. Eeisinger has written a piece for the Politico that works as a companion to my previous post on Elitism.

The piece cites many examples of the GOP pandering to anti-elitism by conveniently glossing over their own educated background.
In his Republican convention speech, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (Cranbrook; Stanford for two semesters; B.A. and valedictorian from Brigham Young; J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School, with a joint MBA, top 5 percent of graduating class, from Harvard Business School) ironically ridiculed the Eastern Establishment as if it were evil, out of touch and poorly equipped to serve the American people.

Whilst it's an interesting catalogue of examples it doesn't seem to provide a compelling reason to why it could potentially backfire on the GOP. Mr Eisinger contends
...I am not convinced that this is a viable political strategy. The base of the GOP is increasingly educated. Swing voters do not trash higher education; in fact, many of them want their child to go to a top college or university.

This intentional downplaying and dismissing of a formal, prestigious education is beneath the GOP. Moreover, it is undeserving of the American people...

I don't see any new evidence that suggests anti-elitism has become a driver for NOT voting for someone. As the piece itself points out, McCain has doubled down on the "faux populism" narrative.
With Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as their vice presidential nominee, however, the new GOP is now trashing its past... Palin omitted in her acceptance speech that she graduated from college (the University of Idaho, if anyone is interested). McCain boasts that he graduated at the bottom of his class at the United States Naval Academy

Read the full post from Politico here - GOP might regret mocking elitism
Read my previous post on Elitism here - Elitism: Barack Obama and Applebees

When caricatured effectively Anti-elitism works because everyone agrees which side they want to belong to. Whether it's intellectually honest is another matter, but who wants to be intellectual in their honesty anyway?

HHH Hunter Hearst Helmsley Debut

McCain paints Obama as elite by linking him to *gasp* Barbara Streisand

Interestingly whilst Mr Eisinger contends that parents value and envision their kids going through to higher education. I would submit that ironically kids today value fame and envision themselves to be celebrities, though this dichotomy hasn't realised itself in the way people vote.

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