Elitistism And The Presidency: A Handbook For Victory

It’s taken over 200 years, but American politics is finally evolving into a mature process that reflects the inherent nature of her people. This experiment in Democracy has taken innumerable turns and tumbles over the years, most often relying on the dominant presence of an elite ruling class to steady the ship of state. Despite the egalitarian ring of our founding principles, a nation “of the people, by the people, for the people,” still seemed more obeisant to the privileged. But no more.

A new breed of populism has spread like a rash across the land. Its mission is to dismantle the doctrine of elitism and advance the rule of the common man and/or woman. This crusade promises to forever alter the complexion of American government and deserves a closer examination.

First and foremost, anyone who purports to be a leader in this environment, must be an avid consumer of beer. This is important to establish one’s credentials as a down to earth representative of commonality and humility. It is also necessary so that voters have a way of indicating their preference for drinking companions.
Education is a key component in this new paradigm. It is absolutely critical that you not have too much of it. And never, ever use the word paradigm. Once the American people get the impression that you know more than they do about issues like economics or foreign policy, you’re disqualified from service. Achievement and expertise only spotlight how different you are from ordinary Americans.
A show of strength will give any candidate a boost. You must not be timid about threatening enemies, advocating torture, or bombing busy population centers of third world countries. And once having taken a position, it is political suicide to change it, regardless of changing circumstances. Americans demand stubborn certitude from their barely educated leaders.
A vocal commitment to family values is mandatory. Not an actual commitment, mind you. Just a vocal one. Speaking frequently of the sanctity of marriage, no matter how many times you have violated it, will shield you from any detrimental impact. Conversely, life-long faithfulness holds no advantage unless accompanied by a virulent denunciation of same-sex marriage.
It is easy to be distracted by trivialities when engaged in a competitive campaign. But you must not let the appeal of junk food politics knock you off course. Stay focused on the issues that matter most to the people and you will always prevail. Those issues include flag lapel pins, ex-pastors, and quail hunting.
Two words: Go bowling. [Note: Take a few practice frames first]
Two more words: Don’t windsurf.
Immigration has taken a prominent role in public policy. No issue inflames the emotions of citizens like who gets to be a citizen. The Statue of Liberty notwithstanding, America is an exclusive club that can’t let just anybody in. Even the most disadvantaged, undereducated alien represents a risk to American workers, whom we’ve already established have a low regard for education, lest it turn them into the elite.
Finally, a foundation of faith is required of any seeker of high office. Submission to an unseen authority may be the single best evidence of a candidate’s refusal to be submissive. So long as you pronounce your allegiance to God, all of your other pronouncements are divinely inspired. Unless, of course, you are Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, or Allah forbid, Muslim. You may also want to steer clear of quirky, ethnic Baptist’s.

Yes, it’s taken over 200 years, but American politics is finally evolving into a mature process that honors the mediocrity of its people. In doing so it has laid the groundwork for electoral victory for anyone who understands and respects the new reality

George W. Bush understands, and he has provided a working model for success: You don’t have to be like ordinary Americans, you just have to be able to pretend you’re like them. How else could this son of Connecticut aristocracy; this progeny of senators and presidents; this oil baron and sports magnate, pass himself off as Texas bumpkin who enjoys clearing brush? This inarticulate, draft-dodging, C-, dynastic runt actually validates the American dream. As the first remedial president he has proven that you can grow up to be the Commander-in-Chief, in America, no matter how stupid you are. What other country can say that?

The presidential campaign of 2008 is shaping up as a testament to Elitistism: the practice of discriminating against those who are, or are perceived to be, elite. The goal of Elitistism (aka Simpsonism) is to drive from public life anyone who diverges from the sacred visage of American Averagism.

From an electoral perspective, the highest attainable ambition is ordinariness. Of the three remaining candidates we have:

  1. A millionaire lawyer/senator, who is married to a former president, with decades on the government teat.
  2. Another millionaire son of Admirals with a trophy wife and even more decades of being supported by the public.
  3. A mixed-race child of a single mother who has spent years as a community activist and organizer.

For the record, number three is regarded by the media as the Elitist. Go figure.


10 thoughts on “Elitistism And The Presidency: A Handbook For Victory

  1. This is the reason why they don’t invest much in the education system.

    • Politicians can’t let the electorate get too smart. They might become informed voters and the politicians would either lose their jobs or have to actually do them.

      • Or as H. L. Mencken said:

        “As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

        I think Mencken was proven right in 2000.

    • “…why they don’t invest much in the education system”.

      Huh? For 2006-2007, education spending was $468 billion or an average of $9,562 per student. This exceeds the tuition not only for many private K-12 schools but also the in-state tuition for many colleges & universities as well.

  2. tgibson1962,

    Let me shock you by agreeing with you. I don’t think the problem with K-12 education in America is lack of funding. Though, on the other hand, I’m not sure privatization is silver bullet panacea conservatives lust for either.

    • While privatization would bring market forces to bear on the problem, nothing is a silver bullet until parents become genuinely concerned and integrally involved in the process.

      A personal case in point is my .736 hitting son or, as I prefer to call him, Daddy’s retirement plan. Owen could have gone on to third grade this past year, but we decided to hold him back for a year. It was the best thing we could have done for him. He has flourished academically instead of struggling. One of my proudest moments came this past weekend when he spent some of his birthday money on a BOOK! Of course, I was proud when he bought the pellet gun too.

      • That’s a great story. You’re son will be far better off if he earns an academic scholarship than he would with an athletic one.

  3. The actual budget allocation is not relevant to the larger question of the value realized from the expenditure. I don’t think anyone can argue that Americans are getting their dollar’s worth in terms of educating students. Or as a well known academic put it:

    “Is our children learning?” ~GWB

    I just hope that students get enough education that they know that voting for someone because they’d like to have beer with them is STUPID. I’m one voter who does NOT want a president who is just like me. (If you knew me, you would agree). I want a president WAY better than me.

    • Mark,

      I was answering feemee’s comment, which was that “they don’t invest much.” The amount spent per student is relevant only to the extent it rebuts that statement.

      I agree with you, we’re not getting our money’s worth. I’d go even further and say that if we WERE, most American wouldn’t balk at spending even more for an endeavor that “promotes the general welfare”. The fact that many people fund the current system through their taxes and then pay private school tuition on top of that seems to bear this out.

      I want to respond to your whole article in more detail; I’m a sucker for any article that uses the phrase “government teat” 🙂

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