Confessions of an Elitist

I have recently been called an elitist, because I dare to describe someone as an intellectual featherweight.  My accuser, Kirk Effinger, expanded on his accusation with this somewhat ambiguous definition:

“A classic liberal elitist approach when characterizing someone who does not think as they do is to suggest intellectual deficiency. Anyone who doesn’t think or behave in the manner they perceive themselves cannot possibly be considered a capable leader. That would imply (in their narrow minds) some measure of superiority…something no self-respecting liberal thinker would ever concede.”

Well, my judgement was based not so much on political differences, but on observation over several years. It was confirmed when that individual made the idiotic assumption that I did not like children, because I was concerned about human overpopulation and felt that environmentally responsible individuals have small families. If that makes me an elitist, then I plead guilty.

If considering that political decisions should be based on science and reason rather than patriarchal mythology makes me elitist, then I am guilty. If despairing that the current Republican candidates for President all have so little regard for empirical evidence they think that global warming is a hoax makes me elitist, then I plead guilty. If alarmed that several members of the EUSD Board, a majority of Republicans, and minority of Democrats don’t believe in evolution, even though evolution is a theory like the theory of gravity, and teaching biology without teaching evolution is like teaching physics without teaching Newton’s laws makes me elitist, I’m guilty. If I don’t consider anyone who practices such medieval thinking is fit for political office is elitist, guilty!

If finding the appalling popularity of a bombastic, belligerent, misogynistic, racist jerk of the first ilkwater, Donald Trump, unbelievable and unbearable, is elitist, then I am one. Trump is echoing the tactics of Hitler on many fronts. Polls have shown that his main appeal is to ignorant white racists. In the South Carolina primary, 80% of the people who voted for Trump believe that Obama is Muslim.

This country was founded on ideas that came out of the 18th century enlightenment. Many of the Founding Fathers were Deists. That is, they believed in a creator who left the fate of mankind to the decisions of mankind. They were humanists. They believed in science and reason. Perhaps, they were elitist too, because they also had little patience for ignorance.

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6 thoughts on “Confessions of an Elitist

  1. Alex MacLachlan

    Oh, the “ideas” for the founding of our country went back much further than the 18th century. Its roots were in 16th century Scotland and Reformation. George Buchanan, a Presbyterian Scot humanist wrote 100 years before John Locke on the ultimate power of the people to choose or remove their leaders and that political power was ordained by God to the people as a whole, even to the “lowest and meanest of men”. Knox and Buchanan started teaching the philosophy long before….

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  2. Rick B

    Nice explanation of why you are not an elitist. But I have to comment on your statement that you find Donald Trump support is unbelievable. I believe, people are making an emotional connection with him and not an intellectual one. And that is ok because most voters vote because of emotional or identifying connection.

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  3. Sid Colquitt

    I love this response. I may frame it, preserve it for possible plagiarism.

    By the way, I also love you description of “The Donald”. Right On!

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  4. Andy Phillips

    Love this, Aunt Margaret – there is a certain brand of so-called conservative who constantly brand anyone as ‘smug’ or ‘arrogant’ or ‘elitist’ just for expressing a forthright view, or for showing signs of having had an education. What’s wrong with that? Nothing.

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