Stupid intellectuals and the McCarthy Era that wasn’t
Originally published by Mike DeVine, Legal Editor for The Minority Report
Like day follows night, Drive-By Media praise of the return of “smart” people to power in Washington follows the election of a Democrat to the presidency. Given that this has occurred less often than solar and lunar eclipses since man landed on the Moon, you may be forgiven the recollection.
The usual “evidence” given for the characterization of cabinet and other administration officials as smart is their graduate degrees from Ivy League universities. To be fair, conservative columnist wannabe, David Brooks of the New York Times, Wellesley and Stanfordincluded, probably because the Ombudsman demanded diversity.
That Brooks and others in the media cite the President-Elect Barack Obama’s Columbia-Harvard bone fides while ignoring President George W. Bush’s Yale-Harvard equivalent hints at what they truly mean by “smart.”
But it is an unapologetic liberal (given that he only occasionally self-describes as a progressive) Peter Beinart’s “Revenge of the Nerds” that best defines, and at once obscures, what the Left means by intellectualism and which also provides a telling glimpse of their world view:
As Obama stocks his administration with eggheads, both right and left are backing away from the anti-intellectualism that has dominated politics for 50 years.
Anti-intellectualism has dominated politics for 50 years?
By electing Barack Obama, the American people have proved a lot of political clichés wrong: that Americans wouldn’t elect a black man…showed that you can win the presidency without appearing dumb…Unlike Bill Clinton, Obama doesn’t temper his intellectualism by embracing his inner Bubba.
Who are the authors of the cliché’ that America was as racist before Election Day 2008 and every day since as they were in 1765, 1865 or 1965? Who considers every President elected since FDR as “appearing dumb”? Who now conveniently forget Obama’s employment of a fake Southern accent and reversal on gun rights during the campaign?
The questions answer themselves.
Beinart further reveals the world view of himself and the like-minded with this elaboration:
In the early 1950s, Richard Nixon slyly fused anti-intellectualism and anti-communism, calling Democratic Presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson a “Ph.D. graduate of the College of Cowardly Communist Containment.”
Now we are getting to the crux of an aspect of American history that has been covered up by liberals in control of academia, Hollywood and the media for the past 60 years, largely under the rubric of the so-called “McCarthy Era”.
Many Americans that sacrificed so much for Liberty in WWII and Korea, felt betrayed by the surrender of Eastern Europe and North Korea to communism.
Those in academia that advocated such so-called realism toward evil empires and who played down the threat of communist spies that were found to have deeply penetrated the U.S. government thanks to mostly Nixon’s House Un-American Affairs Committee, but also those conducted by “Tail-gunner” Joe McCarthy in the Senate, were publicly discredited. Many liberls still argue that Alger Hiss was innocent, despite irrefutable evidence from Whittaker Chambers, as documented in his “Witness” masterpiece, as well as Hiss’s role in the anti-American structure of the United Nations he helped create.
The 1950’s saw the greatest economic achievement by man in the course of human history. The civil rights movement was begun in this decade by members of the Greatest and Quiet generations contrary to the piggy-backing claims of 1960s baby-boomers.
Yet, historians describe the era as a foreboding dark age of American history in which Americans lived in fear of being asked if they were ever a member of the Communist Party.
The intellectuals had to reclaim their reputations and that of the failed liberal policies they advocated.
This fact gets to the core of what smart and intellectual should mean. Did smart people get good grades in school or, did those that got good grades in school get labeled “smart”? When we say someone is smart, are we passing judgment on the merits of the results of their life decisions or the pithiness of their explanations of whatever results they obtained?
It depends on who “we” is.
For me, in the context of politics and government policies determined by same, it must be directly related to results. But the fact is that even if one accepts the purported criteria of the Left, Republicans come out ahead. Truman and Reagan were much more well-read than Stevenson or Gore. Dubya did better in college that Gore or Kerry.
When it comes to policy, who can deny that the liberal economic and foreign policies of liberals in the 1970s were utterly discredited and the conservative policies of Reagan were proven correct. This is why we picture him above as an example of one worthy of the smart intellectual appelations.
Is it smart to continue to advance policies that are proven failures, no matter your SAT score or the location of one’s matriculation?
Not to this inner Bubba. In fact, some ideas are so stupid that can only be formed by PhD. grads from the Ivy League.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson