I had another exchange today with an Ivy League intellectual who was once a conservative but now supports Obama.

It went like this:

Me: I was sorry to hear you’re supporting Obama. What makes him more qualified than… Sarah Palin, for instance?

Ivy: He seems to have heard about the issues. She had to be coached for the debates.

Me: I see… but do you agree with what Obama actually says about the issues?

Ivy: No… at least Obama’s heard of them, though.

Obama “seems to have heard” about the issues. (Conditional and passive voice, as the logophiles may have noticed.)

I have had several similar conversations with other elite folk in recent days.

None of those who have contempt for Sarah Palin can offer the simplest intellectual argument to defend their views.

The self-indulgence of these sullen would-be insiders is perhaps the best reason to vote for McCain/Palin.

As Barack Obama says: let me be clear.

I admire elites. I like smart people. I like rich people. I like beautiful people. Most Americans do, without envy.

What I abhor is elitism–the idea that elites have a natural claim to political power.

Elites have a simple function in a democracy. They must excel, and inspire others to excel.

Beyond that, they are welcome to compete for power–but as equals, and on the merits.

Some of our conservative friends, cushioned by the success of the last 28 years, seem to have forgotten that.

They have so little faith in their principles that they think we need Ivy League degrees to understand them.

So they’ve thrown their lot in with what Bill Ayers might have once called an “elite counter-revolution.”

Here’s the truth that the so-called intellectuals don’t get.

Sarah Palin understands the issues America faces, and has actually had to make decisions about them, as a governor.

She understands the facts about the economy and foreign policy–unlike Obama and Biden, who fake them.

She understands why economic freedom, clean government, and social values are important to America’s future.

And she has fought to defend them.

That’s why she and John McCain are America’s best hope.