September 18, 2008

FITTINGLY, HE GOES WRONG AT "EVOLVING":

GOP might regret mocking elitism (ROBERT M. EISINGER, 9/18/08, Politico)

The Republican Party is evolving, and, I would argue, not for the better. Once the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Richard Nixon, Republicans today have decided to mock elitism and equate it with liberalism.

This strategy is likely to fail. The GOP is not, cannot and should not be the party of faux populism. Sure, many Main Street, mom-and-pop store and Wal-Mart shoppers are attracted to the Republican Party’s call for smaller government and a strong defense, and yes, many of those voters lack Ivy League educations and fancy pedigrees. With Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as their vice presidential nominee, however, the new GOP is now trashing its past, abandoning its roots and trying to transform into something it is not.

Palin is many things: a college-educated mother, a chief executive of a geographically large state and an able communicator. She is not an intellectual. That in and of itself is neither good nor bad. But the recent trashing of intellectualism by the Republicans is unhealthy, dangerous and, quite frankly, unseemly. [...]

The historian Richard Hofstadter reminds us that anti-intellectualism has deep roots in American culture, and no one should be surprised that an evolving GOP that seeks to attract social conservatives will recognize that there is a real correlation between higher education and political liberalism.

Robert M. Eisinger is a political science professor ....


He'd have to be an academic, wouldn't he? Though obviously not familiar with American political history or he'd have noticed that since TR thwarted Taft, every Republican who's won a second term--Coolidge, Ike, Reagan, Nixon, W--has been an anti-Intellectual and reviled and/or considered an idiot by academics.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 18, 2008 6:54 AM
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