Is there something wrong with being intellectual? There was a time when Republicans were proud of their position on advancing education, proud of elite education, proud that America offered educational opportunities to all. But something has gone wrong. The Republicans of the past thirty years have discredited thier greatest strength – the opportunity of America.
The election of 2008 has seen the Republicans championing Joe Six-Pack, Joe the Plumber, and hockey moms. Is there anything wrong with this – no. But the manner of discussion does not just promote the average guy – it encourages people to be average. As if to say, “Don’t worry, we will take care of you.” That is contrary of the American ideal of improving life with the virtues of hard work, education, technological innovation, creative thinking, and consistent dedication to achievement.
Which Party is most associated with higher education? That used to be the domain of the Republicans. Democrats were the party of the working man, the party of George Meany and the AFL-CIO.
And what is higher education? There was a time when a higher education meant more than just job training. Higher education emphasized the humanities – expanding man’s understanding of society as a collective effort. The election of 2008 finds the Republicans discrediting anything intellectual – anything thoughtful, any universal understanding of humanity.
The fault of the McCain/Palin ticket rests in the exclusion of thinking people. Many Republican intellectuals, people with deep and thoughtful convictions about America, are turning away from McCain/Palin. Playing to the prejudicial ideologues of the ignorant has discredited everything the Republican Party used to stand for.
The elite Republicans of years past understood the concept of noblesse oblige (Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly). We were proud of the Republican Party – a Party that understood the obligation of the noble class as being responsible to all. The Republicans of the past were the people Alan Greenspan trusted – his mistake was in not recognizing the loss of the concept of noblesse oblige. The CEO’s of recent memory have not conducted themselves with nobility.
When John McCain talks about lowering taxes for business the message falls flat. It falls flat because the people have lost faith in the CEO’s – we have lost faith that the companies have their employees best interest at heart. We have seen CEO’s lining their own pockets, some literally stealing money from the very institutions they were charged with protecting.
McCain and Palin have not conducted themselves nobly. Their behavior affirms the fear people have about the noble class of America. This is the classic historical formula for revolution.
This is a sad time in America – it is also an exciting time. The people have removed their blinders and are going to make an ideological correction. The 2008 Presidential election is a watershed moment for America.