RUSH: As many of you people who have listened to this program for any length of time at all know, I am fascinated by how people think. That is something that interests me more than a lot of other things about people, is how they think. I’m always fascinated with what I learn. Well, some people don’t think. Well I mean studiously think, everybody thinks, brain activity, but some people are just reactionary or they’re parrots, or they’re parasites or what have you. But as I look for reasons, and I’m interested in reasons why there is a cultural divide. I’m interested in reasons why there’s a political divide. I know who liberals are, but it doesn’t compute with me. I could never be one. Therefore, I love to know how they think or how they feel, what is it that makes them. And in the process of doing this, it has been a worthwhile exercise on my part because that is why I am able to tell you in advance who they are and what they’re going to do, because this has led to a lifelong study of these people. And liberals are capable of being typecast. There’s not a whole lot of individuality within the sphere of liberalism, because they are guided by and governed by their political beliefs.
Now, I have an opportunity to engage in such an exercise this very day. There is a column in the Washington Post by a woman by the time Anne Applebaum. Now, I think I might have referenced things in past columns she’s written; I don’t remember. But the name rings a bell. But beyond that, I don’t know who she is, she’s just a columnist. And the title of her column is, ‘The Rise of the ‘Ordinary’ Elite.’ Now, you and I have been discussing elites for quite a while on this program, the inside the Beltway ruling class elites. This piece that she has written affords us an opportunity to find out how the elites think about elitism, and it’s much different than the way you and I think about it, strikingly so. Let me demonstrate. Here’s how she begins the piece.
‘In 1958, an English sociologist and Labor Party politician named Michael Young imagined a future in which the British establishment dissolved itself, abolished all forms of hereditary power –‘ i.e., inheritance and so forth ‘– and created instead a meritocracy,’ which is a word that Michael Young invented. The word meritocracy I guess is attributable to this guy in 1958, English sociologist, Labor Party politician Michael Young. So he imagined a future, the British establishment dissolved itself, abolished all forms of hereditary power — in other words, no Kennedys — and created instead a meritocracy based on IQ. ‘In Young’s fable, the academically talented from the working class happily join the [ruling class.]’ Now, stick with me. Stick with me on this. If you think you know where this is going, you don’t. So he believed that — or he imagined or hoped for, it’s a fable, a meritocracy based on IQ, the academically talented from the working class would happily join the elite, the ruling class. ‘But the less-talented resent them even more than they did the old dukes and duchesses. By 2034, this resentment leads to a violent populist revolution that sweeps the meritocracy away.’
Now, remember, he’s a sociologist and he’s theorizing what would happen if certain dominoes fell in his theory. He wasn’t wishing for this. He was just a thinker. He might have been wishing for it, I don’t know. But whether or not he was, I’m not judging him. It’s not the point here. Don’t get caught up. He’s not the focus here. But he dreamed of one day where no longer are you somebody because of who your parents were. You’re somebody because of what you are. But within the cohort of the working class you take the high achievers out of it, the high IQ, you put ’em in the ruling class, the remainder of the cohort working class so resents them more than they resented the inheritors of wealth, that they revolt against all ruling class people and wipe ’em out, and the meritocracy goes away, meaning meritocracy alone will not sustain a culture or a population.
Ms. Applebaum says: ‘To some, this story has always seemed like a warning to America. In 1972, the American sociologist Daniel Bell cited it and predicted, with amazing prescience, the rise of an anti-elite-education populism. Bell got one thing wrong, however: He thought the coming attack on universities would take the form of enforced quotas and lowered standards. In fact, American universities staved off that particular populist wave in the 1970s by expanding their admissions to include women and minorities, while keeping standards high.’ But, see, they didn’t keep standards high. This is the dirty little secret. So in order to stave off this popular revolt against the elites, they let in members of the working class, women and minorities, while keeping standards high. But they didn’t keep standards high. They had to lower standards to get these people in there. It was not a meritocracy. But even that is not the point here.
Ms. Applebaum writes: ‘The result of that expansion,’ meaning all those high IQ minorities and women getting into universities, ‘is now with us: Barack Obama, brought up by a single mother, graduate of Columbia and Harvard Law School, is president. Michelle Obama, daughter of a black municipal employee, graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, is first lady. They brought with them to Washington dozens more people, also from modest backgrounds, mostly not with inherited wealth, who have entered high government office thanks in part to their education. Not that Washington wasn’t stuffed with such people already: Think of Clarence Thomas, son of a domestic servant and a farm worker, graduate of Yale Law School, Supreme Court justice.’
So, let me stop and interpret this. In her estimation, this original theory of the sociologist in England, Michael Young, has happened. We now have an elite based on IQ, not inheritance or anything hereditary. We’ve got it. This has happened and they are represented by Obama and Michelle and everybody they’ve brought into town with them. Now, my question, do you and I consider the Obamas part of a meritocracy? Do we consider them elites to have come from one of us? We don’t, do we? They have nothing in common with us. Meritocracy, keeping standards high? Where are all the articles Obama wrote while president of Harvard Law Review? Where are all the transcripts? Where’s the evidence of all the high standards? But even that doesn’t get to where I want to go here. Ms. Applebaum is ignoring something here that the English sociologist never conceived. Affirmative action. That’s why the standards were not kept high. Even Michelle (My Belle) Obama admitted she woulda never gotten into Princeton or Harvard without it. Affirmative action was a lowering of standards. This is why people really didn’t want to be considered affirmative action babies ’cause it was a stigma. You didn’t get there on merit if affirmative action got you there. You got there because the way was paved for you.
You see, you and I would argue that the way has been paved for Obama, whereas the way has not been paved for me. I struck out on my own. I mean there’s nobody in my family who coulda pulled one string. Maybe if I’d stayed in law they could have. We were talking about this on this show just the other day about how you and I, when I read Codevilla’s piece, the work of the ruling class, the working class versus the ruling class, we are a meritocracy. You and I believe that you get where you go based on performance. If you do your job better than anybody else you’ll be rewarded for it eventually with another job and another job and eventually it all pays off. We don’t want to get where we get because of buzz. You know, there’s a radio figure, I’m not going to mention any names here, nobody ever listened to this radio figure but everybody thought he had all this power because five or six people in Washington did. But nobody else did. Yet he was thought to be among the most prominent, but in terms of meritocracy, no, never happened. And I always said I don’t want to be a number one because of buzz. I don’t want to be perceived number one because somebody in the media says I am. I want to be because it can be proven I’m number one with the way we measure it, i.e., ratings and revenue.
Well, the way Obama got to number one, apparently he can’t show us the proof. The meritocracy, he will not show us the proof. You and I believe that somewhere along the way Obama had the way paved for him, that he had a professor or two somewhere that turned a C into an A, that there was some guilt over the plight Obama has had, he’s a victim and so we’re gonna make it good, the United States has been sort of unkind to people like Obama. Whereas you and I don’t think a whole culture has stepped aside to pave the way for us. So I find this fascinating that Anne Applebaum looks at the Obamas and the czars that he’s brought with him and his cabinet people, who have no experience earning a nickel, there’s not one of them that’s met a payroll, there’s not one of them that has made a payroll, there’s not one of them who’s had a job. His business advisors, not one of them has ever worked in the private sector. And she writes a piece here that meritocracy, born of their IQ, has brought them to the highest levels you can achieve in American politics, and therefore they’re elites because of their achievements. They are not elites because of inheritance.
See, I submit you go to Harvard, you go to Yale, you go to Cornell or Princeton or all these Ivy League schools, that’s the minor leagues, that’s AA, AAA, that’s where you’re trained to be in government, that’s where you’re trained how to dress, how to speak, what kind of shoes to wear if you work at the State Department. That’s where you’re trained to navigate the ladder of success. If you don’t get into those schools you have to do it on your own some other way. In other words, the fact that you went to Yale says more about you than what you say about yourself. The fact that you went to Harvard says more about you than what you’ve actually done, just the fact that you got in. It doesn’t matter what you did there. Not always. You could have a Harvard MBA and they still think you’re an idiot, as in George W. Bush. But even so, all this talk about the ruling class, Angelo Codevilla’s article which has now been turned into a book, Ruling Class Versus Country Class, we now have a piece in the Washington Post which posits that Obama is us and that Moochelle Obama is us and that Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are us because their IQ enabled them to achieve rank status in the elite.
But on the other hand, you know, I’ve achieved rank status at what I do, but I would never, ever be accepted. Sarah Palin, meritocracy? I mean she started from nothing, PTA, going to local school districts, wins elections, becomes governor, vice presidential nominee, never once would she be accepted into the elite that the Obamas are members of and everybody else in the Washington ruling class. I just find it fascinating to look how other people think. All this discussion of the elites, the ruling class, the working class, and I read a piece today from Anne Applebaum about whom I know very little, so not to be critical, don’t misunderstand here. This all just fascinates me, helps me to understand who I’m dealing with, helps me to understand what I’m up against when I’m trying to communicate with other people about who they are. It helps me to understand how they think of themselves. Okay, so they’re not elites. They’ve somehow succeeded in becoming elites by virtue of merit, yet they won’t even prove the merit to us.
They ignore affirmative action. They ignore the fact that the way was paved for Sonia Sotomayor, for Elena Kagan, for Moochelle Obama. She had a no-show job at a show hospital for 300 grand a year after her husband gets elected to the Illinois Senate. All fine and dandy, but that’s the kind of stuff that hereditary connections get you, not merit. She didn’t get the jobs ’cause she’s better at it than anybody else. She got it because her husband has influence, closer to getting it because you inherited it than you achieved it. So they’re the elite. This guy’s theory from 1958 has now been proven, it’s happened here. Now, if we carry this out, and there’s much more to this. I’m still only halfway through her piece here and I’ve gotta take a break, but if we follow this through, the ascension to the ranks of the elite by the Obamas is going to so tick off everybody else in their working class circle that there’s going to be a total overthrow of the elites? Well, that part may actually be true. What is happening here? It’s Washington versus the rest of us. That’s kinda what’s shaking out here. The sociologist said this wasn’t going to happen here until about 2034. It’s 2010, so we’re 24, 20 years ahead of schedule, if it happens.
RUSH: If you go to Wikipedia and you look up Anne Applebaum, here’s what you’ll find. Keep in mind this is Wikipedia. Anne Applebaum’s ‘parents are Harvey M. Applebaum, a Covington and Burling partner, and Elizabeth Applebaum of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. She graduated from the Sidwell Friends School (1982). She earned a B.A. (summa cum laude) at Yale University (1986), where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. As a Marshall Scholar at the London School of Economics she earned a master’s degree in international relations (1987). She studied at St Antony’s College, Oxford…’ So she’s pretty educated herself, a high-IQ elite.
Now, this piece was originally written in Salon and it was about Christine O’Donnell. Here’s another passage from her column: ‘At one level, the use of ‘elite’ to describe the new meritocrats simply means that the word has lost its meaning. As Jacob Weisberg points out, when Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell or — bizarrely — Justice Thomas’s wife fling the word ‘elitist’ at opponents, it often means nothing more than ‘a person whose politics I don’t like’ or even ‘a person who is snobby.” Miss Applebaum, let me tell you the way we think. You all are not ‘elites’ simply because you went to the Ivy League and have an impressive array of universities you’ve attended. It’s how you view the world, and it’s how you view the American people.
It’s how you view what makes the country great. If you don’t believe in American exceptionalism, how in the world can you believe in a meritocracy? But you don’t. Most of the elites today think American exceptionalism, ‘(scoffs) That’s pedantic! I mean, that’s for the serfs. That’s for the downtrodden. That’s the carrot dangling at the end of the tunnel. Meritocracy? American exceptionalism? Tell ’em they can do that, too? Nah, nah. We know that’s a bunch of BS.’ That is how elites think, but the concept of American exceptionalism is very real. It’s what’s made this the greatest country on the face of the earth.
The fact that it is smirked at by people who are elites and the fact that the people who make the country work are smirked at and looked down on, that’s how we define elites; not where they went to school, and not what they’ve achieved or not. It’s their worldview, and the fact that they have superiority complex, think they’re better than everybody else. Obama mentions ‘affirmative action’ 14 times in his second autobiography, second autobiography: Audacity of Hope. But he never, in 14 times of usage, he never uses it when talking about himself. It’s like we said: Fish don’t know they’re wet, either. They don’t know that they live in water. Obama doesn’t know. If he had never been the editor of Harvard Law Review we’d-a never have known who he was because he’d-a never got a book contract!