Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Elitism, Intelligence, and Cultivation


Ideas Worth a Shot

I have decided to take the government of the United States in hand and put it on a more practical footing. (Care from hand to foot is policy in this column.) I say “more practical,” instead of “practical,” because government always falls into the hands of the crafty, remorseless, and unprincipled. Anyway, I undertake this emendation in a radiant spirit of noblesse oblige. I am that sort of person.

To begin: The country desperately needs to embrace an uncompromising elitism, this being simply the belief that the better is preferable to the worse. Somehow America has gotten this simple principle (if I may employ the Latin phrase) bass-ackward. In the things of civilization, we worship the lame, the halt, the dim-witted, and the proven unable. How smart is this?

In correction, I will first raise the voting age to thirty. The present practice of allowing children of eighteen to wield the ballot is transparent madness. The excessively young are callow, uninformed, and lacking experience of the things they affect with the votes. Hormonal turbulence and an eigtht-grade education—about what a high-school diploma is worth these days—do not recommend them as fit to stir the pots of governance. If you are parent to teenagers, you will see the unwisdom of letting our tender sprouts decide anything beyond their choice of godawful music.

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