Jewish World Review Sept. 30, 2010 22 Tishrei, 5771
Americans Still Cling to Ignorance
By Victor Davis Hanson
The bookish, twice-unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate
For some reason, Democrats have chosen to follow the disastrous model of Stevenson and not that of feisty man-of-the-people Missourian Harry Truman -- though the former nearly wrecked the party and the latter got elected.
Most Americans instead remember a very different
In 2006, Kerry warned students that if they did poorly in school, they could "get stuck in
In the 2008 campaign,
That sense of intellectual superiority was channeled by
During the recent Ground Zero mosque controversy, Obama returned to that Carter-Kerry-Obama sort of condescension. When asked about the overwhelming opposition to the mosque, the president felt again that the unthinking hoi polloi had given into their unfounded fears: "I think that at a time when the country is anxious generally and going through a tough time, then fears can surface, suspicions, divisions can surface in a society."
The president often clears his throat with "Let me be perfectly clear" and "Make no mistake about it" -- as if we, his schoolchildren, have to be warned to pay attention to the all-knowing teacher at the front of the class.
Disappointed progressive pundits also resonate this angst over having to deal with childlike Americans.
When America votes for a liberal candidate, it is redeemed by the left as intelligent -- and derided as dense when it does not. We were told not to worry that Treasury Secretary
Note that few Democratic candidates are running on the health-care bill they passed, promising at the time that it would be appreciated by a suspicious American public. More federal borrowing and amnesty are still pushed under the euphemisms "stimulus" and "comprehensive immigration reform." House Speaker
For many of today's liberals, the fact that the president has to deal with so many Neanderthal know-nothings explains why he can't, as promised, close Guantanamo, end "don't ask, don't tell," or do away with Bush-era renditions, tribunals wiretaps, and the wars in
But current polls suggest that these clueless and unappreciative Americans apparently believe that an elite education does not ensure their officials can balance a budget, pay their own taxes or speak candidly.
What an outrageous "How dare they!" thought.
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Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.
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