America’s Leftist-educated blue coast elites give normal Americans an undeserved inferiority complex.
I’m writing this from an airport as I await my flight to return home to a community in which everyone I know has at least one college degree and not a few of them have several advanced degrees. In my world — and, indeed, in most of the blue world — a person who has achieved economic success without academic credentials is rare.
My trip took me to a very different world, one in which GEDs are common and college degrees rare. These are not bookish people. Most of the people I left are what my mother, with beautiful European condescension, would have called “simple” people. I have a strong suspicion that, given the radical political climate in which we live, the blue staters would have bypassed that old-fashioned tact and just called them stupid.
The reality, though, is that these people are neither stupid nor simple. While they are not educated, they are, in their own way, both thoughtful and accomplished. That they lack Shakespeare or queer studies degrees means only that they wouldn’t be comfortable in the faculty lunch room. On second though, I have a feeling that the Shakespeare scholar wouldn’t be comfortable there either, unless he or she was viewing Shakespeare solely through an LGBTQ etc. lens.
What saddened me was to hear one of my new acquaintances say of himself, “I’m not a smart man.” I took umbrage at this, having listened to him converse at length about the decisions that led to his becoming a Born-Again Christian. He is not a learned man, but that had nothing to do with his intelligence. Moreover, judging by the huge obstacles that peppered his life, his military career, his religious conversion, and his current life choices, he struck me as a very intelligent man.
As best as I could tell — and my own prejudice is showing here — this humble man’s real handicap was that he was taking too much advantage of the fact that he lives in a state that has legalized pot. If he stopped self-medicating with pot and computer games, there really is no telling what he could do with his life.
Americans used to deride European snobbery. Now that we have our own snob class, though, too many Americans write themselves off for failing to fit into that template. This self-derision is exceptionally silly considering that the most prestigious colleges graduate students who lack critical thinking skills. Meanwhile, America’s non-college class is inevitably learning the critical thinking skills that come with living in the real world.
I believe that a democracy is best served when the bulk of the population is educated. The question, of course, is what constitutes “educated.” The people with whom I spent time could read, write, do math, and run their own businesses. To the extent they were uninformed about world affairs, it wasn’t a lack of education, it was a lack of interest.
Meanwhile, for the last forty years, our college class, at least when it comes to the liberal arts, in addition to learning reading, writing, and doing math, is also getting a solid grounding in America hatred, antisemitism, man-hating womyn’s studies, heterosexual-hating queer studies, white-hating African studies, and the whole panoply of other social justice classes that create degreed people who know less than nothing when it comes to just about everything.
I think I left the people with whom I spent time feeling less like morons and more like competent people who are making mostly admirable decisions about their lives. It’s a crying shame that our elite, rather than lauding the common man, insists that they’re stupid, second-class citizens in their own country just because they lack that Progressive-approved piece of paper. Moreover, considering the tens of even hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt that go along with that piece of paper, who’s the real fool in this situation?