Reading the articles written in the aftermath of the Democrat disaster is amusing, but equal parts annoying. The Left, in pouring their angst out without the usual filters, is revealing their extraordinary lack of depth, and above all, their lack of basic human regard for virtually everyone save those that appear, bleary-eyed in their mirrors, on the morning after.
Above all we see their compulsion to categorize others in ways that reflect their voluminous and unseemly prejudices, as well as their inability to accept the reality that the election was a complete repudiation of progressive policy and thought. Despite the fact Hillary Clinton is as white bread as it is possible to get, her loss is a “whitelash,” which, according to noble communist Van Jones, means anyone voting against her is racist. The few pundits that acknowledge the democrat disaster as repudiation of Barack Obama’s policies and the coming dismantling of every edifice of his legacy, half-heartedly try to stick the race card in the electoral checkout stand card reader, only to find it rejected.
Ah, but Hillary’s stunning—to Democrats—failure must herald the reinforcment of the glass ceiling. Why, all of those people that voted for Trump are sexist, anti-woman! What other possible reason could anyone have for voting against Hillary Clinton?
Fascinating too are the “protestors” blocking traffic, vandalizing businesses, smashing and destroying vehicles, beating innocents, throwing Molotov cocktails, and otherwise ravaging the very cities and neighborhoods that, for the most part, voted for Hillary Clinton. That’ll show em! Power to the people!
Particularly surprising, and the source of endless amusement, are those special snowflakes that imagine they are, as a result of Donald Trump’s election, in actual physical danger. Somehow, magically, America, in the space of a few hours, has been transformed into a nation that will surely obliterate all LGBTQWERTY types, all blacks, all women, all progressives, all BLM types, and of course, all college educated people. The streets of the cities are rife with rampaging leftists yelling for the sake of yelling and destroying for the sake of destruction, but rational Americans at home, watching the idiocy on TV, and shaking their heads, are dangerous.
Ah yes, the college educated, and those in the process of being college educated. They’re particularly special. There are, however, a few commentators that appear to be getting a faint glimmer of a clue, such as Charles C. Camosy, an associate professor at Fordham University, writing in the Washington Post:
The most important divide in this election was not between whites and non-whites. It was between those who are often referred to as ‘educated’ voters and those who are described as ‘working class’ voters.
I, gentle readers, have a college degree, and nearly enough credits for a master’s degree, though economically, I make far more as a professional singer and writer than I could possibly make as an English teacher with a master’s, so I doubt, at my advanced age, I’ll ever bother to complete one. I have never considered myself anything but “working class.” I’ve little doubt all of my teaching colleagues think the same. I’ve no idea where this dividing line between “educated” and “working class” voters is.
The reality is that six in 10 Americans do not have a college degree, and they elected Donald Trump. College-educated people didn’t just fail to see this coming — they have struggled to display even a rudimentary understanding of the worldviews of those who voted for Trump. This is an indictment of the monolithic, insulated political culture in the vast majority our colleges and universities.
That there is a monolithic, insulated political culture in the colleges and universities is unquestionable. It is the idea that a college education somehow separates working people and those exalted beings possessing a sheepskin, and the idea it divides them into easily identifiable voting blocs, I find nonsensical. Considering a college degree is no longer a certain ticket to a high-paying job, nor is it a sure pathway to a white collar job, which some might consider other than “working class,” attempts to draw firm conclusions about voting motives on that basis are specious at best.
By all means, take the link and read Camosy’s article. He at least tries to suggest his colleagues need to reform their thinking, but as a member of the academy, his faulty assumptions run deeply indeed. One more example:
For decades now, U.S. colleges and universities have quite rightly been trying to become more diverse when it comes to race and gender. But this election highlights the fact that our institutions of higher education should use similar methods to cultivate philosophical, theological and political diversity.
These institutions should consider using quotas in hiring that help faculties and administrations more accurately reflect the wide range of norms and values present in the American people. There should be systemwide attempts to have texts assigned in classes written by people from intellectually underrepresented groups. There should be concerted efforts to protect political minorities from discrimination and marginalization, even if their views are unpopular or uncomfortable to consider.
The goal of such changes would not be to convince students that their political approaches are either correct or incorrect. The goal would instead be educational: to identify and understand the norms, values, first principles, intuitions and stories which have been traditionally underrepresented in higher education. This would better equip college graduates to engage with the world as it is, including with their fellow citizens.
Notice the faith Camosy places in quotas, rather than merely admitting students, and hiring faculty on the basis of merit, instead of trying to maintain a sort of artificial “balance” between progressives and other quaint classes of beings, rather like populating a zoo with rare and exotic animals. The “quite right [ly]” emphasis on diversity is producing universities with fewer men than are present in the population, and with a great many minority students far from intellectually capable of doing genuinely college level work, yet they graduate anyway, contributing to the glut of grossly underqualified and incapable holders of degrees. Purposely devaluing one’s product is not a tactic conducive to long term economic survival–or a productive society.
It is a truism to note, but no less true for the notation, that I know a great many utterly clueless holders of masters and doctoral degrees, and a greater number of marvelously functional and wise men and women without so much as a bachelors. Merely possessing college degrees is proof of nothing other than possession. One must still demonstrate common sense and competence.
My wife’s father, who never completed high school, was the head of maintenance at a university. He loved to tell the tale of several professors, who, viewing a photograph of a heavy lift helicopter depositing an air conditioning unit on the roof of a campus building, couldn’t figure out why the rotor blades weren’t entirely blurred. After all, they are when a helicopter is observed in flight.
Why not teach academic disciplines in colleges, rather than engaging in wholesale social engineering? Wouldn’t it be simpler to actually educate students rather than shuffling them into categories and hiring multitudes of diversity drones to ensure their correct types, numbers and pronouns? Hiring more administrators than faculty might actually reduce tuition. And while we’re at it, do people requiring a year or more of remedial high school education on campus at full tuition while earning no credit really belong in college regardless of their race, fluid gender or preferred pronouns? Why doesn’t this occur to Camosy? These are the people superior to we working class sorts?
Speaking of sorts, a surprise, of sorts, is an article by one Will Rahn, at of all places, CBS, which, as one can see, is dealing with Trump’s election with its usual calm, dignified decorum and professionalism. Rahn expresses what appears to be a reasonably sincere mea culpa:
The mood in the Washington press corps is bleak, and deservedly so.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump’s victory. More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on.
This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’s be a winking ‘we did it’ feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.
So much for that. The audience for our glib analysis and contempt for much of the electorate, it turned out, was rather limited. This was particularly true when it came to voters, the ones who turned out by the millions to deliver not only a rebuke to the political system but also the people who cover it. Trump knew what he was doing when he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss the reporters covering him. They hate us, and have for some time.
And can you blame them? Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid.
It’s a profound failure of empathy in the service of endless posturing. There’s been some sympathy from the press, sure: the dispatches from ‘heroin country’ that read like reports from colonial administrators checking in on the natives. But much of that starts from the assumption that Trump voters are backward, and that it’s our duty to catalogue and ultimately reverse that backwardness. What can we do to get these people to stop worshiping their false god and accept our gospel?
What indeed? Thus far, Rahn is doing pretty well, not that his colleagues are likely to take his words to heart. After all, Dan Rather still thinks the documents were fake but accurate.
We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice.
Ah! Not bad, but the smugness, it is deeply ingrained, unconscious even:
What’s worse, we don’t make much of an effort to really understand, and with too few exceptions, treat the economic grievances of Middle America like they’re some sort of punchline. Sometimes quite literally so, such as when reporters tweet out a photo of racist-looking Trump supporters and jokingly suggest that they must be upset about free trade or low wages.
Like what, pray tell gentle readers, does a “racist-looking” person, “Trump supporter[s]” or otherwise, look? Is there an official t-shirt, perhaps a hat or piece of jewelry rendering racists easily identifiable to the self-imagined high priests of the media? And do we really believe when reporters bestow such labels, they’re doing it “jokingly?” Is Rahn exposing his ingrained prejudices, or poking fun at his colleagues?
In any case, Rahn hits on one of the most serious impediments to humility and humanity in the media here:
We have to fix this, and the broken reasoning behind it. There’s a fleeting fun to gang-ups and groupthink. But it’s not worth what we are losing in the process.
Take the link and read the entire essay. Perhaps Rahn is being sincere. It is surely groupthink that is a large part of the problem. Virtually everyone in media thinks alike. They need not sit down to plot against “working class” Americans each morning; their entire mindset provides that dishonorable attitude in spades. Will they heed Rahn and provoke a sea change in their industry? Will they suddenly discover humility and resolve to treat the benighted denizens of flyover country with a touch of kindness and understanding?
It’s like high school, where groupthink reigns. We used to see horrific, graphic traffic safety films, and while in the theater watching the gore, swear to ourselves to ever after drive safely. But after school, we’d be cutting cookies in the parking lot, as usual.
I suspect most reporters are racing to the parking garage even as I type these words…