Elite used to be a compliment. It basically referred to the best of anything. For example, Drew Brees is now considered one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. However, nowadays that might be considered an insult instead of a compliment - at least in political circles. The worst insult you can hurl at a politician is to call him or her a member of the "Washington elite". What??? It's an insult to be called one of the best? Count me as someone who doesn't get it.
Why do we no longer want the best? We talk about how education is the answer to practically everything - and then we turn around and bash our most educated citizens. Elite conservative columnist David Brooks, who writes for the elite New York Times, recently discussed the bias against the educated members of our society.
"Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular. . . The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise. The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting. . . The educated class is internationalist, so isolationist sentiment is now at an all-time high. . . The educated class believes in multilateral action, so the number of Americans who believe we should “go our own way” has risen sharply."
Why is this happening? Why do we not want our leaders to be educated and the best? This is a very dangerous trend. Think what could happen if our governmental leadership is mediocre and uneducated. Do we really want a average somebody with a high school education testing drugs for safety, constructing bridges on our interstate highways, leading our troops into battle, deciding when to use nuclear weapons, etc.?
We don't have this attitude in decisions we make for ourselves and our families. We want the very best doctors for our loved ones, educated teachers for our children, trained electricians to work on our houses, etc. Why do we want mediocre, uneducated people running our country? I can assure you that no other major country is like that. How can America remain the leader of the world if we're the only one with undereducated leaders? The answer of course is that we won't.
Stand up and demand that our elected officials be elite.