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February 23, 2017

Tucker Carlson: We've Done Such a Thorough Job of Dividing Society Into the Educated Class and Non-Educated Class We've Destroyed Most Bonds of Compassion and Fellow-Feeling Between Them

Hitting a note I've hit myself once or twice before.

To the extent that Carlson’s on-air commentary these days is guided by any kind of animating idea, it is perhaps best summarized as a staunch aversion to whatever his right-minded neighbors believe. The country has reached a point, he tells me, where the elite consensus on any given issue should be "reflexively distrusted."

"Look, it's really simple," Carlson says. "The SAT 50 years ago pulled a lot of smart people out of every little town in America and funneled them into a small number of elite institutions, where they married each other, had kids, and moved to an even smaller number of elite neighborhoods. We created the most effective meritocracy ever."

"But the problem with the meritocracy," he continues, is that it "leeches all the empathy out of your society... The second you think that all your good fortune is a product of your virtue, you become highly judgmental, lacking empathy, totally without self-awareness, arrogant, stupid--I mean all the stuff that our ruling class is."

Carlson recounts, with some amusement, how he saw these attitudes surface in his neighbors’ response to Trump’s victory. He recalls receiving a text message on election night from a stunned Democratic friend declaring his intention to flee the country with his family. Carlson replied by asking if he could use their pool while they were gone.

"I mean people were, like, traumatized," he says. And yet, in the months since then, "no one I know has learned anything. There's been no moment of reflection...It's just, 'This is what happens when you let dumb people vote.'" Carlson finds this brand of snobbery particularly offensive: "Intelligence is not a moral category. That’s what I find a lot of people in my life assume. It’s not. God doesn’t care how smart you are, actually."

I'd go further than that, and agree with Megan McArdle and Instapundit that while the New Mandarins are good at a very limited number of cognitive functions, they are sorely lacking in crucial ones, the ability to reject received wisdom among one of the most important.

Those who have the most ego invested in the skill of repeating what Teacher has told them are naturally going to be very averse to suggesting the heresy that Teacher might be wrong.


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posted by Ace at 03:04 PM

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