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Archive for October 23rd, 2008

If You Can Read This, You May be an Elitist

Posted by s.z. on October 23rd, 2008

Poor Ben Shapiro.  Like many a young right winger before him, he was rewarded for his juvenile parroting of the Republican party line (conservatives love to have a few token Young Republicans around in an effort to make it appear that the Republican Party isn’t exclusively the province of old, rich farts and middle-aged rich-fart-wannabees). 

When Ben got older and was no longer in demand as a novelty act, it should have been a time for a reassessment for him.  After all, he had left home, had a chance to see a bit of real life, and was smart enough that he should have been able to try thinking for himself for a change.  He had the chance to grow up and come up with his own personal philosophy.  (We still admire young Kyle William, who was an even younger Rushkinder columnist than Ben, but who, when he reached his later teens, decided he no longer believed a lot of the stuff that he had been applauded for spouting, and gave up punditing). 

Instead, Ben just became mean spirited and crabby, and his writings became Dr. Mike-esque in their lack of real thought, and their hostility disguised as “humor.”  Ben continues to use his column to parrot what he thinks his Republican elders would approve of, but it’s pretty obvious that the wide-eyed young Ben who actually cared about things other than his own stock options died somewhere along the way.

So, let’s have Ben Shapiro, the carefully-raised scion of an upper-middle-class Reagan-supporting family (who is also Ben, the Harvard Law grad), lecture us on elitism.

Ben Shapiro : You Know You’re An Elitist If… 

This election cycle has exposed an enormous divide across the country. It’s not the divide between black and white; it’s not even the divide between liberals and conservatives. It’s the divide between elitists and the rest of us.

There’s nothing like a good “us vs. them” dichotomy as a way to begin an honest inquiry into the state of our society.

Elitism is a state of mind. Not everyone in New York and Los Angeles is afflicted by it, and not everyone from Jackson, Mississippi is free from it. Elitism is the feeling of superiority enjoyed by certain people based on their income, education, and nuanced value system.

Um, so this is where Ben confesses to a terminal case of elitism, and begs our forgiveness?

Elitism carries with it a strong hint of “sophisticated” Europeanism, as well as a large helping of atheistic skepticism.

Oh, so only LIBERALS can be elitists, because only they are sometimes skeptical of stuff, and know where Europe is.

Worried that you’re an elitist?

Sure, Ben, it’s one of my biggest concerns as I clip grocery coupons, shop at the thrift store for my winter wardrobe (sweat shirts, mostly — you can get nice ones, perfect for Hockey Moms, for $3 each), and eat my generic macaroni and cheese.

Here’s how you can tell if you are.You’re an elitist if you love Brokeback Mountain, but think that John Wayne movies are jingoistic expressions of outdated American machismo.

So, open homoeroticism is elitist, but cloaking it in the trapping of  war make it just fine.  Good to know.

You’re an elitist if you worry that Sarah Palin hunts moose, but aren’t worried that Barack Obama wants to meet personally with dictators.

Killing things = regular folks.  Attempting to mediate peace = elitist.

Oh, and here’s one that Ben accidentally left out: “You’re an elitist if you question having the state of Alaska pay for first class travel and 4-star hotels for its governor’s children (and you’re even worse if you wonder why it’s acceptable for her to later ammend the expense reports to say that the kiddies were on official business).  You also are an elitist if you find any ethical problems with $150,000 in campaign money being spent at places like Neiman Marcus for a VP nominee’s clothes, since the items will be donated to charity after Sarah is done wearing them, after all.”

You’re an elitist if you think that only bitter people unhappy with their lives cling to the Bible.You’re an elitist if you quote the Book of Matthew to justify socialism, cite the Book of John to defend Bill Clinton, write off the Book of Romans as “obscure,” or deride the Old Testament as a collection of antiquated messages about shellfish and animal sacrifices.

And you’re a “rest of us” if you use the Bible to justify homophobia, but don’t think any of the parts about helping orphans and widows apply to you.

You’re an elitist if you love watching soccer and you’re not a recent immigrant.

REAL Americans should watch football, damn it!  And if you’re an immigrant who has been here for more than a year or two, you should damn well give up your interest in soccer and become a real football loving American, or we’re going to suspect you’re here illegally!

You’re an elitist if you know what arugula is but don’t know who Jimmie Johnson is.

Okay, you do have me there, Ben.  I guess I know more about green, leafy vegetables than I do about Johnsons.  (No innuendo intended, probably.)

Anyway, there’s a lot more like this (basically, anything that Ben doesn’t like is elitist). but let’s just cut to the chase:

You’re an elitist if you declare that no one’s patriotism ought to be challenged – unless they’re questioning why they should pay higher taxes.


You’re an elitist if your name is Barack Obama. Chances are that you’re an elitist if you support him and you aren’t being hired by ACORN to do so, too.

Okay, I challenge Ben’s patriotism.  Trying to suppress the two-party system just doesn’t seem American to me.