"Gentry" vs "Yahoos" – UPDATED

My Tuesday column is up, and, jumping off this post by Glenn Reynolds it looks at the question of whether or not there is a “cultural elite” and what defines them.

Lately, the elitist notion has turned into a hardy grapple between the mainstream and alternative punditries. The mainstream, in a tacit admission that they are elitist, sniff “What’s the matter with elitism?” and—in a staggering display of distortive spinmanship—chide their lessers as being “anti-education.”

The alternative crew volleys between amusement and disdain while wondering whether the ignoble “elite”—who seem “educated” but not particularly smart—should more properly be referred to as the “credentialed gentry.”

Elites or gentry, the people who described the electorate as “ineducable” in 2004 but “enlightened” in 2008 are running out of big words with which to condemn their unpersuaded lessers, and so for 2010 they are falling back on calling them “yahoos” and referring to their non-elite preferred candidates as “crazy” or “dumb.” If the preferred candidate is a female, the credentialed gentry—including their liberated women—feel no compunction in labeling her as “crazy,” “dumb”, “mean,” or even “a whore.”

I didn’t mean to get as Irish as it became…I have nothing against the rich; society needs them. It took a rich man with connections to get Christ off the cross and entombed. But these “gentry”…well, the cognitive dissonance got to me!

You can read it here

Related story here

UPDATE:

Ed Driscoll, “elitism, straight up” with screengrabs here

Amy Alkon: College Degree Snobbery

Don’t Know Much About History

Ace: Frustrated with how close Kurtz comes to getting it, before retreating.

Gerson: Obama the Snob

Hot Air: Revenge of the Yahoos

Byron York: Blaming everyone but himself

Duh: “Elites Tepid to Tea Party”

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