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I really do hope that elites will rehabilitate themselves; I don't want to destroy them, or even overthrow them. I just want them to change for the better; they must change for the better if America is to survive. Elites receive a great deal of criticism, but most of it isn't constructive; it isn't enough to just say that we dislike elites. We must spell out why we dislike them in very simple, easy to understand terms-and we must give very clear cut instructions about what they need to do if they want us to like them. I don't know how others feel, but I don't have a huge list of demands, and I understand that elites are human beings and will make mistakes. I just want them to have a sense of honor; whether they are right or wrong, liberal or conservative, I want to believe that they have good intentions. I have no problem with those who take a principled stance against a war, but I cannot tolerate those support wars, but advise their own children not to fight in the wars they support. That is so wrong.
I don't believe that only veterans should be citizens, but the only way for our elites to rehabilitate themselves is through military service. America has always had an elite class of one sort or another, but until recently, elite men were at least as likely to serve as other men, if not more so. Every society that has ever existed has has an elite: there is no such thing as not having an elite, but in a free society, we cannot tolerate the idea that some are born to rule and others are born to follow. Our current elite seem to think that they were born to rule, but never to fight. They cannot be tolerated.
One more thing, sorry :) I have told you a great deal about myself, 10 cents, but I know almost nothing about you. I would love to hear your story :)
Sorry to go on like this, I am wrapping it up now :) Basically, I found normal life and normal people far more interesting and fun than those who identify themselves as members of the intellectual elite, and I still do. My husband feels exactly the same way, and he actually did attend an elite high school, though not college. People who are preoccupied with their own intelligence are boring.It should be noted: my husband's ability to talk to anyone is a skill he has been working on all his life. In his younger days, he would go into the roughest bars in Edinburgh, dressed in a three piece suit, just to see if he could get away with it- and he usually did. Often, he made good friends in the process. The real world is a glorious place; I love the life I have lived, and the people I have known. I wouldn't trade it for an Ivy League degree, or for an Ivy League husband. People who closet themselves away in elite universities are missing out on life. There is nothing wrong with going to a good school, but there is more to life.
I have made plenty of mistakes in life, but they were my mistakes: they weren't mistakes my parents pressured me into, because my parents rarely attempted to pressure me into anything.At the Catholic schools I attended, we were told that much is expected from those to whom much has been given; our teachers seemed to think that this meant that we must all study very hard, and become doctors and lawyers. I never would have made it as a doctor, and I have never believed that God wanted me to be a lawyer, or a CPA, or an engineer. I also believe that much is expected from those to whom much is given, but I don't take that to mean that everyone who is capable of going to college must go to college; thankfully, my parents didn't take it to mean that either.When I was a teenager, I didn't know what I wanted, but I knew that I didn't want to be bored, and the path my teachers were laying out for me just seemed incredibly boring to me. It was a financially secure path, but it was so boring. Cont.
My Dad has been reading National Review since the 60's; he is an articulate guy, and he is fairly well spoken about politics. When she was younger, my mother looked like Marilyn Monroe ( seriously). My mother has never been an intellectual, and I am not sure how well she would do in a college course; she was never gifted academically, but she is still very smart: she married my Dad. Given how beautiful she was, I am certain that she could have married a wealthier man, but she fell for my Dad, and they are perfect for each other. There are lots of women who might be more of an intellectual match for my father, but my mother matches him in strength. They have been active pro lifers in Massachusetts for over 40 years; both of them have guts of steel.The thing I love most about my parents is that they were content to live a normal life, and have normal kids: they didn't get all excited when the teachers told them I was gifted. They didn't get upset when I let my grades drop in high school; they never attempted to live vicariously through me. Cont.
Thank you so much, 10 cents, I would be happy to tell you about my parents-and you are right, my mother has been on her knees praying for me since I was born, and still is :) Both my parents come from the school of hard knocks; they both grew up the children of Irish immigrants during the depression. My father enlisted to fight in WWII, against his father's wishes: his father didn't want him to fight in what he viewed as an English war; my Dad was stationed in the Pacific. He never graduated high school; he made his living as a machinist. My Dad could have easily made it through college, but circumstances didn't permit that, and he loved the work he did as a machinist. My Dad has never been a frustrated man; I asked him once what he would have done if he had gone to college. He shrugged, and said; "I would have been an engineer" His life would have been easier in some ways if he had gone to college, but he didn't entertain any delusions about college being a route to total fulfillment. Cont.
As for the advice I would give, I would advise both young men and young women to not buy into the idea that all smart people go to college, and to not buy into the idea that they are part of some intellectual elite. The snobbishness that results from such an attitude is very unattractive in both men and women, and it leads to social problems, and a country where those who attended elite schools are not trusted.Specifically, I would tell young women that they can't have everything, and that there is a consequence to every choice they make. Women who believe that having a successful career will make them more attractive to men are assuming that men think the same way women do; they assume that men are looking for the same things in women that women are looking for in men. I would try to explain to these poor misguided girls that men and women are different; that is, I think, what the Sophist is saying, and it is far more effective when a man says it, so I hope that all of the men who have spoken on this issue keep talking. :)
Thank you, 10 cents :) My husband is a very interesting guy; schoolwork came easily to him ( though I have known very smart people for whom it did not come easily), but he never had any interest in school. He signed up for some business courses in college, but when he found out that none of his professors had any business experience, he dropped out. He learned about the business world by working in it; it didn't hurt that he is very charming and a natural salesman. One thing I love about my husband is that he isn't afraid to get his hands dirty; manual labor isn't his first choice, but he will do it if he has to, and he has a healthy respect for working class men. He attended an elite high school in Scotland, where he was taught about classical music and classical art: he is better educated than most college graduates, but he doesn't use his education as a club with which to beat others. He can speak with a plumber just as easily as he can speak with an Ivy League Phd. He isn't closed off to those who are less educated. cont.
I decided to forego getting into a high rated school, and to live a normal life instead. I dated a wide variety of men from a wide variety of backgrounds; I never had a problem finding men who were as smart as I was, even though most of the men I dated never attended college. I ended up marrying a brilliant guy who dropped out of college after one semester, but all of the men I dated were at least as smart as I was. I am so glad that I didn't follow my teachers' advice, especially when I see Ivy League women agonizing over how they will find men who are worthy of them. But I had the advantage of having sensible parents: those Ivy League women have been told all their lives by everyone, including their parents, that very few men are as smart as they are, and all of those men are on Ivy League campuses. They have been brainwashed since birth. It isn't totally their fault.
Sophist: I agree with most of what you are saying, and more than that, what you are saying needs desperately to be said, but I am curious as to what sort of advice you would give young women. I am horrified by Mrs Patton's snobbishness, and yet I have the feeling that it isn't totally her fault that she is a snob. Some backround: schoolwork came easily to me, and because of that, my feminist teachers adored me. They told me, basically, that I was the second coming, that I was destined for great things, and that I should get myself into the highest rated school possible, or else I would never find a man worthy of my brilliance. ( I am joking. My teachers were not joking) Thankfully, my working class parents were far more sensible than my teachers; my parents weren't sure what to make of it all, and they never really commented either way, but I could tell that they were not entirely comfortable with what my teachers were telling me. I wasn't comfortable with what my teachers were saying either, and I decided ultimately, not to follow their advice. Cont.
My reading suggests that in recent years, at least at the eastern elite colleges, affirmative action is going the other way. I wonder how others feel about this. I am all for educational reform that will allow boys to flourish in the educational system so that the numbers applying to college change. I am not sure how I feel about admitting boys who simply do not meet the standards in preference to girls who do. · 3 hours ago
Affirmative action of any kind is wrong, but women who have accepted affirmative action for themselves all these years are not in much of a position to complain when the pendulum swings the other way. I am far more concerned about the preferences that virtually all women receive in hiring than about the preferences that a handful of men receive at a handful of elite colleges.
Of course, all affirmative action is wrong, but gender based preferences are more far reaching than race based preferences, simply because there are far more women than there are African American men. We hear a great deal about race based preferences, but very little about gender based preferences. Why is that?
We should abolish all gender based affirmative action. The idea that white girls from rich families are getting preferential treatment is ridiculous.
Women in combat is the dumbest idea that has ever come down the pike; those of us who look to Hollywood as a possible explanation are just trying to understand how so many people could be so dumb. We are grasping for an explanation, and yes, we are grasping at straws.
It was very helpful to me to know that people like Winston Churchill also struggled with depression; it is crucially important for people to realize that it is possible to live with depression and also have a successful life.
Many who are suicidal are very good at hiding it; they are in a closet, so to speak. Especially when dealing with young people, it is often impossible to determine who is depressed and who isn't; as a society, we should speak more openly about depression, making it clear that some of the most successful people in the world- Winston Churchill, Mother Theresa- struggled with it all their lives. That knowledge won't cure anyone, but it can make depression easier to cope with, and that can mean the difference between life and death.
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