Keeping Up Appearances

Sen. Obama’s comments at a San Francisco fundraiser show he could learn a lot from our current president about how to succeed at being an elitist

By Elan Barnehama

Senator Obama recently opened up a can of bitterness and could not get the lid back on before that damning “elitist” label spilled all over him.

Most elitists are taught that they should never be smug (in public) about their elitism. We know that elitists know that we know that elitists have better lives than the rest of us, but some things are better left unspoken. Most of our nation’s elite go out of our way to stay out of our way. They ride in limos, fly in private jets, eat in exclusive clubs and vacation in secluded resorts – just to keep from rubbing their wealth and good fortune in our faces. Being a relatively new elitist – and therefore lacking the much-needed experience to be a successful elitist – Senator Obama made the typical rookie mistake.

Our current president went to a New England prep school, an Ivy League college and another Ivy for graduate school. Can’t get more elitist than that. But President Bush was able to transcend his upbringing and rise above his elitist upbringing. When one of the elite comes out from behind their hedge fund for the purpose entering the public arena and serving the public good, shouldn’t we cut them some slack? Of course not. President Bush didn’t need any slack. He knew how to shed every shred of snobbery. He reduced our last two presidential elections down to the question of who we, as a nation, wanted to have a beer with. In both elections, we chose the alcoholic.

And since none of the remaining candidates fit the beer-drinking mold, I’d advise them to reduce this contest to lapel flagpins.

Elan Barnehama is a writer living in Western Massachusetts. He has taught at several colleges and was, most recently, a Senior Writer for Wesleyan University in Connecticut. His commentaries have aired on public radio and appeared in newspapers. E-mail Elan at: elan32@gmail.com.

3 thoughts on “Keeping Up Appearances”

  1. “He reduced our last two presidential elections down to the question of who we, as a nation, wanted to have a beer with. In both elections, we chose the alcoholic.” — This is a great line!

    Like

  2. bush is a dry drunk.

    He’s a callous, bitter, neer’do-well who probably revels in the damage he has done (and is still doing).

    But it is almost true (true enough) to say that we did choose him. Certainly enough of us were taken in so that it became possible for the votes to be manipulated in Florida and then Ohio.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s