If you are a graduating Yalie, you have likely accrued no small portion of uppityness during your bright college years. Unsurprising.
Aside from partaking of the protest-too-much milieu infesting college campuses since radical chic descended dark decades ago, we also go to Yale and, my, isn’t that impressive! The uppity attitudes and antics of this student body have often provided the opportunity to laugh, to pray and to cry, but never have they so excelled in goat-capturing as when they are manifested in some Yalies’ petty disdain for the duly elected president of the United States, George W. Bush ’68.
You know what I’m writing about.
Every time his name is mentioned, some little condescending quip comes along for the ride, usually one delivering the profound and original point that he is stupid. (The worst of you, who still refuse him his title or instead write “president,” do not require extra mocking from others; you have more pie on your face than was ever on mine during Spring Fling.)
This hardly goes on only at Yale, but here seems to be added the implication that Bush is not smart enough to be president or even a Yalie. Therein lies the height of Yalie uppityness and the key difference between the elitism of Old and New Yale.
Yale elitism was grand, until it went intellectual. The students of Old Yale had an objective elitism, an elitism based not on a sense of their own deserving but instead on the knowledge of the leading roles they were to play in society. Not insecure of their station, they acted neither uppity nor especially eager to trumpet their own successes.
Nowadays Yale students practice a subjective elitism, an elitism grounded in their estimation of their own personal accomplishments and merits. Believing (or at least trying to believe) they have earned actual supremacy while their precursors coasted through unqualified, they do not hesitate to ridicule a member of the old guard with whom they disagree as just too dumb to see things their way or be classed in the same achieving group with these rising princes of America.
Of course, some of this excessive amount of uppityness toward our president originates in bitterness: many of you really can’t stand the way Bush handed it to Gore in a conflict perfectly underlining the resistance of the American people to the elite that wants to protect them from the powerful and run more and more of their lives.
Here we have the cream of the crop offering their helping, expert hands to the people down below, and they had the audacity not to care. Well, it may not have occurred to America’s Yale-educated mandarin class, but the Great Middle Class in fly-over country does not want the government to keep expanding like small Mario eating too many of his mushrooms.
The good news about this brand of Yalie uppityness is that the more Ivy League intellectual snobs condemn Bush as unqualified to sit in the country’s driver’s seat — while all while the country markedly continues not to fall apart — the more will America embrace him. Yalies’ uppity behavior is pathetic, pitiful, sorry and sad; may it continue.
Brooks Eubank is graduating from Calhoun College.