More On Thomas Frank's New Book-- This Time From Jason Wojciechowski
We've talked a lot about Thomas Frank's stunning new book, Listen Liberal-- What Ever Happened To The Party of The People?". Here's a good place to start. A friend, Jason Wojciechowski, had a similar perspective after reading it and he said it would be OK to share with DWT readers, writing that he found it "to be a valuable primer on the fissure in the party. I've highlighted all over the place and am constantly exclaiming, "Aha! Yes, that is it." The capture of the Democrats not just by corporations, but the professional class is the defining theme of this election. The breakpoints are many, but my favorite is the fact that the top profession giving to Hillary has been lawyers; for Bernie it's teachers."
The rise of the meritocracy explains the obsession with Hillary's qualifications and the belief by her supporters that those who don't equate her qualifications with good judgement must simply be sexist.I'm not certain what Jason's decided to do in November-- let alone Frank-- but I just can't imagine how I could pull myself to vote for her, even under the guise of saving the country from Trump. Same goes for the garbage recruits for the House and Senate by the DCCC and DSCC. None of their recruits are on this page, though:
Our modern technocracy can never see the glaring flaw in such a system. For them, merit is always synonymous with orthodoxy: the best and the brightest are, in their minds, always those who went to Harvard, who got the big foundation grant, whose books are featured on NPR. When the merit-minded President Obama wanted economic expertise, to choose one sad example, he sought out the best the economics discipline had to offer: former treasury secretary and Harvard president Larry Summers, a man who had screwed up time and again yet was shielded from the consequences by his stature within the economics profession.
...The professional class is defined by its educational attainment, and every time they tell the country that what it needs is more schooling, they are saying: Inequality is not a failure of the system; it is a failure of you.
...Professionals dominate liberalism and the Democratic Party in the same way that Ivy Leaguers dominate the Obama cabinet. In fact, it is not going too far to say that the views of the modern-day Democratic Party reflect, in virtually every detail, the ideological idiosyncrasies of the professional-managerial class.
...As a political ideology, professionalism carries enormous potential for mischief. For starters, it is obviously and inherently undemocratic, prioritizing the views of experts over those of the public. That is tolerable to a certain degree—no one really objects to rules mandating that only trained pilots fly jetliners, for example. But what happens when an entire category of experts stops thinking of itself as “social trustees”? What happens when they abuse their monopoly power? What happens when they start looking mainly after their own interests, which is to say, start acting as a class?