Monday, October 25, 2010

No True 'Merkin

Charles "Bell Curve" Murray writes in Kaplan Daily (forget about a link, this is far too bad for linkage):
There so many quintessentially American things that few members of the New Elite have experienced. They probably haven't ever attended a meeting of a Kiwanis Club or Rotary Club, or lived for at least a year in a small town (college doesn't count) or in an urban neighborhood in which most of their neighbors did not have college degrees (gentrifying neighborhoods don't count). They are unlikely to have spent at least a year with a family income less than twice the poverty line (graduate school doesn't count) or to have a close friend who is an evangelical Christian. They are unlikely to have even visited a factory floor, let alone worked on one.
Just so that you won't have to seek out his wretched pile of camel spunk, let me explain what he's saying. The whole article talks about some "New Elite" that apparently the Teatards dreamed up, and Chuck here decided must be right, because it fit his preconceived notions exactly. It's all basically one big violation of the "No true scotsman" fallacy. No true 'Merkin would live in a city, or not read Left Behind, or not watch The Price Is Right.

As I understand it, though, the great thing about America is not supposed to be that we are all robots who follow one exact path, but that we're a nation of diversity. Everyone, everywhere, is different from everyone else. We all have different experiences, and yet we're still Americans. I'm still an American in spite of the fact that I've never gone to Branson, Missouri, nor have I watched any mixed martial arts (though I do know what "MMA" stands for).

But the best part of all of this is that Kaplan Daily gave Murray a live Q&A time, in which he revealed that he is currently writing a book about this whole "New Elite" thing. Because Bobos In Paradise wasn't insipid and idiotic enough. Also too, I look forward to Andrew Sullivan giving it a rave review.*

*Cf. Murray's previous magnum opus, The Bell Curve. It's infamous for the contention that different races are more intelligent because of genetics. When someone calls your book "a scabrous piece of racial pornography masquerading as serious scholarship," ur doin it wrong.

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