Tuesday, January 6, 2004

When did the meaning of the word liberal change in the public debate? It's come to mean smart, exclusive, and (probably) immoral. Maybe the change began with the drawled "Awe heck, I ain't smart like you..." which is hardly a compliment.

Today, being smart is commonly perceived as more elitist than being rich. Once upon a time, the elite were the rich. But today, if you are rich, you may be because you're hard-working, or maybe just lucky, or manipulative, but anyone can become rich. But if you're dumb, you can not become smart. You can never join that elite group, no matter how hard you try.

So when those smart people debate the merits of homeland security collecting biometric data on foreign visitors to the US, it's all too intellectual. It doesn't matter if the data is good. It doesn't matter that the system was implemented without debate. It doesn't matter what the data will be used for in the future. Those are the concerns of the elite, not me, Joe Wallmart.

And maybe our president isn't the brightest. But when those smart people attack him for his lack of intellect, they're attacking me.

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