National Salvation in Confusion and Mediocracy


As one who grew up among evangelicals similar to Sarah Palin and experienced “higher learning” at George Roche’s Hillsdale College, I found GQ’s Glenn O’Brien’s article “The Rhetoric of Confusion: Sarah Palin and the Rise of Mediocracy” fascinating.  The independent soul in me yearning to breathe free does not seek in a Vice President “a charismatic genius sprung from the educated elite”, the yin O’Brien contrasts with the Palin yang.  Nevertheless, I find compelling O’Brien’s critique of “a Tourette’s syndrome of euphemism” and the “ordinariness and lack of distinction and achievement . . . now considered to be a key manifestation of the democratic ideal”.  But then, as H.L. Mencken noted about a century ago:

No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.