Sunday, September 21, 2008

Shorthand for the Liberal Boogeyman

"I’m getting a little worn out on hearing the Ivy League implicated as shorthand for the liberal boogeyman.

"Firstly, I’m not sure how many people even know what the Ivy League is – it’s an athletic conference, made up of only eight schools: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale. The linked article does an excellent job of how we ended up lumping them together – they are the oldest schools in America, they generally have Protestant origins, they have been playing one another in sports for hundreds of years (though the conference was only formalized in the 50s), they are all academically selective, they are all well endowed and wealthy, and they are all in the East. Historically, West Point and the Naval Academy have been lumped in with the Ivies, sharing many of their characteristics. Also equivalent to them in many respects are other highly selective private colleges: Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, MIT, University of Chicago, Notre Dame, Stanford, Georgetown, Washington & Lee, and many more.

"If you think of Ivy League as "educated at any elite, selective, moneyed, private institution of higher learning," then it certainly takes in a large swath of our public servants, most of whom find that an advanced degree is necessary to gain the education and make the connections that will allow them to get and understand policy jobs.

"But even if you think it’s the eight colleges in the Ivy League themeselves that are poisoning the public with softheaded, communist ideas, and that we need to rid government of their graduates and their thinking, you’re still not going to be able to vote Republican. Both the Bush Administration and the McCain campaign are lousy with the graduates of these supposed hotbeds of unAmericanism.

"I’ve been having a look around, and with the help of others have compiled this list of Ivy League graduates, and graduates of other elite non-public institutions, in the Administration and the campaign. It looks as though it’s not only Democratic leaders, but both Bush and McCain as well, who rely upon the kind of thorough, world-class scholarship this institutions provide. McCain, in particular, is drawing upon the knowledge of a great many advisors currently in the academy in these very institutions.

"I wonder what it’s like when they get together for roundtables? When they compare college rings and ties, and discuss who was in what honor society and who had who for constitutional law, laughing about old times on the ol’ campus, and then watch their candidates malign "Ivy Leaguers" and "elitists?" to the public? I guess they laugh it off, letting Republican Party leaders badmouth them and their alma maters, knowing that it’s all a show for the dimwitted public. Anything to stay in power! If takes misreprenting yourself and your advisory teams, letting voters think you’re a lot less well-off, privileged, well-educated and well-connected than you really are, then so be it. At the Faculty Club victory party it’ll all be behind you. All’s fair in politics, right?

"So the list has found a home on this website, thanks to the generous support of the host. Please note that this is just a sampling, not a comprehensive list of advisors or appointees. Information has been taken from public sources such as WikiPedia,, the personal and company websites of the individuals, and news outlets. We welcome additional submissions."

- The About page at
Ivy League Elitists
via Projects

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