During the health-care reform debate, those who opposed the reform bill talked a lot about how it was impossible to understand, how it wouldn’t do anything tangible for ordinary Americans and how it wouldn’t even take effect for years.
Back in the '70s when Steven Apfelbaum told his mom he was
studying for a degree in ecology, his mother didn't know what to think. Unable
to accept or perhaps even understand this new specialty, she told friends that
"Little Stevie was going to be a veterinarian." She wasn't the only one
A Department of Justice inspector concluded that the FBI improperly
targeted for surveillance some U.S. advocacy organizations, including
the Thomas Merton Center, an interfaith group focused on nonviolence.
"Please stand and take off your hats for the singing of 'God
Bless America.'" That's how the announcer introduced the seventh inning stretch
at a recent Minnesota Twins game I attended. Minnesotans are nothing if not
rule followers, so we stood, many took off their hats, and some even joined in
Since 1988 there have been ten major party candidates for the office of U.S. president. Except for Bob Dole and John McCain, they all attended elite, private colleges, and seven of those eight also went to elite professional schools. All eight of them went to Harvard or Yale at some point—both of the Bushes, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama, and Romney. Of the 14 presidential nominees between 1948 and 1984, the heyday of public universities, only three went to elite private colleges and only two attended Harvard or Yale, with a third candidate having gone to Princeton. Harry Truman didn’t go to college and Barry Goldwater didn’t finish college. Lyndon Johnson went to Southwest Texas State Teachers College, Richard Nixon to Whittier College, and Ronald Reagan to Eureka College (William Deresiewicz, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite, Free Press).