Who are "We"?
Published on: July 15, 2010
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  • John Barker

    Apropos of this blog entry, I am reading Jerome Karabel’s book, “The Chosen”, about how Harvard Princeton and Yale attempted to maintain their WASP identities by cleverly combining the characteristics of research universities and finishing schools for the children of the elite. Where do you draw the line between prejudice and the human desire to associate with those most like you? I haven’t finished the book but I wonder what the trade off is when people assimilate by foregoing their roots and adopting the culture of the dominant ones. The Kennedy family appeared to most Americans in the sixties to be in the mainstream of East Coast society. Only much later did I learn that they were on the margins of respectability until JFK’s election to the presidency, and that his displacement of Lodge for senator had a populist edge. What happens to people and families and nations when there is a great cultural shift.

  • pireader

    Your three examples are are well-chosen, and the Dalmatian anecdote is perfect.

    But why do bring the US Supreme Court into this?

    You say that the Court “circumvents” the democratic process, presumably by enforcing individuals’ constitutional rights against legislative encroachment. But the Court was created democratically (a constitution adopted by elected conventions), populated democratically (by an elected President and Congress) and funded democratically (Congressional apropriations). It’s a vital part of this democracy. As evidenced by other democracies’ movement towards similar arrangements (UK, Canada, EU).

    And why do you smear the Supreme Court as the agent of some “secularist elite” without bothering to offer specifics or evidence? It’s little more than bar-stool parroting of right-wing talk radio.

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