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What does "elitism" mean?

The right's favorite scare word is "elitism."
Excerpts of article by Brooks Kraft / Corbis
If there's one epithet the right never tires of, it's "elitism." Republicans are constantly accusing Democrats of it this campaign season, as when Kentucky Senate nominee Rand Paul attacked President Obama as "a liberal elitist … [who] believes that he knows what is best for people." With the Tea Party's rise, conservatives have even begun accusing each other of it, as Sharron Angle, the Nevada GOP nominee did when she charged that Robert Bennett, the outgoing senator from Utah, "has become one of the elitists that is no longer in touch." Other days, they simply lament that the entire country is falling prey to it, as California Senate nominee Carly Fiorina recently did in asserting that "the American Dream is in danger" because of the "elitists" in charge of the government.

 
tasches

Asked by tasches at 5:24 PM on Oct. 6, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 48 (298,202 Credits)
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Answers (20)
  • Heaven forbid we elect well-read, thoroughly educated, whip-smart individuals.
    SabrinaBean

    Answer by SabrinaBean at 5:27 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • I see the "elitists" as a group of people who are convinced they know what is best for you and you are too stupid to do anything for yourself without their help. The repubs believe you are perfectly capable of doing things for yourself. PBO sees us as the "little people" who need to be helped. That makes him and his like minded party elitists.
    jesse123456

    Answer by jesse123456 at 5:32 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • Is Meg Whitman running for President? It takes a different caliber of person to be President. Too bad, some American's were infatuated with the idea of Hope and Change in 2008.... But, if Obama's downward trend continues, I think America will enforce to him, Hope isn't a strategy and thanks to him, America has less Change in our Federal "pocket"....
    grlygrlz2

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 5:52 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • Heaven forbid we elect well-read, thoroughly educated, whip-smart individuals.


    I noticed you failed to include EXPERIENCED in Business Leadership.. or even perhaps~ EXPERIENCED in Military....   (Experience being the operative word).....;o)

    grlygrlz2

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 5:38 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • World English Dictionary
    elitism (ɪˈliːtɪzəm, eɪ-)
    — n
    1. a. the belief that society should be governed by a select group of gifted and highly educated individuals
    b. such government
    2. pride in or awareness of being one of an elite group

    World English Dictionary
    elite or élite (ɪˈliːt, eɪ-, ɪˈliːt, eɪ-)

    — n
    1. ( sometimes functioning as plural ) the most powerful, rich, gifted, or educated members of a group, community, etc
    2. Also called: twelve pitch a typewriter typesize having 12 characters to the inch

    — adj
    3. of, relating to, or suitable for an elite; exclusive
    silversmom

    Answer by silversmom at 5:27 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • I mostly agree with you Sabrina.... But I also think we need that balance of political insight with business and if we can add military to it, even better in many cases...
    grlygrlz2

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 6:06 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • The elitists are right now in the process of making sure they will have and "we the people," all of us who aren't elitists, are going to have not...


     Indeed. We are well on our way to becoming a Third World nation. A slim # of haves at the top who own and control everything and the remainder with nothing!

    Sisteract

    Answer by Sisteract at 7:55 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • It's a balancing act and an extremely hard job. Anyone should be recognized simply for trying. We can vilify any politician, but at the end of the day 99.8% of them are trying to do what they think is right. Personally, I want that person to be best equipped, educationally, intellectually and yes, experience-wise.
    SabrinaBean

    Answer by SabrinaBean at 6:00 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • I agreeSabrinaBean. And I don't want someone who is just a down home guy,like your neighbor or your local hockey coach....I want someone well-educated, a world traveler, a person who has experience and savoir faire and ....is an Elitist,if that's what it takes, Joe the Plumber and my next door neighbor ...they don't know $hit.
    gertie41

    Answer by gertie41 at 6:10 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • The elitists are right now in the process of making sure they will have and "we the people," all of us who aren't elitists, are going to have not...
    agentwanda

    Answer by agentwanda at 7:43 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

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