Sept. 4, 2009 (MSNBC)
“I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment,” Palin said. “And I’ve learned quickly these past few days that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. . ."
October 24, 2008 (WN)
Q: Who is a member of the elite?[Note: Merriam's Online dictionary shows that while her definition is vaguely in the ballpark - an outsider's view of 'c' maybe - it doesn't convey the standard usage of that term. McCain's is close to 'd.'
Sarah Palin: . . . just people who think they are better than everyone else. . . John McCain and I are so committed to serving every American, hardworking, middle class Americans who are so desiring this economy getting put back on the right track. . . [Emphasis added]
Q: It's not education, it's not income based?
Sarah Palin: Anyone who thinks they're better than anyone else.
John McCain: I know where a lot of them live.
Q: Where's that?
John McCain: In our nation's capital and New York City. . . I know who these elitists are, the ones she never went to a cocktail party with in Georgetown. . . They think they can dictate to America what they believe rather than let Americans think for themselves.
a . . .the choice part : cream <the elite of the entertainment world>
c . . .the socially superior part of society <how the elite live — A P World> <how the French-speaking elite…was changing — Economist>
d : a group of persons who by virtue of position or education exercise much power or influence <members of the ruling elite> <the intellectual elites of the country>]
January 2009 Anchorage Daily News:
You can get his FAQ's regarding multiple intelligence which explains all this with a lot more complexity and nuance.
In his book Extraordinary Minds, Howard Gardner defined intelligence* as
"the ability to solve problems or fashion products that are valued in at least one cultural setting or community."
Of the eight listed above, the linguistic and logical intelligences are those most favored in school examinations. These are the 'smarts' that IQ tests recognize.
But people who have these kinds of intelligences may or may not rank high on the other intelligences - such as interpersonal or bodily-kinesthetic. We can see 'smart' people, with fancy degrees, who are physically clumsy and awkward and don't read interpersonal signals well.
So, it is easy for an athlete who barely graduated to make fun of a famous scholar who trips over his shoelaces and is awkward when dealing with the opposite sex. We all do better in the setting where our best intelligences are rewarded.
What is critical is that we recognize and appreciate where people are 'smart' and where they aren't. If I go in for surgery, I want a doctor who has linguistic, logical, and kinesthetic (good eye-hand coordination) intelligence. If I go to a concert, I expect to hear someone with, minimally, good musical intelligence.
Sarah Palin, it would seem to me, is shaky in terms of the two key academic intelligences (linguistic and logical-mathematical), but very strong on interpersonal and bodily-kinesthetic. But people with higher linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences, while being able to see Palin's strengths, will judge her more by their own strengths, and thus not be impressed.
Joe Miller, on the other hand, as a West Point and Yale graduate, has strong linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences. For some, Miller's elite Ivy League education at Yale might seem to disqualify him in the eyes of Palin followers because he's clearly part of the elite who got trained in "every leftist radical failed ideology known to man" (from Kathleen McKinley above).
So he's both an elitist insider and all the evil things that means to Palin supporters. But only people strong in logical-mathematical intelligence get too hung up on consistency of principles from one situation to the next. Besides, one could argue that he went to Yale as a subversive, to learn what the enemy was teaching. But Miller hasn't made that point himself to my knowledge.
But he does seem to think he's pretty smart. As mentioned above, he states his positions with authority and certainty. There's no question in his mind about his correctness. Wickersham's Conscience pointed out:
Miller claims he [sic] “He quickly mastered the law.” Shucks, WC has been a lawyer for more than thirty-four years and can’t claim to have “mastered the law.”A lot of this goes back to Socrates and the notion that a wise man is one who knows what he doesn't know. I suspect that some of the anger at people with certified intelligence (degrees from elite universities or in respected fields) is aimed at those who assume that their intelligence in their specialized field transfers to other fields. "Because I have a degree in one field means I must be smart in every other field."
I think Joe Miller has slipped into this category. He isn't nearly as smart as he thinks he is. I'm not going to use examples of where I think he's philosophically wrong because those things are impossible to prove. Instead I'll use more tangible examples, starting with his fiddling with the other attorneys' computers in Fairbanks.
- He thought he was clever and knew that he could hide his use of the computers by erasing his tracks. But he didn't know nearly as much as he needed to know and by clearing the caches, he probably caused the discovery of his antics much faster than had he just left the caches alone, because he erased everyone's passwords for databases they used every day. He was smart enough to know about caches, but not smart enough to know he only knew part of what he needed to know.**
- He also wasn't smart enough to understand that having a private security guard was totally out of the norm in Alaska politics and would make him look silly.**
- And he wasn't smart enough to understand that having his body guards handcuff a journalist would resonate poorly. He probably thought that people would see it as a legitimate blow against the 'lamestream' media. And his supporters probably do.
- And he didn't understand that lying about his departure from the Fairbanks North Star Borough was going to be worse than getting it out of the way early in the campaign. He seems to have thought that it was protected by personnel rules. He hasn't been in Alaska long enough to have read about the Supreme Court, in the newspapers, deciding that people applying for high level policy jobs do not have the same privacy rights as regular employees. And even though he's an attorney, he didn't look it up.
But he is able to play Palin's outsider theme when he does this. I'm like you regular Alaskans. Flawed. And, implied, an outsider.
But if you go to the doctor, do you want someone just like you, or do you want some with specialized expertise and skill in medicine? When you take your car to be repaired, do you want someone like you, or someone getting on-the-job training?
And when you elect someone to the US Senate, do you want someone just like you or someone with expertise and skill in public policy, power, and working with others? As well as a developed sense of ethics?
I believe that the institution of the Senate forces people to play the game or become irrelevant. Republicans, in recent years, have been more disciplined in keeping their members in line than the Democrats. That means Republicans will have a harder time representing their state interests when they conflict with the party interests.
But individuals who use their intelligences well are able to play the game more successfully than others. Some have the ability to block legislation. Others can work out deals because they have empathy and can understand other people's needs and values and show respect for people with whom they don't agree. They have the ability to actually create new legislation that improves people's lives. No matter what, whoever gets elected to the US Senate becomes an insider compared to most other people. They are in a club limited to 100 people. Within that club, it is true, there are also insiders and outsiders.
I think that's enough for now. Just a note that this is just one possible line of interpretation of all of this. I'm trying it out to see how it fits.
*From the FAQ's Gardner defines intelligences differently:
an intelligence refers to a biopsychological potential of our species to process certain kinds of information in certain kinds of way. As such, it clearly involves processes that are carried out by dedicated neural networks. No doubt each of the intelligences has its characteristic neural processes, with most of them quite similar across human beings. Some of the processes might prove to be more customized to an individual.
The intelligence itself is not a content, but it is geared to specific contents. That is, the linguistic intelligence is activated when individuals encounter the sounds of language or when they wish to communicate something verbally to another person. However, the linguistic intelligence is not dedicated only to sound. It can be mobilized as well by visual information, when an individual decodes written text; and in deaf individuals, linguistic intelligence is mobilized by signs (including syntactically-arranged sets of signs) that are seen or felt.
**A newer story in the Alaska Dispatch cites Fairbanks co-workers saying Miller was paranoid about his personal safety and possible computer attacks on him and even requested a security detail.