How Anti-Intellectual Is Palin?
Ramesh Ponnuru asks the question. He refers to Noam Scheiber's devastating piece on Palin's Nixonian hatred of educated elites. But Ponnuru wants more evidence. Here's one way to look at the question: how has Palin brought up her own kids? Her eldest son is a high-school drop-out. Her eldest daughter has had, so far as one can tell from press reports, very uneven attendance in high school, and no plans for college. Her other daughters seem to spend a lot of time traveling the country with their mom at tax-payers' expense. I've seen them at several rallies with the Palins this fall. Are they not in school?
The least one can say is that none of her children seems to have been brought up thinking that college is something to aspire to. And her new son-in-law just dropped out of high school as well.
Sarah Palin's own record of several colleges over several years - ending with a degree in sports journalism - tells you a lot. So does her interest in policing the Wasilla library as mayor and using the town's money for a sports stadium. She cut funding for the town museum and opposed building a new library. So does her amazing ignorance about the constitution. She is, in my judgment, the final rebuke to what Buckley tried to do for conservatism. She is burying it as an intellectual tradition and returning it to the pre-Buckley era. With the eager encouragement of a now Buckley-free National Review. Yes, the karma is overpowering. This is a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare.