“Brain-dead conservatives:” Redemption is found in Reagan roots
By: Craig Shirley
October 4, 2009
Ronald Reagan once joked that Harvard was not the answer to juvenile delinquency. Nor are elite college degrees for the ailing GOP, as my friend Stephen Hayward seemed to suggest in today’s Washington Post.
Indeed, many of the conservatives he cited with advanced degrees are not traditional, populist Reaganite conservatives but rather neoconservatives, who believe that power is not derived from the citizenry but from the state.
The confusion for some lies in the difference between elitism and intellectualism and what modern conservatism stands for. Elitism is not the answer for the suffering Republicans nor is attacking conservatives gratuitously, as some others like Columnist David Brooks have, nor is “big government Republicanism”—aka Bushism—the answer.
Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Al Gore and Barack Obama are all products of the Ivy League and no one would accuse any of them of being an intellectual, though a good case can be made that each is an elitist.