Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

It’s Not Democracy vs. Merit

...as Sam Goldman explains. Both Obama and Palin stand for the combination of democracy and meritocracy present in the thought that status in America must be earned. But they differ on what genuine status and class are. While you’re over there at POSTMODERN CONSERVATIVE, you might do some scrolling.

Discussions - 2 Comments

There seems to be something very Tocqueville-"esque" about the argument at hand here. I contend that there may be less reason to believe in a true American "meritocracy" than one would hope. I think honest Americans can truly distinguish what it takes to earn status and who, in fact, has earned it. If people were always honest and reasonable then a true meritocracy could function. Americans, however, are not always willing to bestow "status" to all who have genuinely earned it. Instead, Americans are more concerned about "democracy", literally "rule of the people", and ensuring that they, the "demos", determine who receives status and who does not. Palin's un-apologetic, conservative-femininity is unsettling to a majority of Americans, for varying reasons, and we simply don't feel as if we had any part in "making" her. Palin will not receive the status coronation she has earned from the American public.

I think the true "post-modern" conservatives are people like Larry Arnhart (i.e., those who accept the fact that we are evolved animals and that our social forms are dictated by necessity (rather than an old man in the sky, for instance). Ultimately, if conservative principles are to survive, they will need to be rooted in science rather than theology or "natural law." Get over it, Mr. Lawler.

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