One cannot be made to feel stupid without one’s consent. That consent, so long granted, is being withdrawn as common sense (known in some quarters as straight line logic), makes a comeback.
Are most people too stupid, ignorant, and benighted to comprehend truth in the sciences, appreciate beauty in the arts, and embrace wisdom in politics? That question captures the bedrock assumption guiding a sliver of the populace, a self-anointed elite who cover their disdain for everyone else with altruistic professions of humanitarian concern. They’re curiously contradictory posture: we despise common tastes, choices, and beliefs, but we stand four square for the common “folk” (one of President Obama’s favorite words). After over a century of such sententiousness, the “common folk” are beyond irritated. Before the charade blows up completely, however, this claim to intellectual, aesthetic, and moral superiority, its widespread acceptance and its devastating effects, must be dissected, analyzed, and understood.
Walk into any museum of modern art and you’ll soon come upon a work that, if you’re honest with yourself, you have no idea how or why it’s called art. Maybe…
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