Wednesday, December 5, 2018

New York Times Opinion Piece: Why We Miss the WASPs

Left to Right: Choate Headmasters Seymour St. John, his father Rev. George St. John, (distant cousin*) Poet Robert Frost, and Philanthropist Paul Mellon - Photo by My Father
In Today's New York Times,  Opinion Columnist Ross Douthat writes:
Americans miss Bush because we miss the WASPs — because we feel, at some level, that their more meritocratic and diverse and secular successors rule us neither as wisely nor as well....  
You can get rid of the social registers and let women into your secret societies and privilege SATs over recommendations from the rector of Justin and the headmaster of Saint Grottlesex ... and you still end up with something that is clearly a self-replicating upper class, a powerful elite, filling your schools and running your public institutions.... 
You even end up with an elite that literally uses the same strategy of exclusion that WASPs once used against Jews to preserve its particular definition of diversity from high-achieving Asians — with the only difference being that our elite is more determined to deceive itself about how and why it’s discriminating.... 
[T]he WASPs had virtues that their successors have failed to inherit or revive.  Those virtues included a spirit of noblesse oblige and personal austerity and piety that went beyond the thank-you notes and boat shoes and prep school chapel going — a spirit that trained the most privileged children for service, not just success..."

 *For genealogy enthusiasts, common Robert Frost direct ancestors include: Frost, Woodman, Colcord, Sawyer, and French.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting piece by Douthat. I would suggest that the singular virtue the meritocratic successors of America's WASP elite "failed to inherit or revive" is faith in God through Christ. That faith, and the universal acceptance that without it all is nothingness, were the bedrock upon which rested the foundations of all America's institutions.

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  2. The New Elite have several things in common; high educational attainments, secular, cosmopolitan globalist outlook, and rootlessness. Everywhere is as good as anywhere and attachment to culture, creed or place is passe to the point of quaintness. This is why they are completely out of touch with the vast masses of ordinary people who care DEEPLY about all of those things.

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