Revenge of the Nerds

I tweeted out a few days ago that so far, President-elect Donald Trump’s senior level and cabinet picks are to the right of Ronald Reagan in 1981, and would find the approval of Calvin Coolidge. Naturally I wasn’t disappointed in my expectation that it would provoke the usual liberal clichés in response, because Coolidge caused the Great Depression, dontchaknow. To which I always like to share the following observation of a once-eminent person:

“A whole generation of historians has assailed Coolidge for the superficial optimism which kept him from seeing that a great storm was brewing at home and also more distantly abroad.  This is grossly unfair.  There was much that was good about the world of which Coolidge spoke . . .  the twenties in America were a very good time.”

And who wrote this? It was uber-liberal John Kenneth Galbraith, in his book The Great Crash. As we say today, doesn’t fit the narrative.

But even more fun is Shaun King in the New York Daily News yesterday, who complains that “There’s a huge education level drop-off with the Trump cabinet picks.” King is appalled that Trump isn’t picking people with advanced degrees from Ivy League universities, and is instead appointing, you know, real people—almost as if Trump actually believes in government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” and that the government can be run by someone other than self-certified elites. Just drink in the delicious presumption of the aptly-named King:

Donald Trump will be the first President of the United States in 25 years to not have a graduate degree of any kind. Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar and had a law degree from Yale University. Even George W. Bush had a Harvard MBA. Trump has B.S. in economics from University of Pennsylvania, but no advanced education.

“Even” George W. Bush. . . Nice touch that even, since everyone knows Bush was an idiot. Can you believe it? What was Harvard thinking?

Obama’s current Secretary of Education, John King Jr., has a B.A. from Harvard, a master’s degree and doctorate from Columbia, and a law degree from Yale on top of it all. He is one of the most educated people to ever hold the position of Secretary of Education. That makes sense right?

The incoming Secretary of Education is Betsy DeVos. She has a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College. That’s it. She’s also white and a billionaire. The standards are clearly different. Not a single black man in America would ever be under the impression that he could be Secretary of Education with a B.A. from Calvin College.

Actually the Reagan Administration wanted the late Marva Collins to be education secretary, but she turned them down. She only had an undergraduate degree from Clark College in Atlanta. I guess it’s too much for King to think back beyond 15 minutes ago.

But it gets better:

Secretary of State John Kerry has a law degree from Boston College. Rex Tillerson, who Trump nominated for the same role, didn’t go to grad school at all.

Let’s see: Tillerson has run one of the largest global enterprises in history, quite successfully it appears. Kerry has only run his mouth. And not very well at that. Boston College should recall that law degree perhaps.

Finally:

Many of these nominees, and indeed Trump himself, don’t even have a day of experience working inside of the government. These systems are complicated and robust. [And just whose idea was that?] To see the education levels drop off so much, is not just disappointing, it could be dangerous.

Or we could just return to the idea of self-government. Whatever will we do without the cool kids in charge?

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