Far Above Cayuga's Waters
View of Cayuga Lake from Cornell Campus
(Image via Wikipedia)
Cornell University is one of the eight official Ivy League schools, one of two in New York (the other being Columbia University). All of the Ivy League's institutions are located in the Northeastern United States, and they are widely acknowledged to be among the top academic institutions in the world. I am an alumnus of both New York Ivies, having earned my BS at Cornell and my MS and PhD at Columbia.
I suppose my academic credentials would suffice for admission to the self-anointed American intelligentsia. But like Groucho Marx, I would never accept membership in any club that would have me as its member, especially not one that was self anointed. The American intelligentsia has a penchant for telling other people what to do and how to do it, presumably because their academic achievements entitle them to know with certainty what is good for their less-well-educated compatriots. As Nobel Laureate I. I. Rabi quipped in connection with the discovery of the muon, "Who ordered that?" It was certainly not the Founding Fathers of our great meritocracy.
Barack Obama is perceived to be an American intellectual, having putatively earned degrees from Columbia University and from Harvard University, the latter being often viewed as the creme de la creme of the Ivies. Where Obama and I part ways, however, is that he relishes the idea of telling everyone what is good for them, even though he has displayed on occasion a glaring expression of deer-in-the-headlights about the workings of the world around us.
I wonder if the American electorate, the vast majority of whom do not belong to the class of people who require life-instruction emanating from an ivory tower of presumptuous pomposity, will acquiesce to four more years of such meddling in their lives and their livelihoods.