Vail Daily letter: Best, brightest? No way!
Vail, CO, Colorado
“The best and the brightest chose Obama” in the election of 2012, to paraphrase Don Rogers in his commentary of Dec. 7. The best educated and wealthiest states voted for Obama, as did four out of the five richest counties in the U.S. So take that, Pravda. Obama was not elected by an illiterate society, as you stated in your recent issue, and we have this on the word of the Vail Daily.
How do we extrapolate from the fact that a wealthy state (whatever that definition is) generated more votes for Obama than for Romney? I would opine that a “wealthy state” would be more industrial, more resource developed and more of a corporate haven than say an agrarian state, consisting of mere gun toting “ma’s and pa’s,” such as farmers, ranchers, miners, oil well workers and that rest of that ilk.
So for Roger’s theory to work, we have to subsume that the top 10 percent of the population that carries over 70 percent of the tax load are not only the “brightest,” but also dwell in these wealthy states and counties.
Were we to really define a “wealthy state,” we would probably find that most of its wealth is held by large corporations such as banks, trusts, auto manufacturer, or insurance companies.
These wealthy entities do not vote. Rather, their camp followers do (labor union members, government employees, pensioners, etc.).
Support Local Journalism
So therein must lie the brightest and wealthiest voters to which Rogers alludes.
If we then deduce that the wealthy states and counties are where a majority of union and governmental labor forces are reposed, we then can reasonably explain how Obama carried these states and counties.
It was not because these employees and pensioners are the wealthiest and brightest, but that they know where their bread is buttered.
“The smarter, better-educated, higher income folks tipped to … Obama.” So says Rogers in his expose of election results.
This pronouncement is not only dismaying, subjective, but incredulous.
Where are the empirical studies that not only define what “smart” is, but where these folks are most concentrated – in wealthy states, collegiate states or federal enclaves, etc.?
If we correlate being smart with being rich, then only 25 percent of the population would qualify as the Obama cadre, since that percentage pays over 87 percent of the taxes, and they would probably be dwelling in the wealthiest states and counties, according to Rogers.
It is the other 75 percent of voters in these states that brought home the Obama bacon, and they either do not pay taxes, but carry only 13 percent of the freight.
It would be a stretch to say that these folks are the brightest or most educated, albeit intelligence is a personal characteristic and hard to quantify.
For Roger’s thesis to have credibility, we would have to subsume that the “red states” (Romney) are composed of illiterate, poor, dependent and mentally disadvantaged voters since they did not have the intelligence to grasp Obama’s outstanding record for the past four years – a stagnant economy, a bankrupt financial system with $16, 000,000,000,000 of federal debt, inflated prices on staple and necessary commodities (gasoline), a myriad undeclared wars, a reduced credit rating on governmental treasuries, rampany unemployment, and legions of welfare recipients or crony favorites.
Now that is a record that only the brightest and wealthiest among us can appreciate.