Peggy Noonan, Elitist Snob

by Sal on July 11, 2009

in Culture,Media,Politics

I used to be a big fan of Peggy Noonan.  I thought that her columns were thoughtful, eloquant, and had a way with the English language.  Her seeming understanding of the world and of Conservatism was always enjoyable, and I looked forward to her weekly columns.

All of that started to change after the 2004 election.  While still writing good columns, she seemed off her game.  As the 2008 campaign heated up last fall, she started to show tendencies of elitism, denigrating Sarah Palin and swooning over Barack Obama.  Now, in her latest column, she viciously attacks Sarah Palin, calling her a “very nice middle class girl with ambition”  who “wasn’t  thoughtful enough to know that she wasn’t thoughtful.”  Noonan goes on to claim that Palin was “not ready for national politics, and never would be.”

Noonan appears to know everything about Sarah Palin, and assumes from that fact that Palin is a bimbo with no brain.  Her article is dripping with condescension, and claims that Palin was a product of the Republican elite.  Rather, it is the Republican elite who is against her, and who thwarted her.  Many of her missteps during the campaign were due to mismanagement by the McCain campaign, a campaign that now viciously has turned on her.  Noonan’s condescension assumes that Palin is not fit for anything involving national politics, and that she is a dolt who will never be able to study up on national issues.

“Now she can prepare herself for higher office by studying up, reading in, boning up on the issues.” Mrs. Palin’s supporters have been ordering her to spend the next two years reflecting and pondering. But she is a ponder-free zone. She can memorize the names of the presidents of Pakistan, but she is not going to be able to know how to think about Pakistan. Why do her supporters not see this? Maybe they think “not thoughtful” is a working-class trope!

This nasty column is unbecoming of Ms. Noonan, and cements in my mind that she is an elitist snob.  One could easily argue that neither Barack Obama nor George W. Bush were “ponderers” as Noonan thinks the ideal president to be.  Noonan is forgetting that Conservatism and democracy envisions that normal people run our government, not an elitist, governing class.  To quote the late, great, William F. Buckley, Jr. (hardly a lightweight in the intellectual sphere), “I would rather be governed by the first 2000 people in the Boston phone book than the entire faculty of Harvard.”  Peggy would do well to learn this lesson, and realize that she is insulting the vast majority of hard-working Americans who see Palin as someone who can return the American form of government to “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

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