At first I was excited when I heard the recent news that president Obama had chosen a black woman to be the next attorney general, but in the back of mind I thought “please don’t let it be another Ivy League snob”. I immediately looked her up on wikipedia and when I saw that she was a Harvard graduate, I felt absolutely sick. The whole reason I cheered for a black man to be president back in 2008 was that I want to live in a less discriminatory world. President Obama has done a good job being more inclusive to women and minorities, but when it comes to being inclusive to non-Ivy Leaguers, his record is terrible.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
President Obama has six Ivy leaguers in the cabinet: Hillary Clinton (Yale Law School) at State; Tim Geithner (Dartmouth undergrad) at Treasury; Attorney General Eric Holder (Columbia undergrad and law school); Gary Locke (Yale undergrad) at Commerce; Shaun Donovan (Harvard undergrad) at Housing and Urban Development, and Arne Duncan (Harvard grad and undergrad) at Education.
President Clinton had five: Defense Secretary Les Aspin (Yale undergrad); Attorney General Janet Reno (Cornell); Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt (Harvard Law); Labor Secretary Robert Reich (Dartmouth and Yale), and HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros (Harvard graduate school).
By comparison, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush had four each.
One of the best things about Canada is we don’t have anything equivalent to an Ivy League. Some universities here are more prestigious than others, but the differences are small, elusive and inconsistent and no one here much cares which university one went to. But in America, it’s a caste system where the Ivy League looms large, and Ivy Leaguers seem to view themselves as some sort of superior ruling class, and when they get into power, they appoint other Ivy Leaguers to positions of influence. And nowhere does this trend seem more pronounced than Washington, where all of the last four presidents have been Ivy Leaguers, and if Hillary Clinton gets elected, that’s an astonishing five in a row.
Part of the enormous overrepresentation of Ivy Leaguers in the white house is that the presidency selects for ambition, IQ and family wealth (all of which are strongly correlated with an Ivy League education) but the overrepresentation of Ivy Leaguers seems to be getting worse, so I can’t help but wonder if a lot of it is outright discrimination against anyone who didn’t attend the right school by various gatekeepers to power.
It will be interesting to see if the republicans oppose President Obama’s choice for the next attorney general. If they do, it will look like they are opposing her because she’s a black woman. If they’re smart they should go after her for being another Ivy League grad and ask Obama why he can’t pick an African American who didn’t attend an elite school, something blogger Steve Sailer has criticized him for.