I have always distrusted elite opinion. I am pleased that other political leaders are finally adopting my view.
In advocating a gas tax holiday, both John McCain and Hillary Clinton dismissed as "elitist" the opposition of all economists.
When asked if she could name a single economist who backed her gas-tax holiday proposal, Clinton replied, "I'm not going to put my lot in with economists." She then criticized "this mindset where elite opinion is always on the side of doing things that really disadvantage the vast majority of Americans."
Barack Obama embraces beer, chitterlings, and rolls gutter balls to escape the "elite" label.
President Bush also doubts elite opinion. He wants us to consider both elite and non-elite views. Speaking of evolution and intelligent design, he stated, "I felt like both sides ought to be properly taught ... so people can understand what the debate is about ... I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought."
Taxpayer-supported public schools dismiss non-elite views while presenting the opinions of the elite as fact. I agree with Bush. We should teach both sides and let people decide for themselves.
Consider heliocentrism. Elite opinion holds that the sun, not the earth, is the center of our universe. Often presented as fact, heliocentric cosmology is only a theory. With your own eyes you can see that both the sun and moon revolve around the earth, daily rising and setting.
To make their theory workable (and remember heliocentrism is only a theory) the elite would have you believe:
The earth is spinning at a speed of 900 mph. (Why does it take you five hours to fly from Seattle to New York?)
The earth is also orbiting around the sun — at a speed of 67,000 miles an hour. (You know what it feels like to drive at 100 mph. Does it feel like we are orbiting at 670 times this speed?)
Our universe is expanding at 1.8 times the speed of light, and our galaxy, the Milky Way, is hurtling toward the constellation Hydra at 1,340,000 mph.
Let's hope there are no speeding laws in Hydra.
All this spinning, orbiting, and hurtling is risible. The elite, like Groucho Marx, are saying, "Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?"
Let's teach both sides. Let the elite Copernican version compete with the commonsense Ptolemaic model and let the people decide for themselves.
And let's debate other opinions of the elite:
Gravity: Newton's theory (and it's only a theory) of gravity employs elite terms such as the "law of inverse squares." The straightforward Aristotelian model holds that things fall to earth because that's where they belong.
Which is easier to understand? Which makes more sense to you?
Spherical Earth: Be honest. In your experience, isn't the earth flat? Look at Lake Washington. Is it flat or curved?
Is the alleged curvature of the earth relevant to anything you do? Do you factor in the supposed roundness when climbing stairs, arranging furniture, or playing tennis?
Why should you accept the elitist theory (and it's only a theory) that the world is round when experience tells you differently?
Pathogenic theory of medicine (Germ Theory): This elitist theory (and it's only a theory) proposes that microorganisms cause many diseases. Nonsense. Have you ever seen a microorganism? Spoken to one? Dated one?
Diseases are caused by an imbalance of the four humors — black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood. Everyone from Hippocrates to 18th century physicians knew this.
Down with elitism. Teach both sides. While we're at it, teach both sides of Fluoridation, racial stereotyping, and necrophilia. Then let the people decide.