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Rule of elites

A poll conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and 8NewsNow by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research last week shows Question 1 going down, 46-37, with 17 percent undecided.

Approval of the measure would eliminate judicial elections in Nevada in favor of an appointment and retention process.

The clear majority of Republicans and independents would prefer to retain their right to elect their own judges, even at the peril of hearing more singing radio commercials for District Court candidates Kenneth Pollock and Susan Scann.

But the really outstanding breakdown under the results was among Democrats. Among that group, 49 percent wish to have someone else choose their judges for them; only 34 percent of Democrats oppose the idea.

There couldn’t be a clearer indication of where Democrats separate from the majority of Nevadans on philosophy.

Dating all the way back to Franklin Roosevelt’s “Brain Trust” and John F. Kennedy’s “Best and the Brightest,” perhaps further still, to the interventionist quotamongers placed in charge of wartime production by college professor Woodrow Wilson in 1917 and 1918, modern Democrats insist America should be governed by elites, especially lawyers and Ph.D.s — people who know far better than the common rube how things ought to be run.

Representing the contrary view, William F. Buckley famously gave voice to the confidence placed in the common folk by the Founding Fathers when he opined, “I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty.”

Of course, experts are experts — in one thing. Better to have delicate surgery performed by a real surgeon than by some guy from the sheet metal shop, no doubt.

The problem arises when we assume that anyone with a tenured faculty posting — albeit no experience “out in the streets” — can successfully be put in charge of General Motors, or is likely to choose for us the “best judges” based primarily on a review of their academic credentials and membership in “the best firms.”

While, on the flip side, this same gang can’t bring themselves to dish out anything but outrage and ridicule on such “unqualified rubes” as Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, Rand Paul and Christine O’Donnell.

Yet the most “qualified” candidates these elitists can dig up are Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis, John Kerry and Barack Obama?

Oh dear.

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