Did you go to an Ivy League school, Stanford, Univ. of Chicago, et. al.?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Penis Aficionado, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Penis Aficionado

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,135
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas
    I have been thinking a lot about how it is that Barack Obama ran for president by harnessing public anger at a government/corporate elite, ridiculing the incompetence of said elite and promising change -- only to win and surround himself with card-carrying members of the government/corporate elite and basically tell us that they will carry out his policy of destroying themselves because they respect his authority.

    One theory I've developed that might explain Obama's rather ridiculous position, and also perhaps explain the federal government's inability to satisfy the wishes of 75% of the population and truly reform the health care system, is this: whether you're liberal or conservative, corporate CEO or community organizer, Heritage Foundation or ACORN, the leaders of this country are essentially an insular group of college buddies, from 10-15 out of this nation's thousands of universities.

    I attended a large, generic state school, but I can tell you that my experiences there, and the relationships I formed there, made me the person I am more than anything else in my life besides being raised by the parents I had.

    I had friends in college with whom I completely disagreed on politics, religion, music, literature and the very meaning of life, but who fought five drunken rednecks in a bar with me; went on 36-hour road trips with me because I wanted to hear Allen Ginsberg read; and sat up all night drinking whiskey with me when the girl I loved took up with a bass player. I did, and probably would still, trust them with my life.

    So is it possible that Barack Obama believes the system is broken, but that the individuals who run the system are just a bunch of really awesome guys, like that time when Tim Geithner's girlfriend got drunk and gave Rahm Emanuel a blowjob, and Timmy was pissed but later he came around with a case of Amstel Lights and said that bitches come and go, but bros have to stick together?

    I guess my question is this: if you went to one of these elite schools, what were the relations between the people who went to Wall Street and corporate suites, and the people who became ACLU lawyers and environmental activists and feminist scholars? Did they all hang out together, like at my giant state school? Or did they truly dislike and oppose each other, knowing that their beliefs would translate into real power upon graduation?

    I am really, truly curious to hear your take on this.
     
  2. gymfresh

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,659
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rodinia
    Verified:
    Photo

    Yes, I have 2 degrees from the "elite" universities you mention.

    I don't agree with the premise that the Obama campaign harnessed "public anger at a government/corporate elite." From what I see, the public would be content with a competent, fair government/corporate "elite". My disgust, and that of most everyone I know, was with self-serving half-wits who so disdained and underestimated average Americans that they thought they could get rich at the public trough while forcing their reactionary views on a passive public. When they pushed their luck too far and tanked the world's biggest economy, they got booted. There was nothing elite about Bush & Co; on the contrary, they prided themselves on their plebeian, albeit money-grubbing and social-climbing, roots. Maybe if there had been even a touch of noblesse oblige in the administration (and in board rooms), we wouldn't be shoveling ourselves out of a mess right now.

    The old-boy network was much stronger in previous generations. Today, it is not so much an insular group of college buddies as people who bring the most experience from their respective professions, and thus are very likely to have professional ties with each other. Moreso than social ties, which may have been stronger in the past.

    Personally, I had no problem blending my ACLU/HRC memberships and activism with a very satisfying, high-level career in mergers & acquisitions and international corporate finance on Wall Street. I was far from alone in that. Oh, and I was an early and longtime GMHC volunteer, too. You'd do well not to think of these as separate spheres.
     
    #2 gymfresh, Jul 8, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  3. sparky11point5

    sparky11point5 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Boston
    Interesting post, and I think entirely correct.

    There is a definite class structure in the US and a growing gap between the elite and the rest of America. I have seen this firsthand both at "State" and an Ivy for graduate school. This is not a partisan divide since top colleges produce both liberals and conservatives, but one based on access to education and personal connections. I worry that the US is becoming less and less meritocratic.

    Actually, this is one reason why I am a liberal, since I believe strongly in a level playing field. I would not have succeeded in work without some opportunity for a middle class kid with an artist father and working mother. I think without a focus on education, social services, and other aspects of a humane society, the rich just get richer.

    Obama is as much a product of this system as Bush was, although I think that is about the extent of the similarities. I think this is what a lot of critics miss about Obama -- he is a centrist, pragmatist, and *believes in the system that enabled him to succeed*. Calling him a socialist is really just foolish. If anything, we need more of a radical as a President, but our system really prevents that for good or bad.

    Bush was born on third base, and still could not succeed in business without the taxpayers of Texas giving him (and his partners) the windfall of a new stadium. And, he had an Ivy League MBA. (I went to Penn, so Harvard can suck me :) )
     
  4. Penis Aficionado

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,135
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas
    Gymfresh, you are confirming just what I am afraid of, and attempted to express humorously in my original post.

    I used to assume that ideology mostly trumped proximity in these matters ... that the Harvard students who planned to become civil rights lawyers probably didn't like or socialize much with the ones who planned to go to Wall Street; that if you flirted with black nationalism and worked as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago (as Obama did after college), you probably believed "the system" was fucked.

    But the decisions that Obama's made as president and the people he's surrounded himself with have caused me to doubt those assumptions -- as you say I should.

    I have to say I am getting close to the opinion that during the election Obama deliberately misled us about who he is and what he stands for.
     
  5. gymfresh

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,659
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rodinia
    Verified:
    Photo
    Yes, we plot our elitist takeover of America on our own elite website.

    Shhh! Don't tell anyone...
     
  6. Penis Aficionado

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,135
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas
    I'm not saying anything as simpleminded as that Ivy League elites "plot" to take over America.

    I'm saying that if you're an Ivy League graduate, I'm not sure I trust any anti-establishment rhetoric that might come from your mouth. Because ultimately, the establishment are your friends and colleagues. And I suspect that means more, in the end, than your ideology.
     
  7. sparky11point5

    sparky11point5 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Boston
    OK, I see where you are going. I think it is more complicated.

    I was a typical college lib, both at undergraduate and graduate schools. Every 18 - 24 year old takes themselves and their potential role in the world much too seriously. Yet, most people generally had friends across any supposed 'ideological' boundaries. There were some groups frats at State and the the social clubs at Penn that did seem to break around class and political lines, but this was more an artifact than purpose, I believe. For example, a frat built a mock South African 'shanty' from which to serve drinks during lawn parties as a way to snipe at the anti-apartheid liberals on campus. Most of us thought it was tasteless, but kinda funny or at least self-mocking somehow. A few firebrands managed to get the University to bulldoze it :)

    Also, I would caution against seeing this as an issue of true or false rhetoric. The thing is that the Buckley-style conservatives and the Chomsky-style liberals just have different perceptions of the same experiences. Same environment, different results. This is very different (and more human) reaction than you describe. I think there is truth that there is a connection, but real world issues (love, money, power, the eternal golden braid) always trump school daze.
     
  8. thirdknee63

    thirdknee63 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    108
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    I just went to a junior college ..myself..BUT we did have some Ivy on our fences surrounding the football stadium..is that what u mean:confused:
     
  9. pornographicpoet

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    484
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Prospect Park area, Brooklyn, NYC
    I doubt that site is comprehensive gymfresh, as it doesn't have Reed College on there....the top liberal arts college in the US.....also doesn't have my alma mater - the Yale of the Midwest (find out for yourself what I'm talking about)
     
  10. D_Quincy Quiverbone

    D_Quincy Quiverbone New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Reed is the top LAC? LOL ok. What about Amherst, Williams, etc.
     
  11. Penis Aficionado

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,135
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas
    Yes, but aren't people who go to Reed more likely to end up in a cabin in the woods hiding from UFOs than occupying the halls of power in D.C.?
     
  12. MalakingTiti

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,715
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    33
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NY NY
    I went to Cornell and I think you're nuts.
     
  13. pornographicpoet

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    484
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Prospect Park area, Brooklyn, NYC
    Bah, but those Reed people are so much more fun. I'd rather hide from UFOs in a cabin in Montana than join in the soul-sucking power game that is politics. This is coming from someone who went to a private LAC and a large reputable research university (UW-Madison). I think Obama had such an ambitious start to his life in community organizing but his corruption is evident by being influenced by the political system. He has become the thing he was once organizing against. Still, he's better than any president since Kennedy, so I guess that's saying something.
     
  14. MalakingTiti

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,715
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    33
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NY NY
    I do not understand why so many people are so quick to villify this man. What has he really done that is so bad? This country is in sad shape. He has said from the start that his methods may not work, but doing nothing is certain not to work. Michael Jordan once said that you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Obama is taking his shot, trying to make chicken soup out of chicken shit and all I see as an alternative is complaining. No creative or potentially better suggestions, just complaints. Well either put up, or shut the fuck up because you whiners are getting to be quite a bore.
     
  15. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,730
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Plimoth Plantation
    The "sister schools" are consdered Ivy League as well:

    Mount Holyoke College, Vassar College, Wellesley College, Smith, Radcliffe College, Bryn Mawr College, Barnard College.


    Generationally my father's people were Harvard (I broke that tradition) and my mother's paternal forbears Cornell.

    Brava bravissima! Thanks for this honest perspective.
     
    #16 B_Stronzo, Jul 9, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  16. B_LargePenis46

    B_LargePenis46 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    CA
    Yes I did and they are highly overrated and my friends who went to less expensive schools got better educations.
     
  17. houtx48

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    7,095
    Likes Received:
    35
    Gender:
    Male
    it's not so much where you go it's what you learn when you get there.
     
  18. Joll

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    14,518
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    723
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Wales (GB)
    I suppose Ivy league unis are the equivalent of Oxford/Cambridge and the like, in the UK. They do tend to favour students from posh 'public' (which are actually private and fee-paying) schools. Not sure whether Oxbridge students have greater access to influential professions, but I suspect so.

    Incidentally, Yale was founded by a welshman (apparently) called Elihu Yale. There's a Yale Uni in Wrexham named after him too (but it's crap).
     
  19. houtx48

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    7,095
    Likes Received:
    35
    Gender:
    Male
    zippy w. went to yale but god know how he got through. thank god for legacy programs.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted