A reader writes:

Comparing Palin’s “seething resentment of elites” to that of Mr Nixon is rather superficial, and frankly not fair to Tricky Dick. 

It always seemed to me that Nixon believed the elites of America wouldn’t let him into the club, try as he might to join it, whereas Palin’s tack is one of rejection of the elite precisely because she lacks either the intelligence or drive to distinguish herself in an “elite” way.  Consider that by 1966, when Nixon was making the endorsements in question, he had earned a BA from Whittier College (after having been offered a scholarship to Harvard) and went on to receive a JD from Duke.  Further, he had served in the House, then the Senate, and then successfully run for VP, where he served for 8 years.

Regardless of Nixon’s probable psychoses, a man possessing his credentials would seem the sort whose endorsements one should take seriously. Palin, on the other hand, is no Nixon.  She has paper-thin credentials, if really any at all, and I haven’t the foggiest notion as to why anyone would consider her opinion relevent on any political matter. The comparison between the two really does not strike me as very apt.

This email has persuaded me entirely that my original point was too crude. Their resentments were of very different kinds.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.