In search of hierarchy

This Marc Fisher column, which Jeff linked, was really hard for me to read. Not because I think it's off, but because of comments like this:

"She's just as flawed as we are," Tweddle said. "It's not the fact that she's a woman but the way she does it all. And let me tell you: There're more American parents with unwed pregnant teenaged children than American parents with Harvard grads. She's real."

For hours, I walked through the crowd talking to people, mostly women. Again and again, I heard variations on this idea: "She's more like us than Obama, McCain or any of the others," as Rupp put it. "She knows what we go through."

As Fisher points out in his column, this is an extension of this idea that expertise, intelligence, and considered opinion are overrated. I'd take it even further--this is about Rocky as God, and the limits of a culture-hero, who in his latest incarnation asked us to believe that a 60-year old man could go toe to toe with championship-caliber boxer.

I don't want to lean to hard on this point, mostly because it bears an eerie resemblance to the way blacks supported Marion Barry and Sharpe James. But this idea that the person who has the means to end civilization should be like "like me" has got to end. This is not the time.