We cannot resist saying something about the problems that Ann Coulter is having in establishing her proper precinct to vote in in Palm Beach.
First, I find the whole concept of voting at either St. Edward’s Catholic Church or Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church–where I grew up–to be an entirely fascinating concept.
Second, I think that the whole business of working towards prosecuting Coulter is on par with the prosecution of Rush Limbaugh: a political effort of the "God-hating liberals" to get someone they don’t like. Palm Beach County election officials obviously had good reason to believe that something was amiss with her address and should have been more proactive. That’s their job. To sit around and let something like this happen–assuming it happened as they described–and then "call the dogs out" is somewhere between irresponsible and entrapment.
But the fact that both of these conservative stalwarts are in Palm Beach at all is something that I, personally, have a difficult time with. The U.S. was a country which was led by nationhood by an enlightened elite. But they could not have done that without a general population with a reasonable sense of personal responsibility. That fact was the cornerstone of "Jeffersonian democracy," and was one of the founding precepts of the Democrat Party. My own years in Palm Beach–with many drug and alcohol besotted classmates raised by the help–convinced me that "rich kid" raising would not result in people capable of leading any society through survival, let alone victory, something that was slipping out of our grasp in Vietnam. The subsequent course of history has led us to the dilemma that I described in my piece on 9/11 five years after.
But most modern conservatives are oblivious to the fact that, if we’re really serious about fixing our nations’s leadership problems, a solution is going to have to start by getting a new leadership class and system altogether. Both Coulter and Limbaugh, for all their stridency, are content with trying to "restaff" the system as it is with its elite places and–more significantly–its elite schools. That’s why I found Coulter’s insistence on an Ivy Leaguer at the Supreme Court hard to take.
The longer our system goes on as it is, the more divorced it will become from reality, and the less capable it will become to deal with the real problems the rest of the world presents it. Coulter and Limbaugh can live anywhere they like, but unless they tackle the "reality check" issue, we’re doomed to stumble from one disaster to another no matter which side is in power. Remember: Ronald Reagan, our last non-Ivy Leaguer President, suceeded by tapping the energies of "ordinary" people.