Tags » Kevin D. Williamson
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We should not be glib about the likely choice American voters will face in the 2016 presidential election: The Democrats are offering a corrupt, lifelong machine politician who just narrowly avoided indictment with the help of a remarkably solicitous FBI; short of a rebellion in Cleveland, the Republicans are set to offer one of that Democratic crook’s friends and financial patrons, a semiliterate aspiring strongman whose greatest contribution to public life has been a stint as a game-show host.
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Ruling elites across time and cultures begin to look a little bit alike, at least in broad strokes. They generally are effectively hereditary, even when they are not formally so; imperial China maintained a rigorous civil-service examination system for more than 1,000 years (kéju) but standardized testing did no more to prevent the emergence of a partially hereditary class of bureaucrat-scholars in Luoyang than it has in the Harvard-to-Washington-to-Wall Street cursus honorum.