The blinkered celebration of American elites

What Ross Douthat gets wrong about WASPs

Mount Rushmore.
(Image credit: Illustrated | SL_Photography/iStock, REM118/iStock, robeo/iStock, Screenshot/Amazon)

As mourners paid their respect to former President George H.W. Bush at his funeral Wednesday, tributes to the last moderate Republican president continued to roll in. In The New York Times, Ross Douthat casts Bush as the last WASP, and pines for the days of a quasi-aristocratic establishment. "Americans miss Bush because we miss the WASPs — because we feel, at some level, that their more meritocratic and diverse and secular successors rule us neither as wisely nor as well," Douthat writes.

This is in keeping with Douthat's politics, particularly his qualified defense of monarchy. But he goes too far. Self-conscious elitism is the last thing this country needs.

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