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October 20, 2010

“I know better than you.”  It’s a phrase we hear incessantly from political pundits and candidates for office.  Now obviously we, society, desire a representative in public office who knows more of the detail and workings of government than us.  We do not desire ignorance, but neither do be want a candidate who flaunts his intelligence.  Many politician’s proposals and campaigns reek with the idea that they know some fundamental secret to life that the rest of society does not.  Something about being educated for 20 years and having 3 PhD’s simply makes them better than the rest of the people.  Rather, one can be as intelligent as he likes, but when he forgets how to connect with mankind, he knows nothing.  We lose something about the essence of being human when we say that we must “shove something down someone’s throat” to make them understand it is good for them.  Recently, I read an interesting biography of an elite educated man.  He actually took it upon himself to belittle those who practice medicine privately, instead of doing research.

In a biography on his website he writes, “I will actually be graduating in May 2010 after 2 years, which is funny because many of my friends are still only sophomores. Somewhere along the way I decided to get a Ph.D. since discovering secrets of the brain through biological research is much cooler than dealing with whining patients.”  Earlier in his essay he insinuates that the reason he does research is for monetary gain. He explains, “I won 1st prize in Molecular and Cell Biology but rather appreciated more the several thousand dollars that came with it”.  He pushes down his “friends”, which he may not have for too much longer if they ever read this, and at the same time belittles the actual practice of healing patients.  What would research be without the compassionate souls who put it into practice?  After all, certainly someone who complains about “whiney patients” would not be able to put research into practice.  Now I may not be an award-winning researcher in graduate school at the age of 20, but I know that it is wrong to belittle someone who works for the greater good of others, and is truly pursuing their passion and making the world a better place.

This is exactly what many politicians are doing to the American people today.  They try to shove a philosophy down our throats, insinuating that with their elite knowledge they are somehow better and we are less worthy.  Today’s politicians, and elite researchers for that matter, ought to respect the dignity of the common man, and communicate ideas to him rather than trying to force ideas upon him.

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