The New York Times' Everyday Americans?

If you saw this “If I were President” article in the NYT that purported to offer up helpful suggestions from non-pundits and political/media types on how to fix the country, you probably rolled your eyes. Certainly FrankJ and Jon Henke did on Twitter (H/T), and for good reason: as ideas go, said ideas were… ah, largely lacking. And kind of provincial. Gimmicky, even. Certainly mostly a narrow focus.

But that’s not the point of this post. No, the point of this post is to introduce you to who the New York Times consider to be “a range of Americans who don’t labor in politics or the media” – largely because if people just let the New York Times get away with claiming nonsense with a straight face then they’ll never stop doing that.

So: let us look at these twelve supposedly representative Americans (one of which, by the way, is probably actually a Brit):

Name Affiliation Noteworthy because?
Michael J Sandel Liberal Harvard Professor/HuffPo
Sharon Olds Liberal “Poet Rebuffs Laura Bush”
Andrew Weil Liberal Alt-med, likes Obamacare
Danny Meyer Liberal Obama supporter/restauranteur
James Q Wilson Conservative Professor/Academic
Jennifer Egan Liberal Author / Thinks Bush ‘criminal’
Str. Mary Walgenbach Liberal Antiwar loon
Geoffrey Canada Liberal All-right school activist
Patricia Ryan Madson Can’t tell Improv advocate
Stephen Hannock Kinda Fascist* Artist
James Dyson Liberal** Big-government industrialist
Neil deGrasse Tyson Liberal PETA-friendly astrophysicist
*Seriously, read his entry.
**By our standards (Brit).

Yes. That is an amazingly comprehensive cross section of typical, everyday Americans, there. If anybody on that list has less than a six-figure income, I’m going to be shocked. Mind you, they’re not at all awful people, by and large – although anybody who voluntarily works in the antiwar movement these days really needs to have either her basic morality, or her native intelligence, questioned – but they are not “a range of Americans who don’t labor in politics or the media.” Click the links and you’ll discover that all of them do so labor, in one form or another.

And they’re all also mostly liberals. Which is to be expected, though: epistemic closure is a big problem among the self-identified ‘elite’ Left these days.

Moe Lane (crosspost)