The American Prospect argues that Adlai Stevenson is the one to blame:

If you wonder who made hauteur respectable, try Adlai Stevenson. The most celebrated exchange of his two campaigns against Dwight D. Eisenhower went like this: “Governor, every thinking person will be voting for you,” cried a woman at a rally. Ever humorous, the Democratic nominee twinkled. “Madam, that’s not enough,” he said. “I need a majority.” That quip was one of the most appalling things ever said in public by anyone running for president, because either you believe in democracy or you don’t. Yet to educated liberals at the time—confounded that Ike’s war-winning grin counted for more than their hero’s plummy savoir faire—it was balm. Almost 60 years later, the attitude has hardly vanished.

Advertisements