The "Best and the Brightest" Congressgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
In times gone by, our elected representatives were thought to be candidates selected from the "best and the brightest" amongst us, with the exception of a few bad apples.
I received the following e-mail concerning the character of those we have selected to be our leaders:
Based on records prior to the summer break...
29 members of Congress have been accused of spousal abuse, 7 have been arrested for fraud, 19 have been accused of writing bad checks, 117 have bankrupted at least two businesses, 3 have been arrested for assault, 71 have credit reports so bad they can't qualify for a credit card, 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges, 8 have been arrested for shoplifting, 21 are current defendants in lawsuits,
In 1998 alone, 84 were stopped for drunk driving, but released after they claimed Congressional immunity.
Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly and for the same reason.
-- marsh (email@example.com), October 27, 1999
Didn't the phrase "best and brightest" appear first in association with the CFR (over 40-50 years ago), the Council on Foreign Relations? Think I just read that somewhere in the last week....not that it means anything...but synchronicities interest me. I love tangents, and word and phrase origins. The Oxford English Dictionary,...and the history of words and phrases is a dear friend of mine.
-- Donna (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 27, 1999.
So you're saying that there is no way for people to grow...to learn from their mistakes...and become a better person? That the things we all have done in our youth mark as as being corrupt for our whole lives?
Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.
-- don't throw rocks (email@example.com), October 27, 1999.
From Ambrose Bierce: REPRESENTATIVE, n. In national politics, a member of the Lower House in this world, and without discernible hope of promotion in the next.
DTR: What some people learn is that they can get away with it, and become more skillful crooks.
-- Jerry B (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 27, 1999.
Hey DTR, so you're saying that you would like to have a child molester babysit your kids, or a Robber/ thief/murderer, ect... take care of your home/car/jewlery/family????!?!? Are you really THAT stupid? Please tell me no... Well????
-- Crono (Crono@timesend.com), October 27, 1999.
Crono, perhaps you should be locked up now for all the sins of your past? Perhaps society would be better off without you? No.....well???
-- don't throw rocks (email@example.com), October 27, 1999.
I think the term originally came into public notice with David Halberstam's book. From http://www.wooster .edu/forum/halberstam.html:
David Halberstam first came to national prominence in the early sixties as part of a small handful of American reporters who refused to accept the official optimism about Vietnam and who reported that the war was being lost. At the age of 30, Halberstam was awarded The Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Vietnam.More about the book from http://www.refstar.com/vietnam/ :
Halberstam's landmark trilogy of books on power in America, The Best and the Brightest (1972), The Powers That Be (1979), and The Reckoning (1986) have helped define the later part of the century and have won him innumerable awards as well as broad critical acclaim. They deal with respectively, the path that the Kennedy-Johnson administrations used to take America to war in Vietnam, the dramatic and sudden rise of power in the media, and the ascent of the Japanese rival economic superpower.The Best and the Brightest, by David Halberstam. 1972, 400k words, ISBN: 0-449-90870-4.
This large-scale work examines the war almost strictly from the American point of view, which is, in fact, the most effective study strategy. It focuses on the origins of American involvement, beginning with the end of WWII, and ends with Nixon's 1968 election. The depth is impressive, especially the unusually detailed portraits of the principal figures involved in the origins, including Robert McNamara, President Johnson, Dean Rusk, President Kennedy, McGeorge Bundy, and Maxwell Taylor.
From a purely historical standpoint, this book was the first detailed study of this subject by far -- published in 1972, it was written largely without the benefit of the Pentagon Papers. It's also entirely unreferenced, which would be troubling except for the fact that its conclusions have stood up to the test of time.
-- Tom Carey (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 27, 1999.
Hey, DTR, my POINT was, that criminals should not be allowed to run our country. But you're obviously a Klinton supporter so honor doesn't matter as long as the Dow is high right?? You sound like the type who would support Hitler as long as he put food on the table! Enjoy reaping what you've sown.
-- Crono (Crono@timesend.com), October 27, 1999.
They may actually be better than I had thought...
There are a few hardworking, ethical congress-critters...
-- Mad Monk (email@example.com), October 28, 1999.