The point about John Kerry's recent remarks is that, like his fraternity brother George W., he's basically clueless about the realities of opportunity in this country. Many people join the military not because they're not smart enough, or don't study, or are against education-- but because they see it as the only way to get an education otherwise unavailable to them.
Because blueblood Kerry had his path into Yale paved for him, he naively believed that all his fellow rich kids were there because they were society's smartest-- or studied the hardest! If this man doesn't understand the structure and workings of his own society, then why in the world should he be expected to lead this country?
This is a nation scarred by class. Even the status-quo's most right-wing apologists like Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly beneath their angry distorted want-to-believe-in the-dream arguments are in fact through the history of their lives badly scarred by class. The divide between rich and poor has never been greater in my lifetime. For twenty-five years we've seen a transfer of mpney from the poor to the rich; the lower classes falling behind while the top levels accummulate more wealth. Those who benefit from this live in an aristocratic bubble. This includes our officially-sanctioned writers.
Our culture shows a society on the verge of deluge. Movies by well-connected daughters celebrate the world of Marie Antoinette while the literary world is increasingly populated with daughters of privilege like Marisha Pessl or by fop-wannabes like John Hodgman or Lord Whimsy. Realities of the society aren't being covered.
What writers are there to cover them when the lit-world's approved writers, agents, and editors come from the select bastions of privilege like Columbia, Princeton, Brown, Harvard, and Yale? They graduate wearing blinders, seeing the world through stereotypes. Their only recognition of class reduces it to caste. Like Ex-Brown student Rachel Aviv, who interviewed Patrick King and myself for Poetry Foundation, they see all poor people as black and all black people as poor; unable to believe that there are desperately struggling whites also in this nation. (An increasing number of them.) These students and ex-students should be used guides for nothing-- least of all literature, which at its best serves to speak unflinching knowledgeable experienced truth.
This country would be better off if we tore down this society's elitist institutions, the most undemocratic entities in America which serve to maintain an aristocratic mentality-- represented by John Kerry-- including a sadly decayed and dying aristocratic literature.