“Like most liberal dogmas, it is probably the precise reverse of the truth. Those with real gifts invariably find ways to express them, unless they are shot or imprisoned. The most accomplished men and women, more often than not, had no formal schooling in their area of expertise. And the effort to assist all those ‘mute inglorious Miltons’ only created the obsession with credentials that assists the mediocre in shutting genius down. For the world looks a gift horse in the mouth, and is, contrary to the general understanding, extremely suspicious (perhaps rightly) of voluble glorious Miltons.
“Which is why, often decades later, hardly anyone has heard of them.
“For just one example, consider an obscure Belgian priest, Monsignor Georges Lematre, who died in 1966, having made no credible effort to call attention to himself. Has my reader ever heard of him? No? This is the man who, as a monastic hobbyist of physics and astronomy, anticipated Hubble’s law and then tricked out from it the ‘hypothesis of the primaeval atom,’ published in 1931. This is known today as the ‘Big Bang theory,’ and remains at the heart of contemporary cosmology.
“I’m sure my reader has heard of that…”
“Well, I think the idea that somehow a guy sitting in Washington can manage a country from thousands of miles away is what got us into this mess. You know, what is it diplomats do? What is it the State Department does? It flies into places, and a lot of the people, Congressman Dreier is a good example, a Congressman flies in, he meets with eminent persons in Islamabad or Karachi, or wherever, and he comes away thinking that these people speak for the country. They don’t.
“It’s the fierce, implacable young men of 18, 19 and 20, that nobody knows the names of, who never get to meet anybody important, who are Pakistan. That’s what Pakistan is. They’re the people who provide untold numbers of volunteers for the jihad, and who when you say oh, who would like to be the one who blows himself in front, and takes Benazir Bhutto with him, and the whole room puts up its hands. None of those people ever meet with Congressman or Senators, or anyone from the State Department. But they are the reality of Pakistan, and poor Benazir Bhutto, I’m afraid, was a Foggy Bottom delusion.”