Episode #12: Elitist Status Symbols with Darel Paul

Peter Wood

Gay marriage. Transgenderism. Secularization. Feminism. These are some of the most emotionally charged issues of our time, but Darel Paul discusses them with poise and impartiality. He describes as a political scientist the way gay marriage—and with it a bundle of other ideas—came to enjoy cachet in American society, and how support for it has become a status symbol of the elites.

Darel and I recorded this podcast from southern California, where he delivered the Friday night keynote address at our recent conference, “Disgrace: Shame, Punishment, and Redemption in American Higher Education.” Darel spoke on the use of shame as a practice of the elites. We’ll have his talk on YouTube soon.

In this podcast, we touch on rap music versus classical music, squash versus basketball, and whether there is anything objectively better about the practices our elites prefer. Along the way, we talk about why the King of Hawaii broke the taboo against eating at the same table as women. And we wade into what’s happening at Williams College, where Darel teaches, and where the administration and faculty are considering whether to adopt the Chicago Principles on freedom of speech.

I hope you’ll read Darel’s book, From Tolerance to Equality: How Elites Brought America to Same-Sex Marriage. In it Darel is insightful and dispassionate, as he is in this podcast. 

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