Iii Cheers for the Wasps

When it comes to being American, they wrote the book

Three hundred fifty years ago, they sailed here on boats half the size of the Staten Island ferry. They burned witches, built railroads and wrote the Bill of Rights. They also fought wars -- against Indians, George III and (in the Civil War) each other. But now their elites are a desiccated remnant, trailing clouds of glory only in the Social Register, while the country cousins, mostly Southern, have energy without class. From George Washington to George Bush, from Henry Adams to Elvis (dead or alive): such is the decline of the Wasp.

The word Wasp -- white Anglo-Saxon Protestant --...

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