When I was a student at University of Virginia, I had something to eat at a food place. I heard someone working there say that he is a peasant and that's all he will ever be. Sometimes I get angry when I hear such attitudes. I used to attend a private school, and I had an English teacher trying to tell me that I cannot have some thoughts or some ideas because I was not a great writer but just some little person. That is a very irresponsible thing to say to a student. America is meant to be a place where dreams can come true through determined effort; and I for one am certainly willing to put in such an effort. Now I have seen some people who are high-born having negative attitude toward others. There was a teacher at the school that my stepson attended who was calling the parents of her students peasants. However I have also seen it work the other way around. I knew a blue-collar person in Australia who said that some middle-class guy whom his relative or friend married thought that his **** does not stink. And I had a girlfriend, coming from the rough side of town, who had a very negative view of people from higher backgrounds, and she extended that attitude also to me. We see both all the time. Nixon, who came from a poor background, had hatred of the high-born. I have also known people from distinguished backgrounds who hated people from “lower classes.” I do not see why this kind of thing should happen at all, especially in America. We have had aristocratic Thomas Jefferson and FDR; we have also had the plebeian Nixon and Clinton. Once again, I see no reason at all why these attitudes should exist, especially in America. One of the worst thing I've seen people from rougher backgrounds do is destroy ambition and intelligence in their youth. They think that they are arrogant, or that they are “know-it-alls,” or that they think they are better than “everybody else.” What qualifies these people to speak for “everybody else” - 7 billion people, most of them nothing like themselves? Of whatever arrogance they are accusing such kids, theirs is far greater. The ambition and intelligence that some kids have, when channeled correctly, results in major contributions to the country and the society. Whereas very little of any kind of benefit is due to attitudes such as this. So I had a very smart and very beautiful girlfriend from “that side of town,” and her experience with her peers was a horrible one. They did everything in their power to grind her down. When she came to me, some of these attitudes had rubbed off of her, and she was hateful to some of the people I knew who came from more fortunate backgrounds. In some situations she was also hateful to me. This is wrong. This is dead wrong. My own experience was based on being in a private school, as a poor immigrant from the former Soviet Union. I was very precocious, and the message that I got from other students was that academic intelligence is worthless and that the only thing that matters in life is common sense and social skills. Now you may want that attitude if you are raising salesmen and lawyers. However the country needs much more than just that. It also needs engineers, doctors, scientists and many others. And these people better have an academic intelligence. In both cases we see very irresponsible behavior. The best minds get damaged, and the country loses vastly as a result. Many of these kids become hostile, destructive or even criminal. And this is very, very bad for the country. So it is time that such behavior be confronted, as it costs greatly to America. And it is time that more people understand the implications of their behavior and learn to practice more rightful and more responsible conduct.