Wonks and Teachers

John Emerson had an interesting post yesterday about the role of people with postgraduate degrees in American politics and the Democratic Party coalition. But he refers to that group as a “wonk demographic” which he associates with “cultural elites, and expert administration.”

In that light, I do think it’s worth keeping in mind that a very lunch chunk of the people with advanced degrees in the United States are primary and secondary school teachers. And that’s especially true when you’re looking at the segment of the “wonk demographic” that votes reliably for Democratic candidates. I’m not sure that a sixth grade teacher is the image that comes to mind when words like “wonk” and “expert administration” get tossed around — it’s a pretty standard middle-class occupation with practitioners to be found all across the country.