InstaPundit links to a nice summary of polling data that demonstrate the pervasive unpopularity of preferential treatment based on race — Rasmussen, for example, “found only 24 percent of likely voters were in favor of using race as a factor in college admissions, while 55 percent stood opposed” — and concludes: “Nor is this new. Interesting that a practice so unpopular has persisted for many decades. What interests of the political/academic class does it serve that would allow it to survive in the face of long-lasting popular opposition?”
Nor, we can add, is this deep divide between popular and elite opinion on race unique. There are many issues on which elites (among whom I include not only the major media, “cultural” opinion setters in Hollywood, etc., and the professoriat but also most elected Democrats in Washington) have successfully imposed policies on a public that opposes them: a refusal to enforce border security and concomitant acceptance — at least passive, and often active — of large numbers of illegal immigrants; a long-standing refusal and now simmering reluctance to recognize that the Second Amendment protects an individual right (whatever its limits) to own weapons, not a right limited to the National Guard; and last but not least, Obamacare and the debt/deficit debacle that it accentuates.