Who’s got the popular touch?

I don’t think Clive James’ “Cultural Amnesia” has a bad sentence in it.  To understand the context I’m quoting a larger part of the paragraph (page 689) about how intertwined cleverness and stupidity often are, but it’s the last line that kills

“The policy was stupid, but here again it was not necessarily the product of stupid men:  the East Coast foreign policy elite constituted the cleverest collection of political brains in America.  Otherwise known as the Wise Men, after World War II they gave an unwise policy its initial impetus because there was no other way of getting a genuinely beneficial measure – the Marshal Plan – through Congress.  They needed a Red scare as an appeal to the masses:  always an uncomfortable position for any intellectual elite to be in.  Appeals to the masses are better managed by big business.”