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> This is such a silly and elitist argument that I've always wanted to dismiss it outright on those principles,

Calling an argument silly and elitist does not help your case much.

> Clojure is a thing and is actually popular in the industry.

The number of Clojure developers and its percentage is tiny. Far from 'popular'. It's also in a different stage of the hype cycle.

> The argument that people just can't get Lisp was always an embarrassing position to stake out, but now it no longer holds any water too.

You need to actually read what I said. Basics of simple Lisps are relatively easy to learn, still many people fail at it. I've seen it in computer science University courses where only like 10% were able to write anything useful in Lisp, struggling with recursion, graphs, dynamic typing, ... Few ever got so far that I would let them program macros.

>Few ever got so far that I would let them program macros

If you start with the assumption that it's for "few people", and teach it like that, then few of your students will get it.

Yet, people have used Scheme and CL as a first language, and even Haskell, and students were able to pick them just fine.

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