Tuesday, September 30, 2008


So, there I was looking through the news at CNN (I like to hit the American news spectrum: I start at Fox, dart left and hit MSNBC, then settle in the middle with CNN. Then I go find the wacko channels; much fun). I read an article about Conservatives having issues with the McCain campaign keeping Governor Palin under wraps. I came across this quote:

In defense, Republicans say the complaints are coming from "intellectual" conservatives -- not Main Street Republicans, who they insist love the "hockey mom," from Alaska, as Palin describes herself.

"These are the folks that really have responded to the candidacy of a McCain-Palin ticket. These are the folks that are showing up in huge numbers, tens of thousands, to the rallies," Leslie Sanchez, a CNN political contributor, said.

So, correct me if I am wrong here. The complaints regarding Palin and her complete on air meltdown with Katie Couric are only coming from the intellectuals. Let me rephrase that:

Disregard the problems, only smart Republicans are having problems with Palin.

Similarly, I keep hearing that only eggheads and intellectuals are voting Obama.

The educated, smart people are voting Obama.

Now, please don't take this as "only dummies are voting McCain." I know very intelligent people who for whatever reason have decided to go that way. Yet, I can't get over the continued vilification of the intellectual. You know, the people who invented vaccines and make schools work so we are not a third world country.

No, smart doesn't always equal right.

Just the vast majority of the time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dan ~ Supposedly well-meaning intellectuals published the Communist Manifesto in 1848, and it enslaved nearly half of mankind. Usually, Intellectuals feel alienated and specialize in dissent against the establishment, and it's my opinion that Utopian intellectuals should be avoided as they offer what they deem to be universal insights that can and have potentially harmed society.

That said, I think you are making a mistake if you think "intellectuals" and "intelligent" or smart people are one and the same, even though many of them are interchangeable. Intellectuals are generally identified as a specific group in a given society that are identified primarily as 'thinkers' and creators of ideas, and are usually in the minority in any system. In general practice, 'intellectual' as a label is more consistently applied to participants in fields related to culture, the arts and social sciences than it is to those working disciplines in the natural sciences, applied sciences, mathematics or engineering. Public Intellectuals are people who step out to speak out on issues that they haven't specialized in (like Al Gore) and should not be confused with experts, who are people who have mastery over one specific field of interest. Intellectuals are not usually the ruling class, but that is not to say the ruling class is not 'intelligent' or 'smart'. Each group has their own band of intellectuals comprised of clergy, teachers, lawyers, etc.

Historically, intolerant intellectuals need a period of crisis to enhance their value in society. At this time in America, liberal, "progressive" intellectuals with certain social values have infiltrated politics, government and education (to awaken the intellectual spirit in their pupils) and have joined forces with social scientists, the media and other contending groups with specific biased agendas and have advocated brainwashing our kids, promoting class warfare, and distorting the traditional social structure that we have operated under for many years. An example of the opposition to this tendency is the so-called "academic freedom" movement, led by David Horowitz and his Center for the Study of Popular Culture, which claims the identity politics and left-wing views of certain academics are a means of indoctrinating university students with anti-American views.

The 'intellectuals' I see on the political scene during this election are very self absorbed and believe they alone have achieved a heightened consciousness and understand the issues ~ and so, once again, they are now trying to agitate segments of our citizens in order to change our cultural climate and form a mass movement to accomplish the reconstruction of the dominant trend of this particular time. As I currently see it, they crave a deep crisis to shake things up so that they can provide an interpretation of the world for all the rest of us who value and crave the carefree days of our past and aren't ready to be displaced. They want to totally destroy the traditional values and culture of our society and create a symbolic new 'world view'. They want to guide and form a 'better society' by communicating with restless, although ordinary or common sheeple, who are looking for someone to lead them to find meaning in their lives. Change. And they are receiving hard resistance from others who are perfectly comfortable with clinging to their guns and religion for comfort. So there is a strong disagreement between the two (or more) factions. That doesn't mean one side has more curiosity or creativity than the other ~ or that one is more intelligent than the other. I don't think anyone is necessarily 'anti-intellectual', they are just trying to protect and defend themselves against the radicalism ~ and the intellectuals make a big mistake in stereotyping others as slow-witted, uneducated or just plain 'wrong' based on the fact that they have different perspectives. I personally am offended by their belittling and mocking insults, sometimes disguised as humor.

There is a lot of competition out there and each one wants to dominate. In every society there are found intellectuals who belong to the ruling stratum or profess its ideas to help maintain the hegemony of that class, while other intellectuals propagate ideas in opposition to those of the ruling set of ideas. As the ruling group is replaced, so are the ideas. And people who strongly adhere to those 'old' ideas or traditions will fight to keep them. That doesn't mean they are not smart. It means they have a different opinion - that deserves to be given equal measure, but it's not in our human psyche to go along to get along. Each side wants to prevail. We reject contamination of different ideas. So we then have chaos, revolution, and even war. Blood in our streets. Who is going to have control? The Washington Post says that American culture supports systematic and disciplined inquiry better than just about any other in history, but even so there is a great deal of hostility toward it by people who feel their values threatened, see it as a waste of time that could be better devoted to more immediate goals, or resent the status and power it carries.

In closing, I DO agree with you that smart equals 'right' the majority of the time...

"A wise man's heart directs him toward the right,
but a foolish man's heart directs him toward the left."
Ecclesiastes 10:2

:-) Deborah