31
Dec
08

Anti-Intellectualism

I had a link to my blog a little while ago from the auto-collected links around the blogosphere. I wish I had bookmarked it, because there was a button about the “Anti-Intellectual Republican.” Naturally, I was offended to a small degree, but I began thinking about it. The talkers on the left, and it includes notable sources like the Washington Post and “conservative bloggerAndrew Sullivan (just as Gore Vidal is a conservative), have taken up this standard that if you are any shade of right, you are anti-intellectual. Bush, of course, is the core of the argument. Palin was the next target. In fact, this will be the attack against any conservative running for office who does not have a college degree from a location the intellectuals approve. So, if you have a degree from, say, Idaho State University, or even UCLA, you may not qualify because you didn’t come from a Harvard or Yale.

Essentially, your school has to meet the intellectual requirements of the talkers on the Left or you’re already in hot water in the bath-house of intellecualism.

Now, do you sound intellectual? George W. Bush, Reagan, Palin, Ford– all of these conservatives don’t sound intellectual. Obama, Biden, Dukakis, Clinton (both of them), Gore– all of them sound intellectual (hint: all have law degrees, except Gore, who had attended law school at Vanderbilt, but never graduated).

Bear in mind I know many lawyers. Unfortunately, having a law degree does not confer intellectualism– just the ability to somehow justify a 2-martini lunch at Red Lobster as a billable hour. I’ve known many attorneys and let me tell you, the difference between the young and old is night and day.

Of course, they’re not intellectual because they’re lawyers– it’s because they’re liberals. Somehow, believing in God and ownership of firearms lumps you into the “Ignorant Andy” realm of politics.

It might be helpful here to drag out the Google definitions of Intellectual and Anti-Intellectual.

  • of or associated with or requiring the use of the mind; “intellectual problems”; “the triumph of the rational over the animal side of man”
  • a person who uses the mind creatively
  • cerebral: involving intelligence rather than emotions or instinct; “a cerebral approach to the problem”; “cerebral drama”
  • An intellectual is one who tries to use his or her intellect to work, study, reflect, speculate, or ask and answer questions about a wide variety of different ideas.

Now, let’s examine Anti-Intellectual:

  • smug and ignorant and indifferent or hostile to artistic and cultural values
  • philistine: a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits
  • Anti-intellectualism describes a sentiment of hostility towards, or mistrust of, intellectuals and intellectual pursuits. This may be expressed in various ways, such as attacks on the merits of science, education, or literature.
  • indifferent or hostile to cultural or intellectual ideas

Seems that anti-intellectual is one of those “anti” phrases that isn’t congruous with the other term, like “Pro-Choice” and “Anti-Choice” or “Pro-Life” and “Anti-Life”. But I digress. Let’s examine Intellectualism first.

The definition calls for intellectuals to be cerebral– people who use reason over emotion to solve problems. The liberals have clad themselves in the guise of intellectualism, but are they truly intellectuals? What are the core principles of liberalism today?

  1. Economics. The Democratic platform calls for the government to stimulate the economy, to tax higher earners more, and use government to create jobs. They want universal health care and ever expanding regulation on business. They want greater tax liability on the wealthy to leverage the greater spending they do on their social construction platforms.
  2. Health Care. The Democrat Health Care platform is a confusing read. They want affordable health care coverage, but, to quote the platform, “shared responsibility between employers, workers, providers, insurers and government”. They don’t want people to lose health benefits, but in order to prevent losses in coverage, they are
  3. Global Warming. It’s a central focus of Western liberalism that our excesses are destroying the planet.  “Going green” is the responsible reaction to our recklessness.  However, the response is not just going green– it’s doing what  you feel is right for the planet.  There may not be any science behind what  you say, but that shouldn’t stop you from saying it.  In fact, it goes for anything– science may not apply.  Just look at the nonsense some of them believe about vaccination.  Leonardo Dicaprio made a documentary about Global Warming– and he has a High School Diploma.  However, the evidence currently shows that all temperatures are trending downwards, even though carbon dioxide is still rising.  The evidence that’s been driving the hysteria has vanished– replaced with a mystery that can only be addressed by hand-waving.
  4. Education.  Liberals are all about education, which is good for me because I’m in the education business.  However, they are also a slave to the union, and that has, over time, grown into conflict with the actual process of education.  While the liberals espouse better and better education for children, it’s becoming more and more bureaucratic.  What’s also painfully obvious is that the schools are falling behind schools in the world.  With a union that’s clearly to blame, the Liberal movement cannot risk alienating one of their biggest voting blocs by blaming them for educational failure, so the system perpetually repeats, and the things that are broken are never addressed.
  5. Minority rights.  Liberals have championed the causes of minorities, from various races to sexual orientations.  The goal was to improve the life of these groups through leadership and social development.  However, they have had the support of these minority communities for years and the progress has just not been made.  In fact, in many situations, they have gotten worse.  Detroit is an economic disaster, and so are many lower-income communities.  And all cities are electing Democrats, neglecting the damage that 50 years of commitment to a Democratic ideology has done.

From the evidence, it would seem that any true intellectual would recognize the abject failure of liberal policies.  It would also seem that, facing the problems of today, a conservative approach for the past 20 years may have prevented the economic disaster we are in.

  1. Economics.  Clearly, high-risk mortgages put the economy itself at risk, yet nothing has been done to fix the problem.  Had there been a plan to restrict risky lending, halt government spending, and pay off the national debt, we wouldn’t be in this domino-problem of an economy.
  2. Health care.  Health insurance isn’t a right, it’s a commodity to be purchased.  Many people don’t have health coverage, but that’s because they’re foolish.  It’s not the responsibility of the employer to pay health benefits– it’s your responsbility.  If you negotiate a job that has a good health package as a benefit, good for you.  But mandating health insurance for all is just a bad idea.
  3. Global warming.  Given that the liberal intelligentsia decries creationism as a “non-science” (and rightly so), they certainly don’t seem to mind decrying valid scientific criticism of man-made global warming.  What’s more annoying is their insistence on clinging to the AGW hypothesis even though evidence is mounting that AGW is BS.  But it’s hard to get that across when celebrity environmentalists are lobbying their politicians to take action, even against the cries of economists and scientists.  Fortunately, the economic downturn seems to have cooled off political desire to curb carbon (at great economic expense).
  4. Education.  When people fought against parents wanting to get property tax vouchers to help pay for better education for their children, it was clear that the Liberal plan wasn’t about better education, but keeping taxpayer money propping up the teacher’s union.  Conservatives want kids to get a good education, but the management needs to be able to retain good teachers and, more importantly, scuttle bad ones. something the unions seem reluctant to do.  Also, more and more teachers are graduating with degrees in education, but the are not communicating the needs of the specialty areas, namely writing, science and math.  Students who enter college are woefully unprepared, mainly because the teachers don’t know the material well enough to prepare the students.
  5. Minorities.  Let’s face it– if Liberal governance had worked, minorities would be well-integrated, racism would be gone, and there wouldn’t be any class strife.  That was the plan for the last 45 years, right?  But it’s gotten worse, especially in terms of poverty and crime.  Perhaps if minorities would stop electing a party that’s proved its indifference to their struggle, there wouldn’t be so many problems.  MINORITIES– LIBERAL LEADERS CARE ONLY ABOUT YOUR VOTES!

In essence, the party of intellectual contradiction and misguided policy claims to be the party of the intellectual class, and that’s just not the case.  Intellectualism belongs to conservatives, as they are the ones who are willing to address the problems.  Republicans abandoned the conservative banner years ago, and now we are paying the price.

Get back to intellectualism and the solving of problems.  Get back to a small, limited government that’s not spending money willy-nilly.  Get back to a government that works for the people, not what works to best gather votes.

If we don’t, these “intellectual” leaders will bankrupt this country, if they haven’t already.

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3 Responses to “Anti-Intellectualism”


  1. 1 pappahans
    January 2, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    I enjoyed your comment on supposed republican anti intellectualism. I use fox news in school to teach my students in high school to realise what and how fox news works…. and then at the end of class I help them realise how I myself tried to get their minds warped up coloring their views and then I ask them to be more careful with believing all they here on TV or even in school.

    Good luck!

  2. 2 Matt R.
    January 3, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Pap,
    You mistake cynicism for intelligence and smarm for activism.

    As an educator myself, I am not surprised to hear you let your students watch TV instead of providing real content. Your previous comment shows your smug contempt for the educational system well enough. I am sure it’s okay though. You sound like the kind of “hip” teacher most kids laugh at behind his/her back.

    Here is a real history lesson.
    In ancient Greece, there existed a group of young men who eschewed traditional values; so much so they defecated in the streets, defying convention. Those men earned the nickname “cynos” the Greek word for dogs because they dropped stool in the street, like dogs.

    So, cynicism is not smart, its just dropping fecal matter where decent people are trying to work and stinking up the place.

  3. January 19, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    This is a really good article Doc


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About Me

My name is Doc. Welcome to my blog. If you're visiting from another blog, add me to your blogroll (and I'll happily reciprocate). I have a Ph.D. in Chemistry and live in Wisconsin. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. My email is docattheautopsy at gmail. (No linking to deflate the incredible spam monsters).

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