From Alternet.org:

“It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.” Barack Obama finally said it.

Though a successful political and electoral strategy, the Right’s stand against intelligence has steered them far off course, leaving them — and us — unable to deal successfully with the complex and dynamic circumstances we face as a nation and a society.

American 15-year-olds rank 24th out of 29 countries in math literacy, and their parents are as likely to believe in flying saucers as in evolution; roughly 30 to 40 percent believe in each. Their president believes “the jury is still out” on evolution.

Steve Colbert interviewed Georgia Rep. Lynn Westmoreland on “The Colbert Report.” Westmoreland co-sponsored a bill that would require the display of the Ten Commandments in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, but, when asked, couldn’t actually list the commandments.

This stuff would be funny if it weren’t so dangerous.

In the 2004 election, nearly 70 percent of Bush supporters believed the United States had “clear evidence” that Saddam Hussein was working closely with al Qaeda; a third believed weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq; and more than a third that a substantial majority of world opinion supported the U.S.-led invasion, according to the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland. The political right and allied culture warriors actively ignore evidence and encourage misinformation. To motivate their followers, they label intelligent and informed as “elite,” implying that ignorance is somehow both valuable and under attack.

Quoting Bill Maher on his show Real Time with Bill Maher

Say it loud: I’m elite and proud! The right-wing crusade to demonize elites has paid off. Now the country’s run by incompetents who make mediocrity a job requirement and recruit from Pat Robertson’s law school. New rule: Now that liberals have taken back the word liberal, they also have to take back the word “elite.” By now you’ve heard the constant right-wing attacks on the “elite,” or as it’s otherwise known, “hating.” They’ve had it up to their red necks with the “elite media.” The “liberal elite.” Who may or may not be part of the “Washington elite.” A subset of the “East Coast elite.” Which is influenced by “the Hollywood elite.” So basically, unless you’re a shitkicker from Kansas, you’re with the terrorists.

I don’t get it: In other fields — outside of government — elite is a good thing, like an elite fighting force. Tiger Woods is an elite golfer. If I need brain surgery, I’d like an elite doctor. But in politics, elite is bad

It’s not just politics, though. As the influence of fundamental religion grows worldwide, it is becoming perceived as honorable, honest, down-to-Earth to be ignorant and bad-mouth intellectualism. A 16 year old kid makes the news dropping out of high school to play Guitar Hero. Education and the desire to know are no longer priorities.

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