Goldwater Institute's Clint Bolick Jumps on Anti-Intellectual Bash-Obama Bandwagon newtimes.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Irving Kristol (1920-2009) moderatevoice.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Don Hewitt The Telegraph Take a look at an interesting article we found.
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September 23, 2009
In Vice Presidential candidate Richard Nixon's famous Checker’s speech, delivered on this date in 1952, he took bathos to a new art form.
Answering to whether he took a bribe, he defended himself and attacked his enemies.
One of them was Adlai Stevenson, who Nixon claimed:
“He's accused us, that have attempted to expose the Communists, of looking for Communists in the Bureau of Fisheries and Wildlife—I say that a man who says that isn't qualified to be President of the United States.”
Nixon was right.
Stevenson, who once called Nixon an intellectual pygmy, wasn’t "qualified"—he was an intellectual.
And he couldn't disguise it if he tried.
In “The Anti-Intellectual Presidency: The Decline of Presidential Rhetoric from George Washington to George W. Bush,” Elvin T. Lim maintains that rhetoric is how “presidents gain, maintain, or lose support of the public.”
Lim claims that the anti-intellectual presidency has grown because presidents and their advisors are preoccupied with persuasion.
And, presumably, bashing intellectuals is what gets them elected.
Even Thomas Jefferson, perhaps our smartest President, was not immune. The Federalists attacked his curiosity and active mind that would make him too "trivial and ridiculous for important affairs."
Ironically Eisenhower, running against Stevenson, was both intellectual and highly educated but he was afraid of being labeled as being “highbrow.”
Which is the reason that politicians, in general, hire writers who make them look less intellectual than they really are.
It’s easy work with some of our candidates.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, the State of the Union address aimed at the intellect of a college student.
Today, experts say it’s on an 8th grade level. Which may be shooting high.
Considering an astonishing number of adults read at or below the 4th grade level—making that group just shy of being functionally illiterate.
(That number has not changed much since 1992 when the percentage stood at 42 percent.)
Richard Hofstadter in his brilliant book, “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life,” uses this quote from a Yale orator in 1844 to say it's been around a while:
"The age of philosophy has passed...that of utility has commenced..."
Utility is important. If there's intellect behind it.
Politics may be dumbing down, but I still think enlightened dialogue is possible if politicians will make the attempt.
Who knows? It may already be happening.
First Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union .presidency.ucsb. Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Who was the stupidest U.S. president? straightdope.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
American Rhetoric: Top 100 Speeches rhetoric.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Our Smartest President?