Thursday, May 14, 2009

Liberalism: Where Even The Intellectuals Are Morons

Yep, it's a real mystery why the right doesn't respect our self-appointed intellectual class.
IF YOU liked George W. Bush, it wasn't because of his brain
Say, would that be Yale grad, Harvard MBA, ex-fighter pilot George W Bush? 'Cause I'm thinking that the whole 'facts' thing used to be kind of important in science.

Then again, you'd think intellectuals would be familiar with the fallacy of begging the question:
The Bush administration's extensively documented attacks on science (discussed in my book The Republican War on Science, among other places), and his exaltation of Jesus as his "favourite philosopher", further cemented the idea that here was not a mind to be respected.
Hey, did I sleep through the bit where we decided that liberals incessantly claiming something makes it true? Creationism is 'extensively documented' too. But it gets better:
Add to that the malapropisms, the apparent uneasiness with any kind of verbal improvisation, and the scripted debating, and one could easily conclude the US was being governed by the consummate anti-intellectual.
Well, at least that's over with!

I'd love to ask Freud what he made of this strange desire amongst liberals to pay fulsome tribute to the genius of Captain 57 even in the teeth of all the evidence? Then again, I wouldn't understand him anyway - I don't speak Austrian.

But don't go thinking that this guy is merely ignorant of current affairs. He's ignorant of history too. That's why we get this:
As expertise grew in stature in an increasingly science-dominated world, smarts came to be resented - at least in the eyes of the burgeoning modern conservative movement: its adherents saw intellectuals putting themselves above everybody else, speaking with dripping disdain and walling themselves off in ivory towers where their liberal politics made them even more suspect. This is very much what the Reagan revolution was all about, and George W. Bush was its heir.
Considering that the 1980s was the decade when the American economy boomed and the USSR went bang, just think what could have happened if Reagan hadn't been such a moron?

On the other hand, maybe the Reagan boom came about precisely because Ronaldus Magnus was up to speed on the latest thinking in economics, even while his supposed betters were still firmly mired in the intellectual equivalent of British Leyland....

Hmmm, where are these 'smarts' parked anyway? And isn't there something ridiculous about a guy whining about anti-intellectualism even while he calls a fighter pilot stoopid! I guess flying a fighter must be easy, or they'd teach it at university, right?

That's point number one right there. All this talk about how supa smart these people are is strictly blathersgate. "Smart' maps exactly to 'leftist'. But there's more to it than that:
John McCain and Sarah Palin certainly did try out the rhetoric of anti-intellectualism on Obama. Palin mocked the fact that he'd made much of his personal wealth through the sale of books and sneered at research on fruit flies and grizzly bears in a bid to make science sound like a self-indulgent pursuit that spends money but doesn't produce anything useful.
Actually, this is one for the intellectuals (real ones): is it ironic, or just stupid, that people who jabber endlessly about their 'smarts' come up with such moronic arguments? Maybe they ought to research getting some new lines? Never mind that Palin mocked Obama because his books were all about himself, complaining about calling researchers self-indulgent would work better if it wasn't followed by approvingly quoting this:
If the message makes its way through the vacuous, dollar-driven media, Obama will have changed America
Yep: Nasty old dollars. Fancy producing stuff people actually choose to spend their money on. Far better to be a taxpayer-funded parasite.

This is point two. Not only is the whole distinction between smart people and idiots every bit as scientific as gossip columnists drawing up lists of who's hot and who's not, it betrays an underlying contempt for the public at large.

You can talk all you want about the need for blue skies basic research, how the space program produced teflon and how studying the sex lives of dung beetles could lead to a cure for the Welsh and how.... No, enough already. They truly believe that producing stuff that people want is squalid and demeaning and, as a corollary to that, that they - the enlightened! - have the right to waste other people's money on scientific stamp collecting.

See, that's the bottom line. The right isn't attacking science. We just don't believe in paying good money to support the self-indulgent hobbies of an incestuous cesspit of bigoted loonies.

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