America has become the greatest country in the world thanks to our forefathers who, among other things, pushed for freedom, the right to public education and the idea that intelligence, know-how and wisdom are what would ultimately put us ahead of the rest of the world. They were right and America was built on the backbone of our educational system, which has led to some of the most technologically advanced innovations coming from companies within our borders. This in turn has led to tremendous wealth for our nation.
Over the past few decades though, the rest of the world has begun to catch up through initiatives which have provided free education to those living in other countries. We’ve gradually begun to see much of Europe, China, Japan, and other parts of Asia catch up to us in terms of innovation, manufacturing, and the like. This most likely stems from the fact that, while the United States has remained steady when it comes to the education of their citizens, the rest of the world has simply caught up.
Education equals innovation. There is no question about this fact, and while there surely is innovation coming from individuals who do not have extensive education, the majority of the earth-shattering inventions we see from around the world come from those with high levels of education. For some reason though, a large portion of American voters have decided that being “intellectual” is not a good characteristic have. I would be willing to surmise that the majority of Donald Trump supporters believe that intellectuals are bad for this country. These voters prefer someone in office who is less educated to run our country. Forget the Harvard or Yale graduates, these voters want people in office who are more like themselves — individuals who have maybe graduated high school, and more than likely did not graduate college.
The other day, I came across a tweet that really made my stomach turn. It was created by an Twitter user named “Culture FOR Freedom”, but it’s not the tweet itself that really hit home, but rather the response by Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, which can be seen below.
These individuals are not alone in their thinking. A great majority of Donald Trump supporters feel this way, as does much of the conservative media. This is the first time in history that America is being led by an “ignorance over intelligence” mentality, and that is extremely dangerous. Instead of having the “American dream” of getting the best education that we can, and teaching our kids that being smart is the “cool thing” to do, the exact opposite is occurring throughout the country. This is not American, and it’s certainly not how America will ultimately retake the lead in terms of educating our youth and driving innovation. Teaching children that education and intellect is not important puts our country on the brink of losing everything that has led us to the top.
Anti-intellectualism is an ideology used by totalitarian dictatorships in the past, in order to oppress those who believe they know more than the government. It’s far from being an idea supported by democracy, but then again, what exactly is Donald Trump trying to achieve?