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Archive for Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why are intellectuals the enemy?

October 12, 2008

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Maybe you remember "Dave."

It was a 1993 movie starring Kevin Kline as Dave Kovic, an everyday guy who happens to be a dead ringer for the president. When the chief executive is stricken, his aides secretly recruit Dave to fill in for him. Problem is, Dave quickly begins to lose himself in the role. There's a wonderful scene where, trying to find money in the federal budget to fund a homeless shelter, Dave turns to his friend Murray, an accountant, for help.

"Who does these books?" asks Murray after taking an adding machine to the budget. "If I ran my business this way, I'd be out of business."

Like "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" in 1939, the central conceit in "Dave" is that what Washington needs is a jolt of reality from everyday people. As a movie, that's a charming idea. As real life, it has proved frightening and bizarre.

But we will talk more about Sarah Palin in a moment.

First, let's concede the obvious: Every politician wants to be seen as Everyman or woman. That's why every primary season brings the curious sight of millionaires in plaid shirts wandering through county fairs eating fried things on sticks. It's why Hillary Clinton hit that bar and Barack Obama went bowling, badly.

In that sense, Sarah Six Pack is nothing new. The "g" droppin', moose shootin', eye-winkin' hockey mom has plenty of antecedents. But there's a difference. Those antecedents were smart, wonkish people pretending to be one of us. Sarah Palin "is" one of us.

And by "us," I don't mean you, necessarily, or me. I mean the lowest common denominator us, the us of myth and narrative, the us of simple mind, the reactionary, ill-informed, impatient with complexity, utterly shallow us.

You think that's mean? Go back and look at the Katie Couric interviews again. Or the Charlie Gibson interview. I don't know about you, but I want a vice president who can identify Supreme Court rulings she disagrees with. Or define the Bush Doctrine. Or name a newspaper. Or - heck, I'm not picky - construct an intelligible English language sentence.

Even many of her most ardent admirers no longer dispute that Sarah Six Pack is, shall we say, incurious. What's striking is how little that seems to matter. A McCain spokeswoman suggested before the vice presidential debate that it would be unfair to question Palin, "a woman who could be president," too closely on foreign policy.

And when thinking conservatives (remember when the adjective was not necessary?) like Kathleen Parker and David Brooks declared Palin unfit for office, they were shouted down by their ideological brethren. Parker got e-mail she called "vicious and threatening." Brooks was dismissed by another pundit as a "conservative intellectual."

You're left to wonder when intellectuals - thinking people, for goodness sake! - became the enemy. Are we to regard unthinking conservatives (will that adjective soon be superfluous?) as the only true conservatives? Indeed, the only true Americans?

One gets that sense from Palin's recent campaign appearances. Her attacks have grown increasingly strident and divorced from reality as John McCain's poll numbers have gone south. She blames Katie Couric, and not herself, for her inability to answer fair questions. She frames Obama as some exotic unknown with terrorist associations.

And the rabble duly rouses. They boo Couric, which is not unlike booing Mickey Mouse. They scream death threats. Someone addresses an African-American sound man for one of the networks with a racial epithet and screams, "Sit down, boy!"

There is an ugliness here. It is disguised as decency, disguised as politics, but it is only ugliness, mean and raw and given license by the desperation of a man who used to be honorable and a woman who said she was just like us. And for the record: It's not a movie.

I only wish it were.

- Leonard Pitts Jr., is a columnist for the Miami Herald.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"There is an ugliness here. It is disguised as decency, disguised as politics, but it is only ugliness, mean and raw and given license by the desperation of a man who used to be honorable and a woman who said she was just like us."And, no doubt, we'll see plenty of examples from the many anti-intellectual "conservatives" on this forum chiming in on this accurate description of the sad state of American conservatism.

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grammaddy 5 years, 11 months ago

Leonard Pitts for President!!!!!!!!!!!

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Centerville 5 years, 11 months ago

This is hilarious. Pitts thinks he's an "intellectual" just because he's reprinting the DNC faxes about Palin.

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Godot 5 years, 11 months ago

Leonard Pitts obviously regards himself as an intellectual. There's your answer.

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JohnBrown 5 years, 11 months ago

Google "pug ugly".We have seen this before with the Know Nothings back in the early 1800's.In contrast, our nation's founders were all intellectuals. They read Latin, knew the philosophies of intellectuals in other countries, were up on science. and most importantly, knew their history.The constitution they designed, while far from perfect, was the best any group of people had devised since the dawn of time. It was "East coast intellectualism" that produced it. And our first president, George Washington, thwarted a coup d'etat by those who wanted him to be our king. Washington did that because of his belief in that Constitution. Something the present President should review.Palin abused her power as governor, and the sad part is, she doesn't even know how.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

So do you dispute what he says about Palin, centerville? If so, care to be more specific?

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fuel_for_the_fire 5 years, 11 months ago

Corey Williams: I suggest you go back and read through the posts. You are chastising the wrong poster (and so have successfully made a fool of yourself).Tangential says: "A long time ago, I quit investing time to track down the particulars: " That's an understatement! So by your logic, the facts, and therefore truth and accuracy are unimportant? It does not matter that your error was trivial. What matters is that you don't see the value in being accurate when you spew forth your comments. How very sad.

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Corey Williams 5 years, 11 months ago

Truthteller, you are showing your age. Phil Hartman was the unfrozen caveman lawyer. Steve Martin and Bill Murray were cavemen in a sketch on SNL back in the 70s.To paraphrase you:"But, of course, we can't expect conservatives to have their facts right. After all, you have to ignore facts to agree with Cal Thomas and vote for John McCain."

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camper 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm uncomfortable If McCain's VP choice is a precursor to not only future cabinet appointments, but also his decision making ability. If our economy goes into a depression and it becomes a worldwide crisis, one can only look back to the events that occured after 1929 and be very concerned. This country deserves and needs the "best and brightest" in this time.The Palin selection stikes me as whimsical marketing choice that McCain thinks the American people will buy. I think Palin may possess the skills neccessary to being an effective govenor, but not a person who is one heartbeat away from being the most powerful person on the planet. But this is no knock on Palin. Being a govenor is a high position in my book.Maybe some of the prior posts here convey the fact that we probably all know people who are in positions way higher than they should, and there are some very smart people who are stuck where they are, but nonetheless should be running the game. Unfortunately, I don't believe Palin is in the latter

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Bubarubu 5 years, 11 months ago

"Anyone that does not agree with you or your left-wing friends simply can not be an intellectual!"That's plain nonsense. There are plenty of right-wing intellectuals. George Will, Thomas Sowell, Milton Friedman, David Brooks, William Kristol, and Newt Gingrich, to name an even half-dozen. I don't like their politics and frequently disagree with their conclusions, but you have to be impressed with the heft of their thinking. Once the GOP decided that any educational achievement should be dismissed as "elitist" (confusing it with "elite"), turning "intellectual" into a slur became inevitable.As for the reason McCain will lose this election, it will not be because he picked Palin (though that didn't help), and it won't be because of the bailout (though that, and the proximate cause thereof, also didn't help), nor will it be because he's too liberal. It will be because McCain is, frankly, a better candidate than the party deserves. He's spent the last six months trying to pander to what the party wants rather than following the voices of his better instincts. The party has so thoroughly beaten any creativity, dissent, thought, and gravitas out of itself that it has simply run out of ideas for anything but winning elections. That's something the GOP is really good at. Governing, less so.One more thought. In 1994, the Republican Revolution swept into DC on the back of the Contract with America. Whatever one thought of the substance of the Contract, it was a legitimate attempt at a thoughtful redefinition of governmental priorities and structure. If only that Republican Party hadn't burned itself out sniffing after Bill Clinton's infidelities, what could they have wrought? Where is the current statement of principles and ideas from the GOP?

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Bubarubu 5 years, 11 months ago

As a related note, see that George Will has a column reprinted in today's LJW (http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/oct...). Term limits were a key part of the 1994 CwA, but they failed to get a supermajority. Have we talked seriously about term limits at the federal level since? Why did the GOP quit on an idea that was once so central to their philosophy? I propose that it was the party-wide demeaning of ideas in favor of naked power, something term limits would have necessarily curbed, that caused the gradual erosion of the GOP from 1998 the present day. The GOP will reap its failure to govern on Nov. 4.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 11 months ago

The title to this article does not really relay the topic. It is a political discourse. The real issue, as I see it, is simply that the undeucated, ignorant always regard persons of intellect with contempt. They ARE ignorant, stupid, and have dismissed opportunity to learn, to become reasonable and intelligent, relying instead on emotion, gossip, and just plan stupidity. These people have been with us for a long time and as long as they continue to procreate and create yet another new generation of ignorant, stupid and worthless personalities, they will be with us forever.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 11 months ago

,;-DHey, Truthteller, don't lose the message in the minutiae!( A long time ago, I quit investing time to track down the particulars... if only to invite the occasional indignant reprimand for having gotten it wrong. Besides, you're just miffed for my having so consistently pointed to that misnomer with which you identify yourself. )

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kansas778 5 years, 11 months ago

What's interesting is that the media will think they brought down McCain/Palin. They'll celebrate their heroic action of sending teams of investigators to Alaska, discovering the "truth" about Palin, and bringing a campaign to its knees. They'll think they have the formula for success, and next time, they'll be even more vicious then ever. There's only one problem, that's not how McCain is going to lose the election. McCain lost it by ignoring the cries of the people who sent in letters and e-mails to their Washington representatives by the thousands, pleading to not pass the bailout. McCain will lose the election not because his VP choice wasn't intellectual enough, or that he was too conservative and too similar to Bush, but because he was too liberal.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 11 months ago

The right-wing perspective on intellectualism is succinctly summarized in the concluding words of Steve Martin in that old SNL caveman skit..."Now, me smart."

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Rather than term limits, I'd rather see a requirement that our representatives have one job, and one job only-- representing their constituents. Create a system of publicly financed elections, and require that anyone wishing to serve in Congress have essentially no sources of outside income, particularly from those who would attempt to influence their votes.

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Bubarubu 5 years, 11 months ago

The desirability of term limits, while a reasonable question to ask, is tangentially related here. My point was that the GOP had an idea, a big idea, an important idea, and they abandoned it wholesale. The idea carried no intrinsic importance to the GOP; it was only important insofar as it could win elections. Once that attitude is extended beyond the single idea of term limits, you understand how the GOP has been run since 1998. Big ideas (term limits, balanced budget amendments, etc.) are discarded in favor of wedge issues (same-sex marriage, creationism) and the invocation of shadowy, amorphous threats. The stuff that wins elections gets prioritized over the stuff that changes government and government's relationship with the people.I can't believe I forgot about David Brooks' column earlier this week on the same subject (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/opinion/10brooks.html). His conclusion: "The party is losing the working class by sins of omission - because it has not developed policies to address economic anxiety. It has lost the educated class by sins of commission - by telling members of that class to go away."

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beatrice 5 years, 11 months ago

madmike, what about McCain's relationship with George W. Bush? Talk about a damning personal relationship that speaks of McCain's inability to govern. But to the Ayers issue, I simply ask -- Have you ever served on a committee yourself? How well did you know the backgrounds of the other committee members? If one of them was a child-molester, would it be appropriate to say that you then associate with child-molesters? When Ayers was a member of the Weather Underground, Obama was 8 years old. Ayers served time in prison. Since then, he has turned his life around, condemns all forms of terrorism including those of his past, and is now a distinguished professor. If a distinguished professor is on a committee that you are also on, should you get up and walk out? Seriously, it isn't like he "pals around" with Ayers, as Palin claims. In the meantime, Palin, in the short time she has been governor has abused her powers. Pitts is correct, and she simply is too simple. Anyone questioning Pitts's intelligence, I ask -- how many Pulitzer Prizes have you won?

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BuffyloGal 5 years, 11 months ago

But let's remember that Pol Pot and the other Khmer Rouge leaders were intellectuals. Guilt by association! A classic mistake of the untrained mind. I suspect that Pol Pot also believed the earth revolved around the sun. Should we change our views on this too?

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David Klamet 5 years, 11 months ago

I loved that movie. It gave me the illusion of hope that someday some common sense might sneak in to the tiny brains of those who run things. But seriously folks, have you ever met a guy named Dave you didn't like?OK, maybe a few, but not very many.Leonard's assertion that the complex problems cannot be solved simply is the view of someone who has never solved problems. The only solutions to complex problems are simple ones.The thought that Sarah Palin could become president is only slightly scarier than the fact that either McCain or Obama really will be.

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dandelion 5 years, 11 months ago

Truthteller (Anonymous) says:Tangential:Phil Hartman, and not Steve Martin, did the SNL caveman skits. But, of course, we can't expect liberals to have their facts right. After all, you have to ignore facts to agree with Leonard Pitts and vote for Barack Hussein Obama.Cultural trivia is one of the things Pitts is writing against. Do you want someone who knows and believes in the constitution? or someone like you, who knows all the about SNL?"They'll celebrate their heroic action of sending teams of investigators to Alaska, discovering the "truth" about Palin, and bringing a campaign to its knees."Please don't be hypocritical, the Republicans have been much better about character assassination. Quit using your party's character ploys. Who cares who Palin's daughter slept with or what stupid groups her husband belonged to. She isn't educated enough to lead our country. Yes, she has a degree, but I know a lot of people with degrees who couldn't tell you diddley about how our government is run.

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Corey Williams 5 years, 11 months ago

fuel_for_the_fire (Anonymous) says:Corey Williams: I suggest you go back and read through the posts. You are chastising the wrong poster (and so have successfully made a fool of yourself).Actually, tangential got it right and truthteller got it wrong, but only because they didn't see that particular sketch. Steve Martin and Bill Murray did have a sketch where the end line was "Now, me smart."So by chastising truthteller for chastising tangential on something truthteller was ignorant about means I have made a fool of both truth teller and you. You say, "So by your logic, the facts, and therefore truth and accuracy are unimportant? It does not matter that your error was trivial. What matters is that you don't see the value in being accurate when you spew forth your comments. How very sad." How am I being inaccurate or wrong?

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like_n_Lawrence 5 years, 11 months ago

I just spoke with someone I have always respected as very intelligent. He said he is not voting for Obama because...get this..."He is tied to terrorism." I just sat there dumfounded. I said, "You have got to be kidding me!" Anyone who is using that lame excuse, is masking the real reason they are not voting for Obama, and we all know what that is. If you cannot get past your racism...vote for the half of Obama that is white. Maybe then, you can live with yourself.

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camper 5 years, 11 months ago

What if there was nothing to renounce. I went to church today and God I hope I'm OK, I don't know the backgrounds of everyone who was there. Geeze. Now I am worried about all of the folks whom I used to play softball with. Man this stuff could come back to haunt me.

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uncleandyt 5 years, 11 months ago

Them intellectuals are all full of facts and good ideas. Some of us hate that. Some of us can't understand why the truthnicks won't just keep their good ideas to themselves. Some of us need to wake the heck up. Some of us need to not swipe prescription pills from old ladies purses at the SlowRide a couple years ago.

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password 5 years, 11 months ago

Why are intellectuals the enemy?Because the majoarity of the people are not smart and they feel threatened by intelligence...

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funmoney 5 years, 11 months ago

p>www.obamacrimes.com - he won't last the week. What a fraud. Affirmative Action got him where he is, nothing else. He will tumble hard which may come as a suprise to many of you. Once we figure out if he is Kenyan or Indonesian, he needs to resign from the Senate. I feel for those in Illinois that are "represented" by this creep. The first mayor Daley would be proud of BO and ACORN = Anyone Can Overvote Right Now. Bye, Bye BO - Right Guard was your demise.

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fuel_for_the_fire 5 years, 11 months ago

Corey: My last comment regarding a poster's complete disregard for truth and accuracy was directed at Tangential, not you. I see my mistake, I should have put my criticism of this poster in a separate comment, or at the very least referenced my pronouns to make it more obvious.

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Corey Williams 5 years, 11 months ago

Point taken, but I was still going after truthteller for the right reasons. Even if he is too young to have seen that sketch live or in reruns, he should have done some investigation to see if that particular sketch existed or not before they spouted off that nonsense. And this is exactly what Pitts was talking about. Truthteller was ignorant about the facts and decided to attack rather than educate themselves.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 11 months ago

fuel: "So by your logic, the facts, and therefore truth and accuracy are unimportant? It does not matter that your error was trivial. What matters is that you don't see the value in being accurate when you spew forth your comments. How very sad."<:-(( My, but the cost of fuel is going up.... )OK, let's spend more time on this than it's worth.( It is, after all, the reader forum way! )I made a flip remark, based on a weak trace. I had wanted to post a link to the original, but, alas, could not quickly find it online. I DO recall Phil doing the bit, but seems I recall Steve delivering the punchline, as well. Who knows?( Who cares? )I could do a more exhaustive search through the past in order to defend my petty, little ego... to show that I wasn't wrong, after all... but... then I would lose an opportunity... an opportunity to model behavior for all the right-wingers who are about to be proven wrong-not about some flippant remark-but about something very near and dear to them....So, let us just say I was wrong... "I was wrong."Now that it appears that McPalin is unworthy and that Obama will indeed be a stellar next President, what say ye?C'mon, it's only three little words.( I love being right, when I'm wrong! ),;-D

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 11 months ago

Corey: "Actually, tangential got it right and truthteller got it wrong, but only because they didn't see that particular sketch. Steve Martin and Bill Murray did have a sketch where the end line was "Now, me smart."Well, there you have it... apparently I was right and I was right.*not to be confused with certain misguided political orientation of a red hue.

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beatrice 5 years, 11 months ago

madmike, I guess defending the intellect of Palin has proven too difficult for you so you have to discuss boogeymen who did bad things back when Obama was a child. Nice try. Still doesn't make Palin an intellectual heavyweight. Palin is a simple thinker, has bullied her way through her political positions and has already been found to have abused her powers as governor -- plus she has numerous questionable expenses indicating her great desire for personal gain over ethical accounting practices. She is a horrible choice for vice president and McCain deserves to lose the election on this choice alone (plus his desire to continue the failed economic and international policies of George Bush, of course).

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bondmen 5 years, 11 months ago

Oh, and just what makes one think they are truly intellectuals in the first place? Have they impressed one another to such an extent they self describe themselves with this brainy misnomer? That they have convinced themselves of their great self importance gives the rest of us very little comfort.

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Jeff Kilgore 5 years, 11 months ago

Anti-intellectuals are destroying our Constitution.

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Satirical 5 years, 11 months ago

Why Are Non-Elitist The Enemy?

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Bubarubu 5 years, 11 months ago

Two fools firebomb a sign, are arrested,and will be prosecuted. Good. There is no evidence that their attack was politically motivated (how many 4x8 Obama yard signs did they pass?) and no evidence that anyone other than the two idiots who did it condoned the act. So, there's that. There's also the snarky labeling of them as "intellectuals" in an attempt to smear the whole corpus of Obama supporters. By definition, these two are not intellectuals because 1) they don't think and 2) they use violence instead of considered expression to make their point.As for booing Palin at the Flyers game, who is to be more condemned? The fans who expressed their disapproval of Palin's candidacy or Palin, who brought her daughters as a shield against criticism? Say what you want about the Clinton, Obama and Bush families, but none of those folks turned their small children into political props. The Clintons set up a strong barrier around Chelsea, Obama's daughters have been almost totally absent from the campaign trail since their brief appearance during the convention, and Bush let his adult daughters live their own lives and pursue their own aspirations while he was in office. Palin chose to attend a raucous, uncontrolled appearance in a city where Democratic registration is more than 60 points ahead of Republican registration, a city that has a reputation for boorish behavior at sporting events, and she chose to bring her daughters out to face that. Shame on her.

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Meatwad 5 years, 11 months ago

Oh but it IS a movie. It's called "Idiocracy" (I see some have pointed this out and provided a link).Every man, woman and child REALLY NEEDS to see this movie, and understand that this IS the direction we are going. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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Ralph Reed 5 years, 11 months ago

From the article:"One gets that sense from Palin's recent campaign appearances. Her attacks have grown increasingly strident and divorced from reality as John McCain's poll numbers have gone south. She blames Katie Couric, and not herself, for her inability to answer fair questions. She frames Obama as some exotic unknown with terrorist associations.And the rabble duly rouses. They boo Couric, which is not unlike booing Mickey Mouse. They scream death threats. Someone addresses an African-American sound man for one of the networks with a racial epithet and screams, "Sit down, boy!"There is an ugliness here. It is disguised as decency, disguised as politics, but it is only ugliness, mean and raw and given license by the desperation of a man who used to be honorable and a woman who said she was just like us. And for the record: It's not a movie."***I think you all are missing the thrust of the piece. It's not intellectualism vs anti-intellectualism, it's the return of racial and class hatred. Reread the last three paragraphs of the piece.Palin, by cheer-leading for comments and shouts like those in the quote, is advocating violence on a national level. McCain, by condoning them, is doing the same thing.I didn't witness them first hand, but I've seen a lot of documented history of National Socialist rallies in Germany and Italy prior to and during WWII. I see the same thing in the McCain/Palin rallies that I saw in those films. The singling out of a people and unjustly using them as an enemy to further violent ends and control of a country. It's frightening that we as a people should condone that attitude. It's the same attitude which led to the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building and uncounted churches across the South.*****I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

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Ralph Reed 5 years, 11 months ago

Brent Garner (Brent Garner) writes: "Ralph Reed:... Am growing very tired of the Nazi-like attitude of the Obama supporters who want to use intimidation, even physical threats, to shut up their opponents."*That's a two-way street Brent. I know Obama supporters who have been cyberstalked and hounded off of the LJW discussion forums.So, what do we do about it?- Ralph

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wheatridge 5 years, 11 months ago

Let see, intellectuals convince morons to let intellectuals govern over the morons; then when the morons decide to vote for another moron, intellectuals and posers advise against voting for a fellow moron! Who would have supected such a thing?

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Ralph Reed 5 years, 11 months ago

Truthteller (Anonymous) writes: "Ralph Reed:What type of attitude led to the bombing of the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol by Obama's friends, Willima Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn? Aren't we seeing that same attitude again with many Obama supporters?***Thank you for answering my comment with a question instead of providing a viewpoint. I'll answer your question, then try and steer this part of the discussion back to what I actually said.I don't condone what they did, and I don't feel the charges should have been dropped (but that's another issue). Ayers' and Dorhn's bombings came out of a feeling that that was the only way they could have an impact against what they called an unjust war.I don't see the same attitude in many Obama supporters, though I do see a hatred of the wars in the middle east. The video you provide as an example has no cries of "Off with his head," "Sit down boy," and so on.Read my comment again and you'll see my point."(Pitts) And the rabble duly rouses. They boo Couric, which is not unlike booing Mickey Mouse. They scream death threats. Someone addresses an African-American sound man for one of the networks with a racial epithet and screams, 'Sit down, boy!' ""(Me) Palin, by cheer-leading for comments and shouts like those in the quote, is advocating violence on a national level. McCain, by condoning them, is doing the same thing."Only this time I would change it to read "...class and racial violence on a national level." It strikes me as very similar to Ann Coulter asking some "fine Republican boys" to take care of someone who was asking her questions at the Lied Center.TT, by sidestepping the point of my original post, are you then saying it's OK to foster shouts of "Off with his head" and other death threats? Are you also saying it's OK address people with racial epithet and scream, "Sit down, boy!"? I sincerely hope not.feeble (Anonymous) writes:"... it is extremely hypocritical to not condemn the Palin's for ties to a secessionist group in Alaska (AIP)."All I've been able to find is that Sarah Palin was an AIP member only until she became Mayor, after that she identified herself as Replublican. However, I find it impossible to believe she and Todd didn't discuss AIP activities, policies and goals. Based on what I've found, I can only conclude that Sarah Palin supported the AIP by not publically condemning their activities.****I'm Me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 11 months ago

You know, not that I dislike intellectuals ( do I know any? do I want to? ) ,but I just detest the word. I think I dislike it more than that F-word being bantered about in the stadium.So, perhaps suffering from some ingrained connotation ( is it only me? ) ,I went looking for an alternate. Here are some contenders...5. geniuses6. eggheads13. highbrows20. intelligentsia30. longhairs95. clever dicksNope... just can't seem to escape that connotation.( Wonder if "clever" is related to "tricky?" )

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beatrice 5 years, 11 months ago

madmike, Huh? So only people who have received military awards should be allowed to write articles and be considered intellectuals? I guess that is why you like John Kerry so much, right? Albert Einstein never led combat tours, so I guess he wasn't an intellectual in your book, right? No, we shouldn't look at things like Pulitzer prizes for intellect, just military duty. That makes absolutely no sense at all Mike, and you know that. Regarding Ayers, in a letter to the Chicago Tribune published Sept. 23, 2001, he wrote: "I condemn all forms of terrorism - individual, group and official". He also condemned the September 11 terrorist attacks in that letter. "Today we are witnessing crimes against humanity on our own shores on an unthinkable scale, and I fear that we may soon see more innocent people in other parts of the world dying in response." Nevertheless, I agree that Ayers, whether or not he has renounced his past, shouldn't be elected President. Good thing he isn't running. Obama was 8 years old when Ayers was a radical anti-war activist. Ayers past has nothing to do with Obama's present. And none of this makes Palin bright enough to be considered co-captain of the ship of state, which is the point Pitts is making.

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Godot 5 years, 11 months ago

Let's just say that anyone who has the arrogance to call him or herself an "intellectual," is justly deserving of the utmost ridicule.

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JohnBrown 5 years, 11 months ago

Intellectuals gave us our Constitution.

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Brent Garner 5 years, 11 months ago

Lets see. If I disagree with Obama I am a stupid, ignorant, moron, racist person. If I agree with Obama I am considered enlightened, progressive, intelligent. Yes, I can see why the word "intellectual" has acquired a negative connotation.

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Brent Garner 5 years, 11 months ago

Ralph Reed:Just repeating things that have been said here and to my face whenever I state that I disagree with Obama. Has happened so many times both here and around town that I have stopped keeping track of the people who say it and how many times it happens. Although, I think the next time an Obamamite follows Obama's suggestion about "getting in my face" I may give him a bit of a surprise. Am growing very tired of the Nazi-like attitude of the Obama supporters who want to use intimidation, even physical threats, to shut up their opponents.

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camper 5 years, 11 months ago

Palin said that O'bama is Palin around with terrorists. O'bama should take off the gloves and start talking about the Keating Five. Thus far he is taking the high road.

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beatrice 5 years, 11 months ago

They know the person who started many of the lies being told about Obama and being believed by "folks" around here like funmoney. His name is Andy Martin, and what a real scumbag he is: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/13/us/politics/13martin.html?hpPeople like this should be sued into non-existance and never again allowed onto the internet.

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Ralph Reed 5 years, 11 months ago

Brent Garner (Brent Garner) writes: "Lets see. If I disagree with Obama I am a stupid, ignorant, moron, racist person. If I agree with Obama I am considered enlightened, progressive, intelligent. Yes, I can see why the word "intellectual" has acquired a negative connotation."****Who said this?

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feeble 5 years, 11 months ago

madmike (Anonymous) says:These are ecerpts from an article by James Walsh, a former federal prosecutor on Ayers=============================madmike, are you unaware that the lead federal prosecutor of the Weathermen in the 1970s, William C. Ibershof, has condemned the linking of Obama to Ayers in the strongest possible words?Ibershof was chief of the criminal division in the Eastern District of Michigan and took over the Weathermen prosecution in 1972.In Ibershof's own words: " I am amazed and outraged that Senator Barack Obama is being linked to William Ayers's terrorist activities 40 years ago when Mr. Obama was, as he has noted, just a child."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/opinion/l10ayers.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalinkWhat role did Mr. Walsh pay in prosecuting the Weathermen? I can find no record of his exact role, other than as a "former federal prosecutor" without a connection to any specific case.But now that you've opened the door, let's talk about the Palin's connection to a radical secessionist group, who's founder died while in a plastic explosion mishap. If you are going to condemn Obama for Weathermen ties, it is extremely hypocritical to not condemn the Palin's for ties to a secessionist group in Alaska (AIP). Do you honestly think mass murders like Timothy McVeigh are "true patriots"?

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bad_dog 5 years, 11 months ago

Brent-just wondering. Where are you when the Obamamites are getting in your face? I get around to many parts of town at all times of day and have never seen supporters of either candidate getting in each others face. The most confrontational tactics and terminology I've seen employed have come from the pit bull with lipstick and certain McCain-Palin supporters at campaign rallies. Outside of these forums, my experience is people are either much more cordial or try to avoid the topic of politics. You know what they say about politics and religion... Unfortunately, this campaign has been the confluence of the worst of both.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"How bigoted can he be? Change the color of Palin and the vernacular and he would be on all the talk shows explaining why he hates blacks."If the country were majority black, and Obama spoke in pure ebonics just sound like "plain folk," and otherwise had little of substance to say, the exact same point that Pitts has made here could be made about Obama.

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beatrice 5 years, 11 months ago

Why are intellectuals the enemy?There are more dumb people. Brent, the comments said on these boards are often exaggerated and routinely stated for the simple desire to inflame the ire of the other side. Certainly you don't think only Obama supporters are the ones who try to act like cyber bullies, do you? I mean, honestly, if we were to pay attention to people around here, then to support Obama means that you must first hate America, support Socialism because Obama is a Socialist, you want the terrorists to win, you hate Christians but love radical Muslims, and on and on and on.If anyone acts like a fool to your face, then that person isn't worth your time of day. Just remind them that many of Bush's supporters were absolutely sure in their convictions as well. That will make them think for a second, at which point you can slip away.As the great philosopher of our times, George Carlin, once said: "Think about how dumb the average person is. Then realize that half the people are even dumber than that." By the way, don't be dumb. Vote Obama. ; )

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Brent Garner 5 years, 11 months ago

beatrice Ah, but what do you do when they threaten you, when they follow you, when they literally get up 2 inches from your face and call you racist, bigot, homophobe, etc.? I tell what will happen the next time, I will likely punch one of them out! I will not tolerate any longer the Nazi-like, communist-putsch that these thugs are intent on. If they even knew me they would know how stupid their comments are, but I will no longer tolerate threats of physical harm to me (have been threatened with death), threats of harm to my family, threats of damage to my property, etc. Report them to the police? Sure, when the bigots won't even give a name? Nope, there are other ways to solve this. I have turned the other cheek numerous times now and all it has gotten me is slapped on the other cheek. I think I will simply start slapping back.

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bad_dog 5 years, 11 months ago

"Who would consider Bill Clinton, the first black president, an intellectual?"-TSUmm, Oxford University, home for Rhodes scholars might consider one of their scholarship winners to be one of those dreaded "intellectuals". Perhaps you've heard of Rhodes scholars?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodes_ScholarshipIn addition, you might consider Clinton's attendance at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, his membership in the Phi Beta Kappa Society (you know, the academic honor society) and the fact he graduated from Yale Law School. Just a few leading indicators of "intellectualism". I know, but, but Clinton.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"The secular-socialists sense that they can obtain complete and total victory and impose their views and philosophies on all."Be honest, Brent. Your real complaint isn't that someone will impose their views and philosophies on you, but rather that you feel you aren't able to impose your philosophy and beliefs on others, which is precisely what would happen if you and your like-minded brethren could establish the theocracy you so crave.

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Ralph Reed 5 years, 11 months ago

Brent,Here's what I said at 2130 last night."Ralph Reed (Ralph Reed) says: Brent Garner (Brent Garner) writes: "Ralph Reed:: Am growing very tired of the Nazi-like attitude of the Obama supporters who want to use intimidation, even physical threats, to shut up their opponents."**That's a two-way street Brent. I know Obama supporters who have been cyberstalked and hounded off of the LJW discussion forums.So, what do we do about it?- Ralph"***I still say that everything you've mentioned is part of a two-way street on both the local and national levels. You advocate war as maybe the only solution, another civil war in fact. This tells me you would rather see our country torn apart rather than try and find some common ground. I hope you don't mean that in truth.I asked you what you think we can do to stop that behavior here. Since national change like that comes from the local level. Don't you have any ideas?- Ralph

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Brent Garner 5 years, 11 months ago

Now to those who say that doesn't happen here. Granted, I am complaining about a minority of my interactions. However, if it were only 1 I could easily dismiss it. When it occurs the 2nd time, one begins to wonder. When it occurs the 3rd time, one begins to see a trend and then one begins, somewhat justifiably, to wonder if all on the other side or perhaps a majority feel as do those one has encountered. I think I do understand why this has become so "polarized" to use an abused word. I am, shall we say, north of 50. I have watched as, in the name of tolerance, those of us who espouse religious and conservative values, have been told we must accept public recognition of adultery, fornication, and debauchery as "normal" behavior. This is bothersome to us because it is certainly not normal as far as we are concerned. We have watched as national organizations have sprung up endorsing homosexuality, abortion, etc. We have watched as our music has become coarse and crude. We have watched as our media have become slaves to sensuality. We have watched as anti-Americanism has seemed to get stronger and stronger and the infusion of socialist and even marxist ideas become more prevalent. All of this while being told we have to tolerate this under the guise of "freedom". It has reached, now, a juncture, where for us, there is no more ground to yield. Yielding more would require abandonment of all we hold dear. Sadly, our views are not met with the same "tolerance" that those who oppose us demand we give to our opponents. There is no reciporcity. Consequently, we have arrived at a point, not unlike that in which the US found itself just before the Civil War, where both sides are determined and fixed. The secular-socialists sense that they can obtain complete and total victory and impose their views and philosophies on all. Hence, they will not yield nor compromise. Those of the conservative and religious persuasion see themselves at a point where further retreat, under the guise of "tolerance", will lead to destruction. Hence, they cannot nor will they yield further. Thus we have come to a place where "war" may be the only solution.

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rachaelisacancer 5 years, 11 months ago

"As for Barak, he neds to come clean with his corruption and ACORN work and paying these idiots to stuff the ballot box.Why are you not reporting on that?"---------------------What corruption on BO's part are you referring to? Oh, you don't have any specifics? Not shocking. No one is getting paid to stuff the ballot box. As has been duly noted, a few rogue people who worked for ACORN decided they needed more money and so they made up a few names. With this economy, it's really not that surprising that people will resort to that sort of thing. Now tell me, if a co-worker breaks a law, does it mean you and your entire place of employment are corrupt? That's a rhetorical question by the way - don't hurt your brain by trying to figure it out; the rest of us already know the answer is "no."----------------------------------"WHy is the media not reporting on ACORN as the corrupt ilelgal voting registrant and voting fraud that is going on?Why are there no investigations on that?"----------------------------------------There are investagtions as well as reports. Where do you think you found out about it? Good grief almighty. Pardon me, but your ignorance is showing.

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bad_dog 5 years, 11 months ago

Brent, I thought my request for additional information regarding the circumstances surrounding the intimidation attempts you reported was reasonable. If true, it is completely unreasonable conduct that I certainly do not condone or support. I even stated I would support and defend your right to freedom of speech.I'm not sure what to make of your failure to respond. Why won't you elaborate?

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ASBESTOS 5 years, 11 months ago

Hey Pitts you fruitcake, why don't you turn your lazewr beam toward the corrupt Barney "Flake" Frank, and Chris Dodd. They are the corrupt incorridgables, along with Maxine Waters the Lying yahoo that does not know where her PAC money comes from such as Fannie and Freddis.Lighten up on Sarah, the liars in congress have a helluva lot more to get raked across the coals than Sarah.As for Barak, he neds to come clean with his corruption and ACORN work and paying these idiots to stuff the ballot box.Why are you not reporting on that?Probably because the actual "disenfranchisment" of Republicans (by stuffing the ballot box by letting thousands of ilelgal voters vote and non-exestent persons like Mickey mouse to vote fro Barak O'baby) is "OK" in your book, and the appearance of disenfranchisement for the Democrats is outrage?Get real. WHy is the media not reporting on ACORN as the corrupt ilelgal voting registrant and voting fraud that is going on?Why are there no investigations on that?Because it favors Barak the corrupt and Democrats.

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rachaelisacancer 5 years, 11 months ago

Some posters:So if I don't like Obama I'm stupid? Wah, Wah Wah.----------------------------Nobody said that, but clearly your stupidity is showing anyway.

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Tony Kisner 5 years, 11 months ago

Not sure what your point is Bozo, are you saying it is intellectually appropriate to deride others because they speak differently than you? Does intellectual curiosity stop once you make a few generalized assumptions about someone?Take a look at the words Pitt's used in his column, nothing short of well educated name calling, and bigotry, wrapped up in an entertaining package. He is saying you don't look like me, act like me, or speak like me and based on that he thinks he is a better person, indeed an intellectual.

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kidicarus 5 years, 11 months ago

Brent - It sounds like your real beef is with modern culture. Much like how older generations thought the sky would fall because of rock and roll music and Elvis's hips. I doubt that you are completely innocent in your encounters with the Obama supporters you describe. You don't fuel the fires a bit?

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bad_dog 5 years, 11 months ago

Brent-once again, just wondering where these incidents occur and how do these folks become aware of your political beliefs?I can't speak for the rest of the left, but I wouldn't hesitate to speak out and yes, defend your right to believe as you do. It's obvious most of the members of a given political persuasion aren't going to be dissuaded from their beliefs by any form of what the opposition perceives as logical persuasion, so why get up in someone's grill over it?

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Tony Kisner 5 years, 11 months ago

Pitts - "In that sense, Sarah Six Pack is nothing new. The "g" droppin', moose shootin', eye-winkin' hockey mom has plenty of antecedents. But there's a difference. Those antecedents were smart, wonkish people pretending to be one of us. Sarah Palin "is" one of us.And by "us," I don't mean you, necessarily, or me. I mean the lowest common denominator us, the us of myth and narrative, the us of simple mind, the reactionary, ill-informed, impatient with complexity, utterly shallow us."How bigoted can he be? Change the color of Palin and the vernacular and he would be on all the talk shows explaining why he hates blacks. Then he goes on to say it's not "us" or at least me. I always love it when a person self-proclaims to be an intellectual. If you are truly intellectual how do you have the time to point out others who are not in your club? By proclaiming he is an intellectual first, does Pitts therefore get a pass? I call myself an intellectual therefore I am an intellectual?When you are the smartest in the room I think you would be wise enough not to insult the lesser among you by calling them stupid or making fun of how the speak. You fell for it Pitts, - what a joke.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

No, what he's saying is that a candidate with no qualifications for office and nothing substantial to say on pertinent issues can't make up for that with winks and a perky, folksy delivery.

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beatrice 5 years, 11 months ago

Brent: "Ah, but what do you do when they threaten you, when they follow you, when they literally get up 2 inches from your face and call you racist, bigot, homophobe, etc.? I tell what will happen the next time, I will likely punch one of them out!"I think your response would be appropriate as the threat seems quite serious. A stranger getting in your face as you describe can easily be interpreted as making a physical threat. Go ahead and drop 'em. If any think "punching them out" isn't within your ability, then perhaps a nice quick stomp to their instep, taking a little flesh off their shin along the way, and they will back off. I might act in such a manner if anyone threatened me like that -- especially over politics! Only reason I can imagine anyone thinking they have the right to do as you describe is if you support McCain and also happen to be holding a nasty sign and marching along with the Phelps clan. For some reason, you are dealing with a miniscule group of Obama supporters. Don't blame Obama for the actions of a few thugs. To the article, can you believe that Palin won't do further interviews or sit on Meet the Press to discuss the issues. Is that what a maverick does -- avoid being asked questions?

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ASBESTOS 5 years, 11 months ago

"No, what he's saying is that a candidate with no qualifications for office and nothing substantial to say on pertinent issues can't make up for that with winks and a perky, folksy delivery."You mean like "Captian Teleprompter" Barak Obama?

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jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

"I think I do understand why this has become so "polarized" to use an abused word. I am, shall we say, north of 50. I have watched as, in the name of tolerance, those of us who espouse religious and conservative values, have been told we must accept public recognition of adultery, fornication, and debauchery as "normal" behavior. This is bothersome to us because it is certainly not normal as far as we are concerned. We have watched as national organizations have sprung up endorsing homosexuality, abortion, etc. We have watched as our music has become coarse and crude. We have watched as our media have become slaves to sensuality. etc"So, where in there have you had to alter your own behavior? Maybe the problem is that you see yourself as possessing a moral imperitive that is more applicable to the larger society, but they're all built on human constructs, some of which are questionable in the nature of their practicality and even their morality.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 11 months ago

Brent: "[We] have been told we must accept public recognition of... debauchery as "normal" behavior....We have watched as our media have become slaves to sensuality." And the worst among them, the Internet itself!Just look at this debauchery...http://pixdaus.com/pics/4aBMDId9kh8WG3G9tq.jpg( Apparently, they're now giving awards for such displays.Where will it all end? )

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 11 months ago

Intellectuals aren't the enemy. The enemy is within.Intellectuals ( among others ) are merely the scapegoats.

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