Why do Republicans devalue intelligence? Republicans use the word “intellectual” as a pejorative. One of Newt Gingrich’s attack ads directed at Mitt Romney mocks him for speaking French in talking about the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City, for which the official language was French. In fact, Gingrich once said about himself, "I'm not a natural leader. I'm too intellectual; I'm too abstract; I think too much” (1995).
Republican attack ads against Elizabeth Warren in the Massachusetts senatorial race pitting her against Scott Brown refer to her disparagingly as, “Professor Warren.” Michele Bachmann in criticizing Barack Obama, mockingly called him “professorial.” Obama was editor of the Harvard Law Review and taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago.
Rick Santorum has accused Obama of “intellectual snobbery,” because of Obama's emphasis on getting a college education.
Michael Steele, former head of the RNC, mocked Jon Huntsman speaking Mandarin during a Republican debate saying, “I thought he was ordering takeout.”
Herman Cain bragged about not knowing who the president of ‘Uzbeki-beki-stan” (Uzbekistan) was, and blew off his complete brain freeze on Libya.
For Republicans, being college educated makes you an “elitist.” They equate being an intellectual with being a socialist. In response, some clever entrepreneur created a tee shirt sporting this on the front, "If you can read this, you're a socialist."
Someone who approaches a complicated problem, like going to war in Iraq, and has the audacity to change their mind, is a “flip-flopper.” George W. Bush famously made his decision to invade Iraq based on his “gut.” Then, in the face of overwhelming evidence that his rationale for war was dead wrong, stuck to his guns.
Is it all just a ruse to appeal to what the Republicans may see as their “stupid demographic” -- the Christian fundamentalists, the conspiracy theorists, the southern redneck -- or is this what Republicans have truly become? If the former, then let them have their craven fun and beat the hell out of them at the polls. If the latter, then, quoting one of our supposed heros, we must say to them, “You are pitiful, isolated individuals! You are bankrupts. Your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on—into the dustbin of history!”