I received this great link to a Sam Harris article from my friend Larry Brown.
One of the most truly terrifying things about the last eight years has been the triumph of ignorance. There has always been a tendency on the right to demonize intelligence, referring to educated, intelligent people as 'ivory tower elitists' and 'eggheads', and conflating brains with being 'out of touch' with the 'real folks'. But, until 2000, this tendency was not making national policy decisions.
George W. Bush, in celebrating his own lack of intellect and curiosity, has made a virtue of ignorance, and by breaking the glass ceiling on stupidity, demonstrated to those who already think this way that there are no limits to where ignorance can take you. He has also demonstrated that governing by ignorance is not only possible, but easily done, and that ignorance can beat intelligence, given the right set of circumstances.
The vile presidency of George W. Bush will not finish when he leaves office. With his obsession over his 'legacy', it turns out that the repercussions from his assault on the country will be rippling far and wide for a long time. Any future president who wants to exercise unlimited power with no pesky Constitutional constraints will find the way made smooth by the precedent set by George W. Bush.
Case in point is the love child of George Bush and Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin. While George Bush is a relative latecomer to the fundamentalist fold, he insisted that "God told him to attack Iraq." He relies on his 'gut' instead of brains, and considers that a completely acceptable, even preferable choice. Sarah Palin takes those traits to a whole different level. No Johnny-come-lately she, Palin was steeped in fundamentalist principles from birth, and is both far more radically religious and far less educated than George W. Bush. Which, in the Bizarro-World of right-wing logic, makes her...even better! According to the Bush standard, all you need is a mule-stubborn refusal to yield to be a successful world leader, and intelligence just gets in the way of that. Sarah Palin describes it as "you can't blink." What she means is "you can't think."
This demonization of intelligence is getting worse, not better, as the ignorant and venal are rewarded ever more richly in our society. If the unthinkable come to pass, with a McCain presidency Sarah Palin - would-be book-banner, science-hater, reproductive-rights-destroyer, Rapture-ready end-timer - will be a fibrillation away from being the leader of the free world. One would not think it possible, but she makes George W. Bush look like Noam Chomsky.
Hell, yes, I'm an elitist. You should be, too.