"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan
Imagine an educated person voting for someone who would state something so ignorant. But we did. And re-elected him President of the U.S.
There is a sub-text to the recent presidential election. It is not that minorities voted overwhelmingly for Obama, or that he was helped by the ineptitude and lies of the Bush administration, or the illegal war in Iraq, or the economy. Pundits will focus on those things. But some hope was garnered from the fact that educated, white Americans voted for a liberal Democrat who is an African-American. The educated whites in places like suburban Florida and elsewhere switched over to Obama from their traditional voting patterns.
It has always amazed me that white Americans with a good education never seemed to express their learning in values or altruism. After college, they immediately took on similar values and voting patterns to uneducated people who believed in the myths of fundamentalism, the voodoo of religious and primitive thought process, and the religious right-wing. It was all smoke and mirrors to keep the general populace oblivious to how they were being hoodwinked and taken advantage of by greedy capitalists. Of course those educated whites who were not in denial realized what was happening, but too many went along with the right-wing, corporate scam.
Though these Americans had been exposed to the importance of culture, altruism, equality, social democracy, enlightenment, etc., they nevertheless threw in with the right-wing Neanderthals who were making a great deal of money. Bigotry prevailed. This has been going on in the U.S. since the founding of our nation. Somehow it has been pounded into our heads that having money meant one was intelligent (or at least "smart"). This anti-intellectual perspective is not as present in other educated, industrialized nations. Indeed, the successful nations of western Europe have all agreed to support social democracy. Educated people are revered and given special societal admiration. Not in America. The goal here was to make money, no matter the need to sell our souls to get it.
The election of Barack Obama indicates a shift in this thinking among educated, whites in the U.S. How marvelous that would be for every American if it is true. We shall see. Meanwhile let us band together from the left and the right and bring America closer to the promise we announce to the world. Let us truly show our intellect and insight. Let us live up to what we say to the world is our promise and goal. We are at the doorstep of a far more mature America, let us not stumble over the "Welcome" mat.