Anti-Intellectualism: A Letter to Liberals

Contributed by Josh Fryfogle

The Left of the leftright has lost. The election, at least. But there seems to me to be another and more insidious loss - they've lost their way.

I have read many articles and had several conversations with my more liberal friends about the “Anti-Intellectual” element of society affecting politics adversely – supposedly.  

'Anti-Intellectual' has to be the most inane, ironic and idiotic idiom ever uttered.  Of all the polite political slurs bandied about like free balloons at a rally, this is Freud's Id on full display. I have never imagined a more pretentious way to call someone a dummy.  You left-leaning liberals of the leftright need to do some soul searching, seriously.

Consider the broad stroke of the concept of intellectualism. Consider, just for a moment, what that word means. Intellectual.  

Humanity as a whole, as a rule, is intellectual. As a word, it alludes to a linguistic capacity of humanity - setting them apart from the rest of fauna. Humans are all pretty damn smart, by that comparison. And our language capacity allows for humanity to pass down information - in written form and in oral traditions - for generations, compounding their interests into institutions of intellectual consideration. This is what humans do. Animals don't.

As a liberal, you understand micro-aggressions to be subtle but harmful linguistic and communicative actions.  Use that metric to measure these references of 'Anti-Intellectualism' directed at dissenters.

You are calling people 'Stupid'.  

Stop it.

Intellect comes in many forms. Nomenclature differs wildly from system to system, but no single system or group of systems of thought should think itself all encompassing of thought. It is arrogant and unpleasant. This is the elitism you find yourself accused of, my liberal friend.

This is why you are losing, because you used to have more to offer. Your uppity attitude was balanced by noble pursuits. Now, you're just loud liberals making yourselves entirely difficult to talk to.  

Now you can get defensive if you want, make me out to be part of a vast right wing conspiracy, but I'm not. I am part of the vast majority of people who didn't vote for Trump or Clinton! I am the voter you needed to win, that didn't feel good about the Republicans, either. But then you start name-calling, like my kids do at home, and I just get tired of the childish bickering and send you both to separate rooms. Geez, I've got grown up stuff to do, like writing articles for publication and what not.

Don't call people stupid. You're not that smart either, if you think name-calling is going to bully me into voting against my own conscience.

I grew up in the Deep South, a short drive from the Gulf of Mexico. Hearing the southern dialect and accent made in the media into a cultural meme - a collective 'micro-aggression', if you will - I quickly learned that dialect and accent were just a set of nomenclature that allows for a community to coexist.  It's culture. I also learned that there was a preponderance of prejudice from 'Yankees' who thought it was completely appropriate and acceptable to mock me as a Mississippian.  

What I thought of as a 'Yankee' was synonymous with liberal. I just used a different word for the same thing - see?  

That's the point. Words are intellectual. University education and institutionalized education are simply agreed upon sets of nomenclature for the benefit and communication of those within that institution. Hell, optometry has its own unique language, and astronomy also has its own terminology. However, neither eye doctors nor astronomers are so blind that they can't see.  

Your political philosophy does not encompass Intellect itself! Eluding that democracy made a mistake because the majority is stupid, you are restating a sentiment that has been the hallmark of elitism throughout time. You could not sound more elitist. It's the most elitist thing you could possibly say.

Anti-Intellectual. Pfft.

You need to stop proclaiming 'Science' like a slogan, too. You need to check your head, my left leaning neighbors. Have a V8. Walk upright, with the rest of us. Evolve.  

The people who vote to the Right are hardworking people, taxpayers, contributing to the cultural institutions that are made possible by their real effort. Perhaps they won't ever indulge in these systems that they pay for, but still they work and exist as part of the collective effort called culture that makes that indulgence possible for you.  

Are these people 'Anti-Intellectual'?