Clinton the Anti-Intellectual

James Hrynyshyn attended a Clinton rally and after seeing the “appeal to an anti-intellectual strain” fears she would give us “more of the last eight years.”

Not only did Clinton’s speech avoid anything remotely resembling a respect for the challenges and contributions that science poses and offers society, but she seemed to go out of her way to appeal to an anti-intellectual strain that her advisers must have told her holds sway in the largely Republican county in which she found herself.

First there was the repetition of her support for a gas tax holiday, which, as Jake has ably pointed out at Pure Pendantry, is perhaps the stupidest idea yet mooted in this campaign. How she squares this with her not-quite-a-plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent by 2050 is beyond me. Or anyone else, I would think.

Such an idea is, as an educated friend of mine who very much wants to support Clinton told me as we waited for Clinton to arrive, an insult to her intelligence. But then, there was Clinton, insulting the intelligence of her audience every chance she got. The only common theme to emerge from the 30-minute ramble was an attack on our enemies. China is the enemy for selling us lead-contaminated toys and poison pet food. The Saudis are the enemy for exploiting our addition to oil. The rest of OPEC, too. And worst of all are those evil, parasitic “middlemen” who pop up in every corner of the economy, ready to take a cut and give back nothing.

Only ordinary Americans, and, because this Clinton campaign stop was in a rural corner of the state, only small-town Americans, can be trusted to do what’s right. It’s sad, really. Not only is everyone else the enemy, but intelligence itself is suspect. What we need, she seemed to be saying between the lines, is someone at the top who’s just a simple yokel. More of the last eight years, in other words.

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