In the last three years and three months, President Bush has graced our media screens live only a scarce number of times. The current count stands at twelve. To me, this says two things: 1) President Bush doesn’t want to interrupt televised sporting events with his half-witted comments and his distorted view of the world and 2) His handlers absolutely abhor any attempt for him to speak off the cuff, which usually turns out with disastrous results (i.e. Bushisms). Tonight may prove to be high comedy. But then, with the ever-present sneer I believe that President Bush is under the impression that he is “comedian laureate” of the U.S.

What we need is a comedian or Daddy, what’s intellectualism?

Amongst the ranks of social ills our country faces today, a fascinating new brand of prejudice is rising. Although, not quite as widespread or even dire as racism, sexism, etc., intellectual prejudice is pushing ever more close to the forefront of our nation’s tribulations. The current political race seems to reflect this “reverse hillbillyism.” No longer does the American public search for the stupendous orator. Gone are the days that eloquence paved the road to success. The age of the intellectuals has gone by the wayside. What the American public wants is a stand-up comedian. Average Americans do not want to hear drawn out epics of the current state of our union. If this were the case, everyone would listen to NPR and we know this is surely not the case. We live in a nation that requires nothing more from the mouths of our leaders than a hearty “Mission Accomplished!”

The citizens of the United States, in part or perhaps in whole, desire a contemporary in the head office. This is understandable as this sentiment runs through the ranks of all social classes and races. A quandary that arises from this predicament is the existence of an asymmetrical ratio of intellectuals to what is effectively termed as “the mob.” Far outweighing those that seek truth in information, the mob of modern America chooses to listen to few newsworthy outlets, or they choose not to listen at all. They seek the austere. These folk seek action, not diplomacy, and this is what they are given. Fed with an interminable food source as this, where does this wave reach its crest and fold?

Intellectualism is defined as the development and use of the ability to think, reason, and understand. Here we have the triune of the mind. As humans we all encompass these abilities so that the processing of thought can occur. Whether these abilities are utilized in any capacity is entirely left to our own devices. Surveying the country as a whole there seems to be a dire lack of reasoning wherein citizens turn into “ditto-heads.” Without thinking, people march into their lives led by poisoned forked tongues. The ease with which this leadership is undertaken is borne from years of emergent anti-intellectualism and a backlash against cultural elitism. Why would President Bush attend a NASCAR event if not to appeal to the most base, anti-intellectual segment of our population?

It is with the mob that President Bush can excel at his position. Without the requisite inquiries, thought, and understanding he can excel by never embodying the guise of the great orator or the consummate scholar. The people have sunk so low as to require one thing of our president: that he is not serious. A current backlash brought about through various media outlets claims that John Kerry is exceedingly staid. Apparently a majority of Americans appreciate a good joke about missing WMDs at the expense of human lives. In light of the world’s political uncertainty, a stand-up comedian would do well to appease unstable nuclear powers and those wretched terrorists.

When language and eloquence have been so devalued by the mob, what is to be done to restore intellectualism to its proper standing? What is one to do when our President so undervalues academic pursuits that he refuses to read most media publications and, presumably, books? Elitism has become the new prejudicial front without a face or color. Thinking, reason, and understanding are now the pariah of the common man.

Inspired by John McWhorter’s book, “Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care.”

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