I just finished watching John Stewart, and he did a little segment on how the media is explaining the financial crisis to us like we’re six-year-olds.  Literally.  ABC News did a cartoon.  A cartoon.  How has the idea that the “true” America is comprised of a bunch of “Joe Six Packs” become so ingrained in our national narrative?  Joe Six Pack may need a cartoon to explain the financial crisis to him, but really – most of us don’t.

I know a lot has been written about this, but every time I hear the word “elite” or “elitism” used as an epithet, I cringe.  The political world is the only place “elite” is something bad.  The Special Forces are elite.  And thank God.  You couldn’t send a bunch of hacks out to do their job.  But somehow in politics, education at great schools, intellect, and the ability to see a complex and nuanced world (which may or may not include the eating of arugula and the ability to correctly pronounce “Pakistan”) are considered a detriment by many.  Like a lot of people I know, I’ve dedicated so much of my life to education and learning, and it’s terrifying to see that decried every time I turn on my television.

I understand that the left and the right have our differences.  But I don’t understand a whole side of the debate displaying the scorn we’ve seen in the last few years, and in this campaign in particular, for intellect.  David Brooks, conservative columist at the New York Times, describes how we went from the intellectual Republicans of days past to – Sarah Palin.