Anti-Intellectualism: Why We Hate Smart Kids

Improved Essays
A Great Dislike for Intellectuals
“[I]ntellectuals constantly see their efforts trivialized in the rush to lavish compliments elsewhere,” (759). This is a statement from Grant Penrod’s article, Anti-Intellectualism: Why We Hate the Smart Kids, that creates a strong inquiry as to why the problem occurs. His article presents an in-depth exploration of the reasons.
Penrod starts off the article by stating that an Arizona high school football team was praised for their championship, but that the academic teams, at that same school, were hardly praised at all. He presents another example, of these injustices, by mentioning the horrible online messages about intellectuals and how they are too prevalent in today’s society. Penrod continues on by
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Penrod even states, “The idea of the “geek” or “nerd” of the class is a familiar one to most students, and it is not a pleasant one,” (760). This is very familiar to me, especially when I excitedly babble about a new book that is going to be published, because I am often called a nerd. However, Penrod also declares that, “. . . not all ‘nerds’ are socially excluded; most high school students could readily name a few intelligent people with at least a degree of popularity,” (760). I am in agreement with this statement because, although I am a nerd, I am not socially excluded and I have many friends that would be considered “popular”. I am not the only one though; there are also many public examples, of popular nerds, that the author could have included in the article. He could have included Stephen Colbert and Chris Hardwick because they are two very influential popular nerds. Penrod continues by saying that this harmful idea of social stereotyping is not just in high schools; it is spread through many generations and places. Even though I agree with this, I would like to add that it is less prevalent among adults because in places, such as a workplace, education and knowledge is more valued. Unfortunately, there are also public examples, like celebrities, where education is …show more content…
As Penrod states, “. . . the image presented by modern celebrities suggests that intellectualism has no ties to success and social legitimacy,” (760). Penrod reflects that President George W. Bush’s simple language leads most Americans to poorly regard intelligence because, again, it is an example of uneducated success. I am able to agree that a president’s uneducated success can be very influential because I have noticed the effects among my peers. They believe that they don’t need an education if a president can be successful without one. A discussion should be included, in the article, that it seems as if people are willing to elect an uneducated president because they don’t feel as if education is a necessary quality. Though the uneducated success of such influential people causes anti-intellectualism, the wealth of these individuals is another

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