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November 11, 2008
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Obama and the War on Brains

by NYT columnist Nicholas D. Kristof

While having an openly intellectual president could never be a bad thing to me, sometimes I forget that I live in a shockingly isolated, liberal, academic bubble within a much larger, notoriously unacademic country. Having spent my adult life in cities or town or countries that prize brain power and working for academic institutions from day one of my career, it’s rare that I’ve encountered a situation in which being smart isn’t a benefit–unless, of course, you count middle school, which represents anti-intellectualism in a nutshell and is a phase I thought the majority of people eventually outgrew.

Reminders that exposing a functioning brain can be openly frowned upon and ridiculed are rude wakeup calls. Who makes the rules here and why aren’t they being changed?

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