Jeb Bush’s Anti-Intellectual Nonsense

Jeb Bush’s Anti-Intellectual Nonsense July 13, 2015

The Bush family has a long history of pretending to be a bunch of Bubba’s, despite multi-generational wealth, attending Philips Exeter and Ivy League schools and the like. Bush 41 famously declared his love for pork rinds to make himself look more Joe Sixpack-y. Bush 43 bought a fake “ranch” that apparently only generated brush for him to clear when the cameras were on. Now it’s Jeb’s turn to strike the fake populist pose:

Bush then advocated for more blunt and simple type of statesmanship — reminiscent of the style of his brother, former President George W. Bush as well as Vice President Dick Cheney — in dealing with world.

“You don’t have to be the world’s policemen, but you have to be the world’s leader and there’s a huge difference,” Bush explained. “This guy — this president and Secretary Clinton and Secretary Kerry – when someone disagrees with their nuanced approach where it’s all kind of so sophisticated it makes no sense. You know what I’m saying?”

Bush continued, “Big syllable words and lots of fancy conferences and meetings and – We’re not leading. That creates chaos. It creates a more dangerous world. So restoring the alliances that have kept the world safer and our country safer – getting back to a position in the Middle East where there’s no light between Israel and the United States.”

This is standard right wing populist nonsense of the sort identified so brilliantly by Richard Hofstadter half a century ago, but going back much further than that. They love to distinguish between themselves and those pointy-headed intellekshuls with their big fancy words and big fancy degrees and their salsa made in New York City (NEW YORK CITY???). This has strong appeal to the ignorant masses that make up the right-wing base, who yearn for the simple world of John Wayne movies where if you don’t like someone, you just go kick his ass like a Real Mantm does.

It’s ridiculous enough on its own, but the fact that it’s being used by a highly educated scion from one of the nation’s most powerful political families trying to do his best Joe the Plumber impersonation makes it all the more ridiculous. New rule: No one who graduated from Philips Exeter Academy ever gets to refer to anyone else as elite. Ever.

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