I often strain for sober-sounding methods to explain my disgust with the villifying of "intellectuals" or "elites" in American culture; or why I get as furious as I do with Climate Change deniers, Creationists, Intelligent Design proponents and all other manner of superstitious wastes of skin (see, there I go again...) rather than just ignoring them.
Fortunately, Neil deGrasse Tyson (who's supposedly going to step into Carl Sagan's shoes for Seth McFarlane's "Cosmos" revival - yes, really) helpfully explains it by means of a simple infographic that shows the United State's standing as a scientific-innovator dwindle to near-nothingness within a mere decade:
This is why I DON'T get mad when people in Asia, Europe, Japan etc. gloat about how stupid my country is now percieved to be, because it's increasingly TRUE and it has very simple, tangible sources: America, as a whole, does far too much "believing" (religiously and otherwise) and not nearly enough THINKING. We prize moral-righteousness over intellectual prowess, we hold "common sense" superior to educated analysis, we slash funding for research to meet short-term budgetary goals and expect "the market" to pick up the slack (it won't, "the market" LIKES a stupid population) and we treat people walking around in the 21st century denying cold hard proven facts like evolution, climate-change etc as having "beliefs" or "a different opinion" instead of obvious mental failings not worthy of ether discussion OR respect in a modern world.
We're having an election soon. Not ONE Republican can hope to be nominated if he doesn't swear to his constituents that he believes the proven fact of evolution to be false, and no one of EITHER party can hope to win period without reassuring a significant number of people that they believe - sincerely and without a hint of doubt or questioning - that there is an invisible man living in the sky calling the shots via a ten-item "don't" list. These are the signs of a society that is not only failing, but that deserves to be failing.
So while the fundamentalists, hardcore believers, absolutist pro-lifers, "traditionalists," creationists, homophobes, climate-deniers and all the rest MAY in fact include some otherwise perfectly nice individuals among their ranks, collectively the ignorance they espouse and the anti-progress, anti-reason political leaders, candidates and movements they support are murdering my future; and I feel wholly disinclined to continue being "tolerant" of them. Differences should be tolerated, but ignorance should be corrected - and if it cannot/will-not BE corrected it deserves only to be shunned.