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It’s no secret that Republicans are distrustful of education, but could this anti-intellectualism spell doom for the United States in a world where knowledge is power? Cynthia Tucker writes in her latest column, “Hostility To Knowledge Has No Place In Modern World”:

Even Cain must know that much of the world has embraced the knowledge economy as the ticket to a prosperous future. South Korean parents shamelessly push their children into tutorial sessions that last until the wee hours of the morning. But here in the United States, there is still a clear strain of resentment toward the learned, the intellectually ambitious, the highly educated.

And it is stoked by demagogues who dismiss the conclusions of experts on such issues as climate change, evolution and even the obesity epidemic. Why trust those “pointy-headed” intellectuals who win Nobel prizes in biology and chemistry? That resentment is further fueled by dilettantes such as Cain, who revel in their ignorance of public policy.

Last week, after his disastrous performance before the editorial board of a Milwaukee newspaper, Cain declared at a campaign event in New Hampshire that the nation needs “a leader, not a reader,” according to reporters following his campaign.

That’s simply appalling. It would be difficult for the nation to adapt to a knowledge economy with a president who is contemptuous of knowledge.

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