Do I need to continue?
Oh? Okay... in no particular order:
The list can go on forever... unfortunately. These are all people who espouse idiocy as a virtue. I'm not talking about their own ideas or positions (which are in some cases stunningly horrid). I'm referring to how they canonize "good hard-working american joes" and decry "expert opinion" on topics from evolution to global warming to economic theory.
There are people who spend their entire career working on information. These people - doctors, researchers, theorists, etcetera - are brilliant in general and in some cases revolutionary and creative as well. They learn everything they can about their field of study and try to push it farther and farther. In short, these are the people who KNOW what they're talking about when they talk. They publish papers and go on lecture tours facing critical reception at all times. Their peer groups are built around the concept of tearing each other down. As soon as a scientist publishes a paper, he is going to get attacked from every single peer in his specialty, with each person trying to find cracks and problems in the posited ideas. The group feeds off of this, and the concepts which survive are stronger and more thorough in the end.
This sometimes grueling and ego-destroying process is absolutely necessary in modern science and academia, yet it's precisely this process which is exploited by the idiocy-mongers in our midst. The catch-phrase I hear most is "so-called experts"... as in "the so-called experts used to say eating eggs was BAD for you and now it's GOOD for you? How can you trust anything they say? How do we know in 3 years they won't come back and say 'whoops guys, sorry, we were wrong about global warming'?"
The worst part isn't just hearing them say it - it's hearing people BELIEVE it. The conservative idiocracy is doing its best to bring intelligence down in this country. Sloganeering and anger have all but replaced the back-and-forth dialog in this country. It's gotten to a point where anyone wanting to have a nuanced conversation is simply shouted over until they give up - and it's becoming a problem not just for liberals but also for conservatives.
The Republican party has become a total mess. The party itself contains people with diverse opinions and points of view. Economic conservatives vie for space with religious fundamentalists and governmental minimalists. Only a few years ago, in the 90's, these groups were considered to be equally "republican" in nature. The Bush administration (GH, not GW) was very inclusive of these groups to a point where it was almost as inclusive as Obama's administration has been.
Now, however, the same idiocracy is shouting down anyone in their party who dares NOT toe the line. Unless you pass the litmus tests of being "conservative enough" (IE: GOD GUNS COUNTRY), you're not going to have any chance of making it into a national office. It's a shame, too - there are republicans out there with VERY good, VERY nuanced ideas who understand how science and reality work, but they're being shouted down and have no chance of getting through the primaries in a national election.
Still, I can't think of an effective way to combat this trend... except through better slogans, of course. Shouting louder than the competition with shorter and more effective advertisements, and the like. But what does that solve? Nothing. I don't honestly think there really IS much of a solution out there at this point. Maybe it'll solve itself - the Republicans might self-destruct and in their place a better party might emerge.
Though I think that the more likely scenario is that this country will become a theocracy of sorts, led by Christian Extremists who have begun to sound just like the "Muslim extremists" they trumpet on and on about. We're already on our way - replace God with Allah in Bush's speeches and they begin to sound suspiciously like Ahmadinejad speeches.
I, personally, will not vote Republican until this mess is cleared up - and as someone who HAS many times voted Republican (INCLUDING for GW Bush), it's hard to do this. I hate to limit my choice to the Democratic party, because let's face it - there are a LOT of morons on that side too, and a lot of people who I would never, ever vote for (Hi Senator Pelosi, what up?).