There has always been a strain of “anti-intelligence” in American politics.

One of the predecessors of the present Republican Party, all the way back in the 1840s, proudly called itself the “Know Nothings.” Ever since then, a candidate usually has had a better chance of winning if he appeared at least a little bit goofy than if he proudly displayed his intelligence.

But it’s been the last 30 years or so that the GOP has been fighting an all-out war on smart people.

Remember Ronald Reagan? Sure you do. He’s the one who said trees were the greatest cause of pollution and nuclear missiles fired from submarines were best because they could be recalled after they were launched.

Big Poppy Bush, a pretty smart man, pretended to like pork rinds and beer; he actually loathed them as much as he did broccoli.

Junior took it to a new level with “nucular” and his phony Texas accent, but the GOP reached the apotheosis of its war on brains this year with the nomination of Sarah Palin to be vice president.

With all her dropped “g’s,” her “you betchas,” her slutty winks and her appeal to Joe Sixpack and hockey moms, putting Palin one step from the presidency would be a final victory for the anti-intelligent.

Why is it anyway that we want “jes folks” to run our country? Would we want an imbecile for a doctor, Larry the Cable guy for a lawyer or Junior Samples doing our taxes?

Heck, even when we had a genuinely intelligent president — Rhodes Scholar Bill Clinton — he had to pretend to be just another Bubba.

No wonder our government is FUBAR. We’ve been letting the imbeciles run the asylum.

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