I am more or less defining “Middle America” as your typical white, conservative, middle income, small town or suburban American who tends to vote Republican and is scared by Democrats and Liberals.
What I’ve observed is a tendency to distrust “book learnin” over “trustin your gut” or “common sense”. And I’ve seen this in a number of different areas including politics and business.
For example, their support of candidates like George W Bush, John McCain and Sarah Palin who either went to second rate schools or when they did go to top colleges, they performed poorly. In contrast, they tend not to vote for high academic achievers like Barack Obama or Al Gore.
In business, I have seen time and time again where higly educated consultants would go into a company, their suggestions would be ignored and then the company would complain that the consultants weren’t helpful. Although sometimes, admittedly, we aren’t helpful, there just seems to be an attitude of “who are you to tell me how to do my job”. Well, unlike you, I haven’t been at your job for 20 years and might be able to provide you with a different perspective.
Even in New York City, you constantly see tourists who are clearly from out of state choosing to visit the Times Square versions of the restaurants and stores they are familiar with, instead of taking advantage of some of the better (and equivalently priced) restaurants and stores.
So does Middle America have a natural aversion to things it percieves as “intellectual” or “elitist” and if so, why?