Anti-intellectualism is an enduring feature of modern Republican politics, and accordingly, conservative intellectuals have taken up the job of justifying this state of affairs. Historically, their claims have glommed onto some great deep truth that the putatively dim-witted right-wing politician grasps, but which has eluded the liberal elites. (“For there is one thing that the American people know about Senator McCarthy,” wrote Irving Kristol. “He, like them, is unequivocally anti-Communist. About the spokesman for American liberalism, they feel they know no such thing.”)
David Gelertner makes the case in The Wall Street Journal.