According to this op-ed piece by cartoon satirist Ted Rall, American exceptionalism is indeed anti-intellectualism.
Americans are dumb.
That’s what people say. Especially foreigner non-American people.
But lots of Americans think that Americans are stupid. Not them, of course. They think other Americans are stupid.
It will not, even if you’re an idiot, come as a shock when I admit that one of the Americans who think Americans are intellectually challenged is me.
Moronitude exists everywhere, of course. What makes stupidity in America stand out is that most Americans — the dumb ones — don’t think it’s bad to be dumb. Far from being ashamed, they’re dumb and proud. The dumb ones make fun of the small-and-constantly-shrinking population of intelligent ones, the “nerds.”