Here are a few quotes from various members of the community who would not hesitate to flaunt their credentials as evidence of the fact that they are highly intelligent human beings.
When speaking to an OSU grad student in a coffee shop about political assassinations: "I believe they happen, but I don't believe they happen here. They couldn't get away with it."
Coming from a Harvard MBA and prominent, active Dem when discussing vote fraud and all the evidence that it did occur in 2000, 2002, 2004 (this was pre-'06): "I don't buy any of that conspiracy theory stuff. There's just no way they could get away with it."
Talking to a big firm consultant out of the University of Chicago grad school about the threat to civil liberties from the PATRIOT Act: "I don't subscribe to that whole 'slippery slope' argument that the government would use the PATRIOT Act to go after good Americans."
Conversing with an MIT engineer in a hotel lobby, the conversation shifts to 9-11 and the WTC collapse. I suggest that, citing a few of the major reasons the government story is not accurate, the Bush Administration must have had foreknowledge (the 'inside job' conversation isn't something you enter casually) and let the attacks happen for political advantage. His reply: "No way! You know why I know? Because I was in Manhattan on 9-11 when the attacks happened. It was terrorists!"
In an airport with a junior executive and CPA from a major company here in Portland, we're discussing the incredible current account deficit of the United States, suspension of M3 monetary measurement, and the possibility of a major recession due to the disequilibrium in global currency balances. His logic: "That can't happen because of the controls that were set up by the Federal Reserve after the Great Depression... I'm a firm believer in market efficiency." It should be noted this guy professed a particular reverence for the wisdom of Bill O'Reilly.
Each of these conversations with "highly educated" people show a fundamental breakdown in simple logic that basically short circuits any critical thinking. Yet it reveals just how brainwashed our society is and hopeless the United States may be.