BEIJING, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- A barrier along the Mexican border should be built and paid for by Mexico to block the flow of illegal immigrants, U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump insisted in an immigration speech earlier in September. His call for a Mexican wall has aroused heated discussions around the world.
Nobody took Trump's words seriously, as people regarded the anti-intellectual remarks as a unique way of advertising himself.
Meanwhile, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton called Trump a "puppet" of Russian President Vladimir Putin, referring to his supporters as "shameless", and connecting Trump with Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in the shooting massacre at an Orlando nightclub in Florida on June 12 this year.
Since 2015, as the U.S. presidential election has become increasingly ridiculous, more and more doubt has been cast on the American electoral machine.
According to the Washington Post, "Donald Trump's shocking transformation from reality-show host to Republican presidential front-runner...grows from the failure of our political system."
It is all about anti-intellectualism.
In Richard Hofstadter's 1963 book entitled "Anti-intellectualism in American Life", he points out a deep-rooted anti-intellectualism in American society, which expresses hostility towards and mistrust of intellect, intellectuals, and intellectual pursuits.
Anti-intellectualism is against the origin of elections, which should have been a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses a wise and competent individual for the well-being of the country and its people.
To cater for anti-intellectualism, politicians have been busy acting stupid or pretending to be stupid, in order to get as many votes as possible. Winning the election is all that matters.
Throughout history, U.S. elections have been packed with examples of anti-intellectualism. Since the 1960s, the tendency has become increasingly evident.
Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican candidate for vice president, whose little knowledge of domestic and international affairs was shocking and whose most famous political view is to arrest and send back 12 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States, became popular overnight for her anti-intellectual tendency.
In the era of new media, anti-intellectualism plays a new role in making politicians web celebrities in order to draw votes.
Anti-intellectualism is exactly similar to anti-establishment belief, which stands in opposition to conventional social, political and economic principles of a society, deeply reflecting the crisis facing American society.
A combination of anti-intellectualism and isolationism reveals the U.S. voters' fears in the economy, daily life and safety when living in a society with a widening polarization of wealth and social stratification.
The Pew Research Center's latest study shows that the proportion of the middle class in the United States has been reduced to 49.4 percent from 61 percent in 1971 and middle-class families received only 43 percent of the country's income in 2014, compared to 62 percent in 1970.
In essence, anti-intellectualism is a "passive, improper but radical" rebellion against elitism by civilians.
When the race for the top job in the country is entering the final stage, anti-intellectualism remains one part of a rather nauseating race, while at the same time disclosing various defects of so-called U.S. democracy.
No matter who gets the job, the memory of the presidential election will live on. As the Financial Times wrote, the election has revealed a chaotic, divided and fooled United States to other countries.