A more germane question, O'George might be whether or not opportunistic politicians can be weaned away from attempting to exploit, from promoting anti-intellectualism. I am familiar with the sort of supercilious fools in the groves of academe to whom you refer, but they aren't really very important in the great scheme of things. I'd suspect that, for example, there are more auto mechanics in any given state than there are university professors (and a damned good thing, too). The silly academic types i've seen (i worked for many years in the state universities civil service system of a midwestern state) were not the majority of the professional staff of the universities, and may not even have been the majority of the professorial staff. In many cases, i think they are motivated by a deep-seated sense of their own inferiority--they rely on others to do almost everything for them, and the few things they do for themselves which aren't related to their academic disciplines are usually disasters. They don't dress themselves well--often the effect is comical--and i advise you never to ride in an automobile driven by an academic bent on discussing his or her area of interest.
But really, O'George, how many semioticians are there in the world making a living at their own preferred dog and pony show? This is a classic case of demonizing an entire political movement (it is invariably "liberals" who are tarred with this brush) because of the transparent stupidity of a handful of people--in this case those with the conceit to think of themselves as intellectuals. For chrissake, those who attempt to exploit anti-intellectualism include the political pronouncements of Hollywood "stars" in their indictments, and most Hollywood "stars" make the Chicago Bears defensive line look like a bunch of egg-heads. The root problem here is political exploitation.