I'll make this quick, because a deluge of journalism work leaves me without the time to devote to a proper post. The above xkcd comic is one of the best takedowns of a big gripe of mine that comes up repeatedly: the dubbing of entire swaths of the human population "sheeple" or ignorant scum because they aren't going about their lives the same way you might be. This is often paired with the assertion that said stupidity has increased, and people are dumber than they use to be.
So you're smart. Great. Intelligence is a beautiful thing to have. But the world is full of remarkably bright people who make really dumb calls, and people of average intellect who've made brilliant ones. The world is also full of extremely intelligent people with elaborate justifications for very bad ideas. Reality is awakening to the fact that there are a thousand and one talents, each of which might be perfectly adapted to a situation where others are useless.
There is vast and appalling ignorance in the world but, really, this isn't new and it's actually improved dramatically. If someone wants to argue that the current industrialized world, with widespread literacy and a far lower possibility of dying by violence, is less catastrophically dumb than a land where 99.9 percent of the population can't read and regularly indulge in nailing a cat to a tree and headbutting it to death, go for it.
Also, where the fuck do the elect get off assuming a magical invulnerability from ignorance? Newsflash: you've been appallingly ignorant at some point in your life. I sure as hell have, and no doubt still am on some fronts. The fact is, any self-proclaimed genius probably isn't half as smart as they think they are and the people they dismiss are probably fairly smart in areas they won't acknowledge.
I rant a lot here, but I believe any thinker has to keep in mind the old saw about Socrates' wisdom: everyone's ignorant, and he was wise because he knew his own ignorance.
I do know this, though: dismissive condescension is a monumentally stupid way to deal with the world.