Americans live in a culture where youth, beauty, and money are a substitute for royalty and caste systems.
We worship people who are loud and in-your-face, even if they are shreiking about nothing in particular.
When someone tells an American that they are a doctor...they're impressed because it probably means they make a lot of money -- not because they are a wealth of knowledge.
America is a country where money is King...and in an abusive, yet entertaining relationship with beauty.
Often, the political candidate with the most money wins the race...and there are a host of "famous" individuals whose only accomplishment thus far has been birth into the privilege of wealth and/or loudmouths (Kardashians, Hiltons, Palins, and the child of any and every celebrity).
There is simply no respect or admiration for intelligence or knowledge. Bill Gates is often held up as an example of someone who is RICH and didn't even go to college!...as if the American Dream includes making huge sums of money with little or no effort.
Perhaps that is the real American Dream...