"Always welcome the opportunity to learn from even the most trying of times."

Challenging times and events will rise and fall regardless. We can either allow ourselves to benefit from the experiences those times afford us or we can choose to not benefit from them.

Which path seems more productive? Which would see us grow as individuals? As a society? As a species?

I wrote these words down the other night when reflecting on the state of my nation and the world at large. Having been reading quite a bit lately on the history of civilization it occurred to me that throughout history most 'great' societies have embraced their 'philosophers' and placed them in high regard; right alongside those of the political leaders. Often times they are one and the same.
I think most spiritual and philosophical teachers would look at my words in orange text and agree with them. They are not particularly deep nor controversial in and of themselves. But I have to wonder what would today's American mainstream reaction be to these words if they were spoken by The President?
I get the impression that today's U.S. citizen doesn't want to hear words such as these from their elected officials. Even though the words and sentiment might be perfectly accurate and appropriate for the day and age. 'We' don't want to feel we have something to learn from someone we elected. Why?
We certainly want our leaders to be logical, rational, wise, well read, etc. But we don't want to be 'lectured' or 'taught' by our government. It seems to me that in contemporary American society there is not a warm reception for philosophy. It comes across as hoakie, unproductive, and silly. A philosopher today is not held in the same regard as his equal would have been some 2 - 3 thousand years ago.
Throughout history philosophers have run into trouble with 'the establishment', 'the machine' as it were, but the general populace has historically welcomed wise thinkers and mental ground breakers openly.
I don't feel that that is the case today. Today, philosophy in the U.S. is confined to the college classroom. It's reasonable and acceptable for one to have studied philosophy for a brief period, to have a few books on the subject... but to engage in it beyond that in adulthood seems to be an almost isolating move when it comes to society at large.
It is almost as if to philosophize with others nowadays, it needs to be done in small, private, tucked away circles. Coffee houses, etc. Whispered, way from the public eye.
And if a public official were to share the words above to the masses openly (as uncontroversial as they are) s/he would be publicly ridiculed in all forms of media.
My concern is why this shift has occurred. What does it say about a society and where it's headed if philosophy is viewed as something less than respectable or even contemptuous?

What would your reaction be if your congress person spoke these words openly and publicly?