The problem with some intellectuals, usually professors and pundits, is that they think being smart and showing how smart they are is enough to change the world. It isn't. To change the world and make life better for your fellow men and women requires a good idea that is actionable, followed by the hard work necessary to act, and the resolve to endure adversities and resistance to the goal. Most elitists do not understand this and thus tend to look down on the doers as being inferior intellectually.
I am reminded of this in medicine. In the field of medicine there are two kinds of doctors, proceduralists (like surgeons) and non-proceduralists (like internists). Internists tend to think they are smarter than surgeons and tend to look down on surgeons as mere technicians. But it is actually harder to become a surgeon (grades and skills) than to become an internist. I am not saying internists aren't smart, just that the impression they hold of their own intellectual superiority is incorrect.
Related post: Political Elitism