Loved spacejace's link below, and started reading other things by the author. This piece on the changes in education funding struck me as very strong as well:
"Given the stakes -- which are nothing short of the future of the country -- it's quite possible that the way the conservatives have changed our national consensus on education may be the single most radical thing they've done over the past 30 years. (And yes, that includes sanctioning torture, which wouldn't have been even possible if we hadn't deprived two generations of Americans of a decent civics education.) Those of us over 45 still remember those very differnt assumptions about who deserved an education, and what college was for, and how it should be paid for. We're absolutely horrified at the way those assumptions have been turned on their heads. Everybody should be."
I've thought more than once that the disdain of the right for "intellectuals" and "academics" (people who - horrors! - spend a lot of time learning and thinking and trying to help others learn and think) was aimed at keeping the base as ignorant as possible by devaluing the institutions and people that exist to transfer and increase knowledge; such rhetoric has certainly been deployed with that aim in other countries.
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