Ted Frier

Ted Frier
April 02
Ted Frier is an author and former political reporter turned speechwriter who at one time served as communications director for the Massachusetts Republican Party, helping Bill Weld become the first Bay State Republican in a generation to be elected Governor. He was Chief Speechwriter for Republican Governor Paul Cellucci and Lt. Governor Jane Swift. Ted is also the author of the hardly-read 1992 history "Time for a Change: The Return of the Republican Party in Massachusetts." So, why the current hostility to the Republican Party and what passes for conservatism today? The Republican Party was once a national governing party that looked out for the interests of the nation as a whole. Now it is the wholly-owned subsidiary of self interest. Conservatism once sought national unity to promote social peace and harmony. Now conservatism has devolved into a right wing mutation that uses divide and conquer tactics to promote the solidarity of certain social sub-groups united against the larger society while preserving the privileges of a few.


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FEBRUARY 29, 2012 3:09PM

Rick Santorum and the Closing of the Conservative Mind

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How ironic it would be if Rick Santorum lost his chance for the presidency because of remarks attacking "indoctrination" by American colleges and universities that were uttered in the same state whose former governor lost his big chance for the White House a half-century earlier after admitting he'd once been "brainwashed" by hawkish generals trying to sell an unwinnable war.

When Alexander Pope said "a little learning is a dangerous thing" liberals knew he meant they needed more of it. Conservatives, on the other hand, took Pope literally to mean all learning is dangerous.

Thus, while stumping in Michigan prior to his Republican primary loss to Mitt Romney yesterday, Santorum derided President Obama for suggesting America's youth should all be given the chance to go to college.

"What a snob," said Santorum. "There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day, and put their skills to test, who aren't taught by some liberal college professor (who) tries to indoctrinate them. I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his."

Pundits seem united in their belief that by delivering his "snob" remark Santorum had committed a catastrophic gaffe. What he'd really committed, however, was "Conservatism."

Anti-intellectualism has a long and disreputable pedigree in American politics, especially on the Right. The late historian Richard Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism in American Life remains to this day a classic in political science precisely for that reason.

And, as Geoffrey Kabaservice writes in his new book about the decline and fall of moderate Republicanism, many middle-of-the-road Republicans report being "tired of apologizing to the world of ideas for being Republicans, and to fellow Republicans for being interested in ideas."

Typical of right wing ambivalence against the life of the mind is conservative radio host Dennis Prager. Just today Prager came to Santorum's defense by providing a list of all those things parents should beware their children are learning when mom and pop shell out that $20-$50,000 per year for tuition.

These include, according to Prager's syllabus, the idea: that the United States is no better than any other country, that America is imperialist and mistreats its poor; that there is no good or bad literature; that God "is at best a non-issue and at worst a foolish and dangerous belief;" that Islam is "a religion of peace" and therefore criticism of it is Islamophobia; that the battle is not between good and evil but between the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak; that patriotism is a euphemism for chauvinism; that we live in a patriarchal society injurious to women - well, you get the picture.

In short, Prager tells his anxious middle-aged and traditionally-minded white, Christian audience: send your kids to college and watch them reject every value you ever held dear.

Thanks to my son, who is studying communication theory and propaganda in school, I had the opportunity to sample some of Dennis Prager's more cunningly manipulative handiwork firsthand.

In a new video produced last year, "Baseball, Dennis & the French," Prager tells the true-life story of a longtime liberal activist and connoisseur of French films named Paul Croshaw who, like caterpillar turning into butterfly, becomes a churchgoing conservative Christian thanks to Prager's nationally-syndicated radio program.

With clips of Lawrence Welk reruns and old Super-8 home movies of Little League games and 50s nostalgia running in the background, Prager tells us that we can either put God at the center of our lives - or become a Nazi!  Those are the only two choices we have.

Humans are not equipped to invent morality on their own, says Prager, and so leading a "godless" life inevitably leads one to repeat the great "secular" horrors of the past, such as Hitler's holocaust, Stalin's purges or Pol Pot's killing fields.

As words like "GOOD" and "EVIL" and "LIBERALISM" flash ominously on the screen we learn that reason, logic and -- worse still -- "intellectual humanism" are not to be trusted since all are "amoral."

Put your trust in God, says Prager - and vote Republican!

I kid you not. As we are nearly lulled to sleep by Prager's sonorous voice, the seamless connection between Godliness and conservative Republicanism becomes progressively less preposterous than at first it might appear.

Soon, the connection between a God-centered life and other earthly entanglements comes more sharply into focus, such as: support for private property and free market capitalism, opposition to Democrats with their taxes and "industrial planning," loyalty to Israel in its wars with the Arab world and, maybe next, even support for the Keystone Pipeline that Obama nixed the other day.

In Prager's telling it all makes perfect sense, though I did do a double-take when I saw on the recommended reading list of this video purportedly about putting God front and center in our lives, the laissez faire favorite, Atlas Shrugged, by that famous atheist Ayn Rand, whose fierce attacks against Christianity in favor of an all-powerful capitalist class were inspired by the same Nietzsche who inspired the Nazis and their fantasies about a race of "Aryan Supermen."

To the untrained eye it's impossible to make sense of Rick Santorum's puzzling attack upon higher education - and by extension, the American Dream - until you understand the history and source of Santorum's radicalism.

Santorum and Prager belong to a school of right wing conservatism shared by William F. Buckley's brother-in-law and National Review co-founder, L. Brent Bozell -- father of the self-appointed watchdog of the "biased liberal media."

In a now famous 1962 article, "Freedom or Virtue?" Bozell claims that societies have a choice to make: They can either choose to maximize freedom as liberals have done.  Or, they can choose to maximize virtue as conservatives prefer to do. But they cannot do both.

Writing in Modern Age at the time Bozell's article first appeared, Ronald Hamowy says that once conservatives accept the truths of Christianity it is then incumbent on them "to employ the State apparatus in advancing those truths."

Bozell was Barry Goldwater's speechwriter and also ghost writer of Goldwater's enduring classic, Conscience of a Conservative. Shortly after Bozell finished the book in 1960, he moved his entire family to fascist Spain where Kabaservice says Bozell then became "impressed by the Catholic domination of society, enforced by the dictator Francisco Franco."

Bozell then returned to the United States inspired to use government power to inhibit citizen's freedom and enforce their virtue.

"Go and teach all nations," wrote Bozell in the 1962 essay. "These are the marching orders of Christianity, and from a theological viewpoint, its central operational command. God's purpose is two-fold: to give the widest possible access to supernatural grace -- that is, to magnify the Christian Church.  And, to establish temporal conditions conducive to human virtue -- that is, to build a Christian civilization. The latter purpose is the genesis and justification for the notion that Western Civilization, being the historical fruit of the Incarnation -- and so, in a manner of speaking, God's civilization -- must be preserved at all costs, and itself magnified."

The liberal historian Garry Wills, then a National Review contributor during his "conservative phase," wrote a worried note to Buckley arguing that by editorializing against freedom Bozell was "taking an authoritarian course that can do National Review no good."

Franco may be good for Spain, said Wills, "but transferred to America his kind of rule goes down hard. I know the stock cry of 'fascism' shouldn't keep the right from sticking to its principles. But Brent's piece is the first that gives that accusation some philosophic grounds in NR."

Since psychological projection is a well-known right wing conservative defense mechanism, we might surmise that a desire to limit the freedoms of their fellow Americans is one reason reactionary Republicans seem so obsessed by the imagined attacks against "freedom" that conservatives say liberals make all the time.

Right wing American conservatives have been barking at "pointy-headed intellectuals" for more than half a century. But their charge that colleges and universities harbor a "liberal bias" runs much deeper than the simple complaint that academic faculties house clandestine cells of aging hippies or senior citizen auxiliaries of the Students for a Democratic Society.

What really aggrieves right wing conservatives is that professors of "The Liberal Arts" actually teach the "liberal" arts and so promote a way of looking at the world in which "truth" is derived through research and reason rather than by mindless adherence to the ancient scribblings of some book.

The gripe that conservatives like Rick Santorum have against higher education, in short, is not that liberally-biased faculties are forcing their students to think like Democrats. Their real complaint is that college professors are teaching students to think for themselves.

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A scientific study has shown that devoutly religious people use the part of the brain used for thinking in religious fervor. Too many conservatives drink the Kool Aid.
Thanks Lefty,

One of my favorite lines from Hofstadter's book on anti-intellectualism in America is: "There seems to be such a thing as the generically prejudiced mind. Studies of political intolerance and ethnic prejudice have shown that zealous church-going and rigid religious faith are among the important correlates of political and ethnic animosity. It is the existence of this type of mind that determines the similarity of style between the modern right wing and fundamentalism."
I noticed last night that Santorum, in an apparent effort to roll back some of his positions, talked about how his mother was a nurse and worked, and his wife was a nurse, lawyer, author, and their children were being sent to university. I think it's too late.

Of course, there are 'universities' that the fundies can safely send their children too. I've read that one of the future problems of the U.S. is the presence in government positions and courts of a lot of the graduates of a fundy preacher's law school.

Christ, I just got back from Spain. The guides there all emphasized how (with a few exceptions) the church collaborated with Franco, and now the church has no influence, only a few old people attend, and the country has undone a lot of Franco stuff and took a real turn towards liberalism and progressivism...

Meanwhile, the U.S. is more like Iran...

I am worried about those fundie schools, too. The woman who headed up the Texas board of education when it perverted the history curriculum to reflect the right wing fantasy worldview -- earning a D from a conservative educational foundation that tracks this stuff -- was a graduate of one of these places, for example. And they are tough. Since they are being trained to take over the culture they all seem to go through a partisan boot camp in which they learn hand to hand ideological combat. Falwell's Liberty University debate team are national champs, I've heard. Onward Christian Soldiers.
I think Santorum made it clear he's running for VP in the Michigan race. His remarks on Kennedy and education were meant to push the envelope and INSURE the fundie vote.

Michigan Catholics in counties like Oakland, where I graduated from HS are much better educated than in the past. They represent as much as anyone in that state the transistion from blue collar to educated electorate.

They aren't buying the holler roller stuff--and don't even necessarily need a college education any more either to figure this one out--and this was the country where the fascist Coughlin had his stronghold. My dear mother would no more vote for Santorum than a tree. You have to be much more firmly in the grasp of a fanatical orthodoxy to not see him as the mudslinger he is.

And the old Republican Protestant bluebloods don't trust him either. Mitt is their boy to stop the infestation of the cities. But put the two of them together with Gingrich's good old boys and you have the "ticket." It doesn't matter how many lies they tell, how much is thrown at them in terms of the attavistic and racist underpinnings of the campaign, a threatened white minority will go to those polls and vote.

Not so Democrats, so-called independants, and liberal ideologues who are still waiting for the promised land. That is who is going to win or lose this election. If the boomers and the OWS generation withdraw from the process that will be the determining factor.

I've been saying this for months and months--mostly to be mocked and called an "Obamaton" but in my view if you can't see it you're deaf, dumb, and blind.

You are right. A wounded animal is the worst kind and that is why this crowd cannot be taken for granted. History shows that the extremists win far more than they lose, when the disasters they create are so gross that it finally rouses the masses from their slumber. But not even that is certain anymore in the land of make believe made possible by Fox News and Frank Luntz.
True to his nature as a bloodsucker, Santorum is actually playing on the side of the odds historically, especially when ideological aspirations are high and the lowest common denominator is being invoked. Next will come the money.

It's a shame your work isn't inviting more of those "betrayed" by Obama to enter the discussion. Until recently, they were posting and commenting frequently, but have disappeared for the most part.
You've endangered your immortal soul with this kind of free-thinking. In a few years, in the New Righteous Kristian Amerika, you will be put in stocks, in the public square, to do penance for your effrontery...wink
It's easy enough -- and certainly advantageous in this country -- to call yourself a Christian. If only the New Pharisees would read the book instead of thumping it! And then if they'd tried to practice what they so loudly preach unto others.

Apparently, they've never read any of these passages:

John 2:1-11
Jesus performs his first miracle -- turning water into wine.

Luke 7:34 (also in Matthew)
"The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."'

John 8:7
"So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."

Luke 6:29
"If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic."

Matthew 25:40
"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'

Matthew 6:5
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

Yes, the hypocrites certainly love to stand on street corners and in churches and on television and spout their vile corruptions of the teachings of Jesus.

Matthew 15:11

"What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.'"
Terrific essay Ted. I think you've summed up perfectly Santorum's and his ilk's antipathy to higher education. Their sons and their daughters will be beyond their command.
Thank you Abrawang. With the right wing it is always about control -- of the masses by elites, however those masses are defined, including children of parents.

And Tom, I agree absolutely. While I have been very rough on the Catholic Church of late since this birth control things flared, truth is I am a lay reader in our local parish. And as I stand there doing my reading I cannot for the life of me see how you organize a right wing divisive movement from these words.
Excellent posting. It is frightening that Santorum has gotten this far - and instructive. Never underestimate the radical right wing in this country. They have gained tremendous political and social power over the last 30 years, and they are flexing it. Santorum is a national disgrace, and were I living overseas it would be humiliating to walk the streets as an American, tryin to explain how such a *thing* as he could get so institutionally close to the presidency.

Make no mistake, theocrats abound in this country. The followers of RJ Rushdoony are everywhere, and they are not shy about their aims. If theocrats get one of their own in the highest office in the land, I would not put it past them to just declare a coup and dissolve the Constitution. They've already got advocates and allies in the military, most worryingly the Airforce (note the problems with fundamentalist Christian hazing at the Airforce Academy over the last decade). This is all getting seriously out of hand, and I don't know what can be done about it except keep educating folks.
Rick Santorum remarks attacking "indoctrination" by American colleges and universities was right on the money. No one can deny the liberal tenure of government has dumbed down our children, indoctrinated our kids from grade school to college in failed liberal policies that depends on someone other then themselves for the necessities of life. Case in point go to any elementary, Jr High, High school, or snobbish college like Yale, Harvard, American U, Georgetown and show me a conservative teacher or professor. If you find one he's hiding under his desk since he knows the liberals have put a target on him for extinction. Harvard has become the school for Radicals and I would bet a considerable sum you will not find any conservative professors at Harvard. Why? The liberals are deathly afraid the conservative thought might make some sense. That it's based on reality, truthfulness and historical fact.
Rick Santorum told you the truth, that's reality and it's based on facts. The truth does hurt, but get over it and use your brain for something other than a hat rack.

You have no idea what you are talking about. I was a conservative all through college -- a military brat from Montgomery Alabama with three generations of West Point grads behind me. And on my college newspaper (Eastern Echo, Eastern Michigan University) I vented my conservatism freely. And for my efforts I was so persecuted by the faculty adviser, the student publicans board and the other students on staff that they made me editor. Oh, and those liberal snobs at the Detroit Press Club also gave me an award for Best Expression of Opinion. Liberals tolerate conservative ideas just fine.
Ted it isn't called Bible thumping for nothing. Congrats on the EP and another fine piece of writing. rated
Great post. I couldn't agree more with that last sentence. And the secondary school system is aiming at the same goal, I fear, as school boards are more and more under control of the ignorance faction. Prager gives me hives; I have a friend who constantly quotes and cites him and I just can't stand it.
Thanks Desnee, and Prager gives me the hives too Laura. Prager is a more dangerous propagandist than the ludicrous Limbaugh because he is at least plausible and so exerts a much more lasting hold on the feeble-minded. His method I think is to start by with something that is at least partially true or arguable and then link it to the real point he wants to make (vote Republican) without any logical connection. His movie is a montage of images that must be simply experienced and defy intellectual engagement, which is the point, since we are not to trust our own reason. Thus we go from Moses to Mussolini in a nanosecond and from the existence of God to the sacredness of private property and capitalism without pause. In split screen we saw Lawrence Welk and Woodstock with no explanation why we were watching this, other than to say ABC canceled the bubbles in 1972 despite good ratings because the network did not want to be associated with its corny image. When my wife was watching the Prager's video with my son and me she was constantly saying "oh my God, oh my God" at the audacity of Prager's manipulation.
What a wonderful, erudite article. Everything you said is right on the money and what always strikes me about Republicans is that things are just fine when they suit them; i.e. atheist Ayn Rand, government out of our lives except when it comes little issues like abortion or gay marriage.

p.s. Perhaps if a certain commenter had gone to one of the elite liberal universities they could spell the word extremist correctly, unless that's some kind of highly sophisticated irony . . . but that' usually bred in University.
I really do think that right wing conservatism leads to a kind of insanity. As the comment by RightWingExtremist shows, conservatives demand to be judged according to liberal standards of open-mindedness and tolerance which they refuse to apply to their opponents. Liberalism is not biased against sensible conservatism -- only the right wing variety that provides no room for ideas other than its own.

The Constitution is not a suicide pact as a justice once said, and liberal institutions are not required to allow in those who would destroy freedom of speech and the mind if they could by insisting on tolerance for their ntolerance -- thus producing the hypocrisy that makes them desperate to find examples of hypocrisy in liberals in order to justify their own.

At some level conservatives must recognize their ideas don't add up and that they are aliens in their own land, which leads to both frustration and then a kind of guilty, hypersensitive anger that leads them directly to demagogues like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter who will tell them there is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing wrong with the way they are and that's it's all the liberals fault.
I don't know any ultra right wing people in my community who can articulate their point of view. I think the reason is if they articulate it all the racist and bigoted venom would come out. So when they speak they do so in talking point. They are totally unaware that a talking point isn't an articulation of anything.

And you managed to turn a column about anti-intellectualism and the very strong right wing belief that the masses are children who should do as they are told into a column about education reform and school performance.

I do not need a lecture on education reform. In a previous life I was Special Assistant to the Massachusetts Secretary of Education under a Republican governor who, in 1994, worked with a Democratic legislature to pass, and then implement, a historic education reform bill that provided billions in new state spending on K-12 public education over 10 years in exchange for significant reforms, including many that you talk about: A tighter rein on tenure, recertification and evaluation requirements for teachers, curriculum frameworks to ensure at least minimum standards in instruction, provision for charter schools to provide competition and a way out for parents dissatisfied with the education their children are getting, and standarized MCAS tests at grades 4, 8 and 10 to both hold schools accountable and to give a Massachusetts high school diploma widely-accepted meaning.

Now, there are lots of problems with this law and legitimate complaints from teachers, parents and others about the way it's been implemented and what it means for day to day instruction in the classroom, but that is the way it is with any big law like this.

But education reform and Rick Santorum's attack on the efficacy of a college education are two entirely different issues and you are avoiding one (right wing authoritarianism and paternalism) by conflating it with the other.
Ted, I can never quite figure out where you're coming from. You write that you are "a lay reader in our local parish." And then you write about "mindless adherence to the ancient scribblings of some book."

If you are a lay reader, I presume that you are reading "ancient scribblings." But if you really look at the Bible as "ancient scribblings," why would you bother with being a lay reader?
Christopher Hitchens once said that it is no accident that Christianity took off in regions of the world where people were mostly illiterate, and uneducated, and rejected in the Far East, which had higher literacy, learning, etc. There is a fundamental conflict between faith and learning which cannot be denied.

Also, aren't conservatism and closed thinking synonymous? Isn't a general preference for status quo, or reactionary action, as opposed to experimentation, adaptation, and change by necessity closed minded?

I feel your pain. I am all over the lot -- a lay reader who attacks the Catholic Church and suggests that "devotion" is "mindless adherence" to the scribblings of an ancient book. Sounds like a contradiction doesn't it? Not really, if one is willing to step outside ones own time and bring a sense of humility and doubt to politics rather than certainty and arrogance..

One of the gifts I think I’ve been given moving from conservatism to liberalism, and also from working in both Democratic and Republican administrations without fully abandoning or embracing either, is that I’ve had the chance to sense – even when I cannot fully articulate – that there are many beliefs which unite rather than divide these ideas and interests.

A good example: My friend Rene Loth, who I worked alongside at the State House when Mike Dukakis was Governor, wrote in her Boston Globe column this morning: “Mitt Romney makes plenty of gaffes on the campaign trail, but there is one faulty assertion he makes repeatedly that can’t be written off as unscripted. 'We have to choose between an entitlement society and an opportunity society,' he says. No we don’t."

Rene goes on to say: "The notion that government is a hindrance to personal initiative is a conservative article of faith," but a false one, and “isn’t any more real than Romney’s fear of getting a pink slip.”

Rene then went on the cite all the ways that “private” entrepreneurs have made fortunes after leaning on the crutch that government provided.

As for the specific example you cite: I have never doubted that religion -- and for Europe and America in particular, Christianity -- has been a powerful civilizing force for good that has shaped our attitudes and values and by teaching the dignity of every human being and each individual soul has paved the way for systems of government based on one man (and woman) one vote.

But any belief system powerful enough to civilize an entire species – and to do so using awe and wonder, discipline and obedience, conformity and submission – is also a force capable of dissolving into tyranny due to the cardinal sin of pride and hubris, thus destroying all those fragile cultural institutions based on free will, individual conscience, and personal choice.

There is no contradiction here. It’s just the times we live in that compel us to invent one.

Until the Founding Fathers went out and did it, conventional wisdom among political thinkers taught that building a democratic republic was impossible except within a compact, homogeneous people that shared most things in common, like language, lineage, faith and race – a Greek city state, for example.

James Madison said no: Bigger republics were better than smaller ones BECAUSE they were diverse – because they were made up of so many different parts and so less susceptible of being overwhelmed by a single faction united around some interest or cause hostile to the rest.

All that was required he said was to construct a republic in such a way as to take advantage of these differences, to create ways of electing leaders that would force those leaders to look beyond their own tribes in order to look out for the nation as a whole.

“Extend the sphere,” said Madison – extend the number of people and interests an individual leader must represent – “and you enlarge the views.”

That is the heart and soul of the American Constitution.

Just as history cycles through different periods of unity and division, of nation-building and revolution, so too does the politics of individual nations – and even individual human minds.

If we cannot see that there is more that unites us than divides us, that there exists a higher synthesis beyond partisan or ideological differences, that is because we are living in what I hope are the fading days of a generation-long encounter with a radical right movement that began in earnest with Newt Gingrich and his Southern reactionaries in 1994 who brought with them the politics of divide and conquer, of the false dichotomy, of My Way or the Highway, of a belief that the best way to gain and hold power is to accentuate and exaggerate our differences rather than working to mediate them as the Founding Fathers would have wished.
Hear, hear. Well said, sir. My pointy-headed intellectual hat is off to you.
Not that his comment is worthy of a response, but how does RightwingExtremist account for the fact that "snob schools" like Harvard and Yale, schools dominated by "liberal" profs, produced William F Buckley, George W Bush and countless other conservatives. Must be they weren't paying attention to the indoctrination -- Bush was apparently not paying much attention to anything is the classroom.

Or maybe these gentlemen had minds of their own -- which is more than I can say for rightwingextremist.
Great post! I think I told you that USA Today finally did publish my letter about fair use of polling data. It was a tough three-month fight. You should have seen the Obama office opening in Asheville. I have never seen such enthusiasm at a political event. Hundreds jammed the little suite of offices. The media does not realize that people ARE capable of thinking for themselves.
EVERYTHING Santorum and his ilk do is calculated. My view they are sociopaths. Seriously.
who was it who said he'd been "brainwashed" by generals? I dont recall that history. [it was probably before I was born]. not everyone has an encyclopediac knowledge of politics dude. ps hofstadter seems like a knowledgeable academic, I hadnt heard of that essay, but that one he wrote on conspiracy theory is one of the most influential, and skewed/facile, that Ive heard of. legendary.

The "brainwashed" comment was by Mitt Romney's dad, George Romney, who was a Republican frontrunner for president in 1968 until he said he'd come back from a trip to Vietnam "brainwashed" by the generals about the chances of victory there. The comment didn't cause his campaign to collapse alone, but it contributed to it as Nixon skillfully used it against him to win the nomination. "Anti-intellectualism" I believe was written before Hofstdter's essay on "the paranoid style in American politics."
Well done all around, with the only conclusion that makes any sense. It's not indoctrination and wouldn't work if it was.