Wisdom from Nixonland

Per my earlier post about Rick Perlstein’s great book Nixonland, here’s a quote I found particularly striking and relevant to current education reform debates:

“It is a lesson of the sixties: liberals get in the biggest political trouble–whether instituting open housing, civilian complaint review boards, or sex education programs–when they presume that a reform is an inevitable concomitant of progress. It is then that they are most likely to establish their reforms by top-down bureaucratic means. A blindsiding backlash often ensues.” –Rick Perlstein, Nixonland, Chapter 24, “Purity”

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