Trump isn’t just talking about taking down higher education now—he’s working to do it. The executive order he signed this week that supposedly protects free speech is really a threat to gag universities and colleges, or cut off their funds if they don’t get with his program.
And that’s just part of the bigger picture here as he tries to control, demean and collapse confidence in the supposed eggheads and elites who, in fact, make up one of America’s essential institutions.
The administration this week announced its plans for overhauling the federal higher education law to more narrowly treat college as just a form of job training. The president’s proposed budget zeros out funds for the National Endowment for the Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts. And Thursday—weeks after the CPAC rant where he first mentioned it —Trump indeed signed that executive order that supposedly protects free speech on college campuses, even as he keeps threatening to punish schools that he vaguely claims are somehow suppressing it.