Before the Cold War ended, those in power were challenged by the constant demonstrations for civil rights, gay rights, feminism, ending the Vietnam war; the public was not a herd of sheep. The public was angry, demanding.
Those in power decided there was no longer a need for bright kids who would confront them. What was needed were mind dead sheep.
There was a retreat from creating the Best and the Brightest. No need to have an over population of those who could not easily be controlled or deceived.
One of the most glaring examples is in 1970, when America invaded Cambodia and lied about it.
College students, with no Internet, were able to prove that the American Government lied. Cambodia was invade by American troops.
There were demonstrations across the United States, and students were killed in Jackson State and at Kent State Universities.
To never permit average citizens to develop the propensity to question, to analyse and research, became the new focus.