....." larger and larger segment of society has not been taught or has objected to the concept of "critical thinking"..."
I don't know about the US but here in the UK the education system seems to have, slowly and surely, changed; it used to be that schools would teach students how to learn, how to evaluate different ideas and come to a conclusion, how to investigate etc. basically how to learn.
Now it seems that our schools are producing ready for the production line sheeple; these have just enough "education" to be able to read the Daily Fail (so they can be told what they think) and be able to push the buttons at their station on the production line in the right order.
I can't remember who it was but I do remember hearing one of out MP's making a statement somewhere along the lines of "we need our schools to produce people that are ready for work"..