The irony is that our citizenry are better educated than ever more graduate high school, more graduate college, more graduate PhD and professional programs, more graduating with technical degrees from Vo-techs, community colleges, and for-profit trade schools. Our culture has changed and many not only haven't caught up, but have rebelled against the increasing equality and opportunity for those who don't look like themselves.
We've always had a large fraction of the population believing the Christian bible to be the source of all the knowledge they need and that is truly real, who believe that our founders established a white, Christian nation and that it is only right that it remain this way.
I, and I think you also, grew up in the 1950s/60s. At the start of that time, women were barely present in government, the professions, universities. I attended Lehigh. It admitted women in 1970, the year after I graduated and there was still a big fight over whether they should be permitted to join the marching band.
During most of my childhood, de jure segregation and anti-miscegenation laws, and sodomy as a crime to persecute consenting gays were the law of most of the land. Gays could not marry and knew to stay closeted in much of America.
Much of America, better education or not, has not accepted or adapted to any of the increased rights for women, blacks, Hispanics, LGBTQ communities. Major groups, like the white evangelical churches fight against all of these changes, including the legalization of abortion. They want the American culture of the early 1950s. Educational attainment has risen markedly since that time. A lack of education isn't the problem. A clinging to white, straight, male, Christian privilege and fundamentalist Christian beliefs are the problem. This, despite all sections of our population and geographic regions being better educated than ever.
Some people seem to feel compelled to cling to absolutes, shunning change and any nuanced interpretations of cultural change. I would also posit that we are seeing a battle over what constitutes masculinity in the modern age. There are those too fragile in their traditional masculinity to wear masks to protect others.