A hundred fifty years ago, at least some Americans recognized that all serious discourse depended on the use of the faculty called Reason.
Formal debate, science, and law all flowed from that source. The source could be bent, twisted, and deployed in devious ways—but then people would know that. They would be able to point out where the arguer had gone wrong.
A common bond existed in some schools of the day. The student was expected to learn how Reason operates, and for that he was taught the only subject which could lay out, as on a long table, the visible principles: Logic.
This was accepted.
But now, this bond is gone.